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Traveling is more fun when you are young


Portland Japanese GardenHappy President’s Day everyone!

I hope you get the day off or at least can sneak out a little early to have a little fun. Playing hooky is one thing I miss from my working days. 😉 Today we are heading to the Portland Japanese Garden to take advantage of their free admission day. We’ll have to get there early because the parking spots fill up very quickly on these free days. We’ll be done pretty fast though. The last time we went, Baby RB40 blasted through the whole contemplative 5.5 acres in less than an hour. The Portland Japanese garden is evidently the most authentic Japanese Garden outside of Japan and it’s a nice to pretend you’re in Japan for a little while.

Traveling is more fun when you are young

Anyway, I want to talk a bit about traveling and aging. We traveled quite a bit when we were a DINK (dual income no kids) couple because we both love seeing new places and experiencing other cultures. We traveled to over 20 countries and had a ton of fun on the cheap when we were younger. We slept in hostels, on a houseboat, yurt, and just in any vehicle. We also spent countless hours in unusual transportation situations.  Now that we have a kid, we’re slowing down a bit and we are planning to see the US more over the next few years. We haven’t traveled that much in the US and there are so many great places that we want to visit. We’re putting off further international travel for now until Baby RB40 is a bit more under control.

International traveling is a ton of fun, but I think it’s most fun when you are young and can enjoy it to the fullest. That’s why I silently shake my head when I read about retirees’ plan to travel more. When you are young, you don’t mind traveling cheaply and I think that’s when you encounter the most authentic experiences. As you get older and richer, you can afford to travel in style, but it’s not as thrilling. Let’s see some examples of people I know.

Traveling is harder when you’re older

  • My mom is 64 and she flew from Thailand to visit us. The travel time was about 24 hours (stuck in Seoul for an 8 hour layover) and she was in a bad shape when she landed. She couldn’t sleep much on the plane and she was completely worn out. She thought this trip took a lot out of her and she is dreading the flight back. When you get older, these long flights really suck. In contrast, when she was 52, she drove around the US with my dad in a van for 3 months and they didn’t have many problems at all.
  • One of my uncles is 60 and he went to visit India last year. He had a memorable trip there when he was young (met Mother Teresa!) and wanted to experience it again. In short, it wasn’t what he remembered. He stayed in a nicer hotel this time, but now it wasn’t as fun as the first time he went. Life changes and you can’t go back to being your younger self again.
  • My friend’s parents are going on a cruise this year. The dad has Parkinson’s disease and this might be the last chance for them to travel. Over the last few years, it’s been progressively getting worse. You never know how your health is going to hold up when you’re old so if there are any places you want to visit, do it while you are young.
  •  Mrs. RB40 carried a small backpack, her only piece of luggage, and stayed in a youth hostel when we traveled in our 20’s and early 30’s. Lately, I have been hearing more dissenting opinions about traveling cheaply. While in general, she is okay with staying in smaller places, she wants to be more comfortable when we travel. Camping out and staying in hostels will probably play a lesser role on our future trips.

When you get older, traveling is not as fun because the discomfort of being on the road starts to dominate. You can offset these by traveling more luxuriously, but I think that’s taking something away from the experience too. I never liked cruises, guided bus tours, or all inclusive resorts. I’d rather be on the ground walking around and see the local folks and culture.  Mrs. RB40 feels the same way.

We are taking a short hiatus from international travel, but we plan to pick it up again in 5-6 years. By that time, Baby RB40 will be able to walk and carry his own backpack. There are still a lot of places that I want to see before traveling loses its allure.

How about you? Do you think traveling when you’re young is more fun or would you rather travel more comfortably when you’re older?


Here is my Travel bucket list in no particular order

  1. Morocco – Visit Marrakesh, Fes, and the Sahara desert. Eat lamb with the Berbers.
  2. Turkey – Mrs. RB40 visited Turkey when she was single and loved it. I want to go too!
  3. Angkor Wat – A great historical site.
  4. Shanghai – Visit the Bund and take a side trip to Suzhou. Eat the fabled hairy Shanghai crab!
  5. Rome – We only made it down to Sienna when we went to Europe last time. 🙁
  6. Bora Bora – This expensive beach paradise can probably wait until we’re old and have too much money. Maybe the Mrs. will settle for The Cook Islands instead?
  7. St. Petersburg and Moscow – Not sure if you can do these two in one trip, but I can try.
  8. Ireland, Scotland & Wales – This will probably have to be 3 separate trips.
  9. Egypt – Climb the pyramids and ride camels.
  10. Maldives – Another expensive beach destination…

What’s on your list?

