Many of us have a deep longing to see this incredible world that we live in. We want to see other places, animals, people and cultures. Travel is rewarding, enriching, and life-changing. So why are so many people putting it off until they retire?
I hear people all the time talk longingly about the time when they can throw off the bonds of the 9-5 grind and finally be free to travel and see these sights they have heard and dreamt of all those years.
While the list of reasons why people don’t travel while in the prime of their life is long; financial, family, career etc. The alternative may not be a rosy as you might imagine. It is easy as a 20, 30, 40 something to dream of retirement travel, without really thinking about what it will be like for us when we are 60, 70, 80 something.
Here are some reasons that you might want to reconsider holding off until retirement to live the life of your dreams:
- You may not have the energy to hike/bike/swim that will allow you to fully enjoy the travel.
- Lets face it. I already have less energy at 30 than I did at 20. I can only imagine how much more daunting it will be to hike the Grand Canyon or Scuba on the Great Barrier Reef when I double my current age. Those activities are a huge part of what makes travel so much fun!
- Your body will limit where you go-Cold/Hot/Humid etc.
- There is a reason people retire to Florida in mass and not to Alaska. The elements take a toll on your body and if visiting cold locations is on your list you may not want to chance it later on.
- You may have health limitations
- Beyond what you want or don’t want to do, there is a chance you may not be able to travel to places due to medications or physical limitations.
- You many not make it.
- Sorry to sound so pessimistic, but this is even true about putting off anything. Tomorrow is promised to no man and we certainly know all about that — read about how we fell of a 90′ cliff and survived!. Don’t put all your hope in a future that may not be there. Live now.
- You may not have the money then.
- This has never seemed more real than in this economy. Many who had saved and invested have seen their savings depleted from the recession. Making money is often a reason people think they can’t travel now, but it may not be there when you retire either.
- Your kids probably won’t be able to come.
- They will be working 50 hours a week and not taking vacations — just like you did. Not that traveling solo or just you and your spouse is bad, but there is something rich about sharing these experiences with your family.
- Travel is an education.
- You wouldn’t wait until you were 65 to go to college, why wait to travel?
- It will change the way you live the rest of your life and your family’s life for the better.
- It is almost inevitable that exposure to new cultures, ideas, and environments will shape who you are. It will make you see the world–the good and bad–in a new light. It may change the career you are working in, it may make want to help others, it may just give you perspective. All good things to learn while you are young and can implement them in your life.
- Travel with our families creates bonds and memories that will pay a lifetime of dividends.
- Sharing life defining experiences with one an other draws us together. Same with travel. Especially if you travel with your kids when they are young. I think it lays a foundation that can be built upon and in those tough teen years. You can always fall back on the awesome travel you did together.
- Do it for your kids.
- The advantages are almost innumerable; education, self-esteem, confidence, language, empathy…the list goes on. Think of the money you might spend to get them into a private school or on tutors. Spend that money traveling with them and I bet they won’t need the others.
Travel at anytime during your life has it’s advantages and disadvantages, but the more I reflect on the options the more convinced I am that travel is best enjoyed with my family in the prime of my life.
What about you? What are your thoughts on waiting to retire to travel vs travel now? What is holding you back?