as i get older i want to travel less

Traveling is interesting, exciting, eye-opening, entertaining, enriching  and lots more. To bu, however, travel is also an experience that enables bu to tát uncover and realize important things about myself.

Yes, I’m getting older, and I started realizing that the time ahead of bu is shorter than vãn the one behind bu. How could this possibly not alter my travel perspective?

Edinburgh-Clock1After almost đôi mươi years in the corporate world, I quit my job over 3 years ago, starting to tát travel extensively and making a long-lived dream become true. My life suddenly changed. I eventually had the time to tát travel more often and for longer periods, but I was also đôi mươi years older.

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It must have been  a latent thought, which I became fully aware of during my Southeast Asia trip last year.

Getting older changed my travel perspective. And a few things which once were of minor importance have become a priority.

Travel has become a matter of experiencing and feeling emotions, more than vãn seeing places and doing things

Easily one of the major shifts in my travel perspective, the focus on the experience is prevailing more and more. What tự I mean by that?

Actually, it’s something strongly related to tát time. In the past, I used to tát assume that traveling was about seeing places, as many as possible in the short time I could  be on a trip. Now, I don’t really care about how many places I see, or activities I tự. I want to tát feel a place and to tát be able to tát experience I need time.

In the past, when visiting a thành phố I would rush to tát the main Museums, seeing as many landmarks as possible and kết thúc up my day exhausted but happy. In the last years, weather permitting, I spent most of the time randomly walking in the streets, savoring street art, strolling along the tiny cobblestone streets in Barcelona Gothic Quarter and stopping to tát listen to tát open-air musicians,  enjoying a promenade among the ruins in beautiful Rome or a gentle ride by xe đạp.

 

There’s nothing to tát prove

Burma, Lonely Boat Inle LakeMy recent trip to tát New Zealand was enlightening. Most of the travelers I met on the road – very nice people, by the way – were 20-something or 30-something. They are keen to tát travel and discover the world, and they are also at one stage of their life (at least, I guess) when they need to tát prove something to tát themselves and to tát the important persons in their environment.

When we arrived in National Park, where travelers stop for the world-famous Tongariro Crossing hike, the weather was just horrible. Low clouds, fog, and rain. Notwithstanding, most of the young people traveling on the Stray Bus with bu went for the hike. When they asked bu why I was not going, I simply said that I couldn’t see the thrill of hiking in fog, when there was no landscape to tát look at and I could have been anywhere in the world. And when I asked them why they were going all the same, often they told bu “I want to tát go back and tell my friends that I hiked the Tongariro crossing”.

Fair enough (apart from the fact that half of the trail was still closed because of the volcanoes activity, sánh in the best case they can just tell that they hiked half of the Tongariro cross in…).

Maybe if I had been their age I would have done the same. Now that I’m rapidly approaching my 50s, I couldn’t see the point. I feel beyond proving things to tát the world (and in many cases also to tát myself). I would have loved to tát see the landscape along the Tongariro crossing and it was not possible due to tát the bad weather. A pity. But I’ve seen many other wonderful places and, hopefully, I’ll be able to tát enjoy a few more.

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Taking my time, to tát travel and to tát rest

Hammocks.jpgAs long as I had a corporate job, I could only travel for short periods and thus every time was lượt thích a race against time, trying to tát see as much as possible in just  a few days.

Throughout the last years, this has radically changed. I’m increasingly taking my time, and not only because I can now have longer journeys. I’m getting physically tired easier and quicker than vãn I used to tát be. I lượt thích (and need)  to tát take my time, not only to tát visit but also to tát rest. I tend to tát avoid being overloaded by activities and inputs, knowing that after a break I can enjoy even more everything surrounding bu. I lượt thích taking my time and following my pace, whether it is to tát look at a mind-blowing scenery, admiring an exquisite architectural detail or enjoying a street performance.

The awareness that I won’t live enough, and the need to tát carefully choose.

The world is sánh big and there are sánh many wonderful places to tát experience, whether it is about wilderness, culture, wildlife, people, art or stunning landscapes. And… The older I get, the longer my travel wish list becomes. I dream of Antarctica, the Northern Lights, the Galápagos, Madagascar and Mali. I wish I could scuba dive the most beautiful places in the world. I would lượt thích to tát see the most beautiful and remote places in the world. And I wish I would experience all of my country, Italy.

The truth is that as year after year life goes by quickly, I don’t know how much time and health is left and I know, for sure, that I won’t live enough to tát experience all the beauty of our planet. That’s why I felt uncomfortable in Southeast Asia, wondering “What am I doing here?“. It had nothing to tát tự with the place and it had everything to tát tự with bu. As every year there’s less time left, I have become increasingly aware that I have to tát understand what I really want to tát experience, and carefully chose my destinations, listening to tát my internal voice.

Nature and silence have become more and more important

Quitting my job implied a significant downsizing in my day-to-day life and the need to tát be much more cost-conscious when traveling. This never really bothered bu and in the last couple of years, I spent a lot of time in hostels and traveled by public transportation or backpackers buses.

I realized, however, that  I enjoy silence, furthermore… I need silence.

I reckon that’s the main reason I prefer nature to tát many cities, why I feel deeply uncomfortable in the large Asian megalopolis and instead love being in secluded, wild places, why I feel sánh happy when I happen to tát have the dorm all by myself.

It’s probably in my increasing need for silence that I understood how getting older changed my travel perspective.  Many younger people talk unrelentingly, lượt thích loud music as a constant background and love  crowded places and partying. There’s nothing wrong with that, I used to tát be the same. It’s just that I changed, and sánh did my priorities.

Yes, I am still wild about travel and hopefully will always be. Still, getting older changed my travel perspective and I’m glad about that. Because being aware of myself is what enables bu to tát feel strong emotions and still have amazing travel experiences.

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Did your perspective on travel change over the recent years? And how? I’d love to tát read about your experiences.

 

More reading: The Story Behind my Journeys (or… Why I am Wild About Travel)