Millennials and Me (at 60!)

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”  –Anais Nin

I have been struck by an apparent trait of millennials lately. On the news they keep saying that millennials often choose experiences over buying products. They would rather take a trip than buy a new set of clothes.   Now that is something I can relate to…

I have always chosen an experience over buying something. Whether it be interesting friendships or trips to spectacular or exotic places, I was always up for an adventure. That’s  why I traveled quite a bit in my 20s, 30s, and 40s. And now that I’m 60, I’m so glad I did!

Red Rock canyons in Utah

I went on a number of week-long river trips in Utah and Colorado in my twenties while living in Salt Lake City. These were marvelous, relaxing and unique journeys into the rural American West.

And how can I forget that backpacking trip to Canyonlands in southern Utah at age 18, when a couple of my friends got lost, and the ranger took us on a helicopter ride over the area in search of them? How can my parents forget getting that call that I was lost, even though I hasn’t.

sunset BVIAnd then there was that crazy trip to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico to pick up a sailboat and sail it to the British Virgin Islands. Come to find out the boat was a piece of crap, and there was no way it was going to sail that far. So instead we spent a few days in Mayaguez living on the boat, sailed to San Juan, and then a friend and I flew over to Tortola for one of the best weeks of my life, enjoying pina coladas and sunsets on Cane Garden Bay!

Venice Canals

I discovered Venice on a rather ill-fated trip in the mid-1980s. I first landed in Paris to visit a friend. We traveled to Florence together, where I became quite ill with hepatitis and never left the hotel room! But then it was on to Venice. I was alone for most of my stay there, it was January, I was still sick, and yet I LOVED VENICE! I will never forget my long walks around Venice in the thick London fog, or the man next door at my cheap pension, practicing his opera piece over and over again. It was as authentic as it gets!

I have also spent over a year of my life in various countries in east Asia. Bangkok, Taipei, Hong Kong and China are familiar to me, with a million tales to tell about that fascinating part of our world.

Travel today is just not as stress-free as 30 or 40 years ago. Yes, there was the occasional hijacking back then, but in general it was cheaper, a lot easier, and much safer.

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Building in December 2015 in southern Colorado

Mike (who spent most of his 20s traveling the Pacific in the Navy) and I, don’t have any major urges to travel at present. A trip right now just sounds exhausting after our recent two year struggle to move south and build this amazing solar home in one beautiful part of the country. In fact, our new home still feels like a fantastic vacation home to us!

We’re both glad we took those spontaneous trips back when it was fun and adventurous, and we look forward to exploring rural regions of the American southwest in the future.

Don’t judge my story by the chapter you walked in on…

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15 thoughts on “Millennials and Me (at 60!)

  1. Fun to hear about all of your travels! “Stuff” isn’t so important to me either. I still love an adventure and am always up for a camping trip.

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  2. I am not sure I will ever get enough travel time! Thankfully, our children prefer trips over gifts too. But surprisingly, they are not as adventurous as my husband and I!! ps – LOVE Tortola!!

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  3. I’m much more into experiences than “stuff”. I’m happy I did the things I did in my 20s and 30s…now, some physical limitations would make what I did harder. And there is that thing called CAUTION and learning from some of the stupid things you did when younger. Like spending the night in an Albany, New York bus station after running out of money, but that’s a story for another time.

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  4. My blogger friend Barbara Weibel has been traveling full-time for the past ten years! Here’s her response to me: “I just prefer being overseas these days to living in America… It’s not at all scary out here, despite what the media would have you think. Frankly, with all the mass shootings in the States, I feel lots safer here.” She has a GREAT BLOG about her travels: http://holeinthedonut.com/ Check it out!

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  5. Sounds like your passport is pleasingly full of stamps! I hope that soon, you’ll feel more settle and the travel bug will hit you again. (Hepatitis in Italy?! How awful!)

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  6. Hi,
    You are well traveled! I was in Venice and took a gondola ride last summer. It was my 3rd trip to Europe. I am going to Asia with my husband this summer. I once traveled with someone who became ill. No fun.
    Janice

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  7. BTW, another thing you have in common with the millennials is that you started a blog. Every time I go to a blogging event, I’m one of the few non-millennials in the room. (I’m in my early 40s.) I’m impressed by their spirit of, “Hey, I’m just going to go out there and CREATE a dialogue or a thing.” Yeah!

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  8. Thanks! I started my first blog at 50 years old. This has been such a liberating experience for me! I’ll never quit! And I had hepatitis and bronchitis in January in Venice, and loved it so much I didn’t want to leave!

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  9. BVI’s non-delivery – phew! sounds like you made a most excellent call!

    I would love to get back to Venice – I went there once when I was in college and my dad was stationed in London. It was wintertime, it snowed, and they were putting out the platforms for acqua’alta just before we left. It was wonderful. I would love to get back there now ’cause I have an online friend I met through blogging who runs kayak tours of Venice. How incredibly cool would that be?

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  10. Pingback: Millennials and Me, Part 2 (at 60!) | Adventures of the NEW Old Farts

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