Travel is a dream that many people put off until retirement. Too often we get caught up in the cycle of working long hours and raising children, and decide to wait until we retire to pursue our own dreams. While there’s something to be said for delayed gratification, there’s also plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t wait until retirement to start travelling. From health and financial worries, to a rapidly changing world, here are some reasons why you should seize the day and start travelling now.
You might not be healthy enough
It may be a cliché, but the reality is that death is the only certain thing in life. There is no way of knowing how long we will live or how long we’ll remain fit and able. That’s why it’s best to live each day (or some days) like it’s your last. Have you always wanted to hike through the Scottish Highlands or climb the stairs of the Eiffel Tower? What about snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef, or wandering through the Rocky Mountains? After retirement, who knows if you’ll still have mobility or even the energy to start travelling. There’s no time like the present, so don’t leave your bucket list for later – get out there now while you can!
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It might cost more
\With a greater risk of health problems comes more expensive travel insurance for older travellers. On top of that, you’ll likely crave more comforts as you get older, and these all add up. When you start travelling when you’re older, it’s harder to compromise on certain standards. We get it – after a long day of adventure, there’s nothing better than coming back to a hot meal and a comfortable room, but the older you get the less willing you are to compromise on the luxuries (and nor should you!).
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What if you don’t have the money?
On another note – what if you find you’re short on money for retirement travel? Lots of unexpected events can throw a wrench in your financial plans, like losing a job, getting divorced, illness and healthcare costs, and the rising cost of living. These could all push out your retirement date or mean retiring earlier with less money, which could all mess with your grand plans for retirement travel. So don’t wait. Why not do it now when you’ve got the means?
The world is changing
After living through the crazy year that was 2020, it’s not so hard to believe that the world could change drastically by the time you retire. Whether it’s a pandemic, political unrest, war and conflict, or natural disasters, anything could happen to stop you from getting to your dream destination.
The effects of climate change are also going to have a huge impact, with more animals going extinct, corals and marine life dying, and forests and lakes disappearing. Some island countries and seaside cities might even be underwater within the next few decades. It’s a sad reality, but by the time you start travelling after retirement, your dream destination might not be accessible or even there anymore.
Travel helps you grow
One of the best things about travel is that it teaches you some invaluable lessons that will help you navigate life. When you travel, you get a fresh perspective and open up to new ideas and ways of living. You discover new cultures and a deeper appreciation for nature. You learn how to make friends with strangers and you also learn more about yourself. And you get outside of your comfort zone and gain patience, independence, and resilience. That kind of enriching education and insight is priceless.
Albert Einstein once said “When you stop learning you start dying”. So why wait until retirement to reap the benefits of travel? Start travelling now and fill up the pages of the story of your life.
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Life gets in the way…
We can make all the travel plans we want, but you can’t predict the future. Life is complicated and has a habit of turning your plans upside down. There are so many things that could stop you from travelling after retirement. What if your kids need more support or stay at home much longer than expected? What if you have to care for your parents or even grandchildren? In short, there are endless ‘what ifs’ and things that could change or get in the way of you finally booking that trip when you retire.
…So seize the day!
The bottom line is don’t wait for life to happen. If you’re dreaming of adventure and itching to tick off your bucket list, make life happen now. Our time on earth is short and you only have one chance to get it right. And what could be a better way of spending our lives than exploring the world, meeting new people, hearing different stories, and marvelling at all the beauty around every corner. Don’t put off the good parts of life or risk living with regret. Start travelling and making incredible memories now – because all we have is now.
Did you travel before retirement? Or are you planning a retirement trip? Let us know in the comments below!