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.

Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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{ 74 comments… add one }
  • My Financial Independence Journey February 18, 2013, 2:54 am

    I agree that traveling is more fun when your young. The irony is that finding the time and the money to do international travel is much harder when you’re young. I need to do more traveling.

    Bucket list:
    – Greece and Egypt (when/if they ever settle down)
    – Castle tour of Europe
    – Mayan ruins
    – England
    – Japan
    – Photo safari in Africa
    – Australia
    – Antarctica

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 1:12 am

      Nice list. Antarctica is a bit unusual. Mrs. RB40 wants to go there too, but she might have to go by herself. 🙂

  • Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank February 18, 2013, 4:27 am

    I also think that it is probably better to do when you are younger, but you also then spend a lot more money that could be being used to allow you to retire substantially earlier.

    My wife and I are planning on having a big trip once our house is paid off in 1-2 years as a bit of a celebration that our debt is gone and also to do some traveling while we are still youngish (early 30’s and late 20’s).

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 1:07 am

      That’s true, but you need to enjoy life too. Great job with the debt though.

  • Alexa @ travelmiamor February 18, 2013, 5:40 am

    I totally agree with you that one should travel more when they are young. We did some major hiking in Kauai last year and I know that is something I couldn’t have done once I’m in my 60s. I really want to go to Thailand and Cambodia before we have kids but my husband says the flight is too long (I am going to use some of your examples to try and sway him :P). Unlike you I do like the travel tours! The one major bonus to these is that you don’t have to wait in line to see things like the Colosseum in Rome, we were able to just walk right in and skip the 2-3 hr long line. Same thing for the Sistine Chapel.

    And my bucket list is pretty much the whole world haha!

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 1:06 am

      You really need to convince your hubby and go visit Asia. The flight gets longer and longer as you get older. 🙂
      I would love to see the whole world too, but I don’t know if we can do it. I’m definitely planning on a round the world trip though. Maybe take a year when the kid goes off to college….

  • SavvyFinancialLatina February 18, 2013, 6:39 am

    Hah! I actually agree with you on this one. I already noticed the difference from traveling at 18 versus 22! Four years makes a hell of a difference.
    I do think if you are planning to be adventurous, better do it while you are young!

    We want to visit South Africa and Mexico in the next couple of years. We both have family there. We, also, want to visit Greece because my husband is Greek. He wants to visit his homeland.

    The US alone is so big! We have so many places we want to visit here.

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 1:04 am

      Jeesh, just wait until you’re 40. 🙂 I want to visit Greece too. The water looks so nice over there.

  • WorkSaveLive February 18, 2013, 6:55 am

    My wife and I are contemplating a spur-of-the-moment vacation here in a few weeks. We’re thinking about the Dominican or Antigua but we haven’t decided yet. We only have a few more years of being DINKs and I hope to enjoy it (by traveling) while it lasts! 🙂

    Love your list by the way…I need to make one of those!

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 1:03 am

      Have a great time! Yeah, enjoy it while you can. It’s no fun dragging a toddler around a strange country. 🙂

  • Michelle February 18, 2013, 7:33 am

    I’d rather travel while I’m young. I’ve finally got my friends to actually want to save their money and travel so I’m looking forward to several couples trips in the future.

  • krantcents February 18, 2013, 9:56 am

    When I was much younger, I remember traveling coach without problem. Now I won’t even consider traveling over 5 hours in coach. I always fly business or first class overseas, although I am using frequent flier miles for it. Traveling to Europe or Asia from the West coast is 10-12 or more hours to even the close airports. I do not expect to travel in my eighties, but it depends how I feel.

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 12:36 am

      Thanks for your perspective. I can still fly coach, but when I’m 65?

  • Silly Lily February 18, 2013, 10:49 am

    Yeah, I hear ya. Back in my 20s, I don’t give a heck about the flight time but now I dread of it! Here is a brief bucket list of mine:
    1) Ireland/ Scotland
    2) Japan, Japan, Japan (again)
    3) Bora Bora or other expensive beach places (Let’s go together in our old years)
    4) South Africa Safari (also another trip for old years)
    5) Thailand (again and to the islands this time)
    6) Australia/ New Zealand (celebrating New Year’s in T-shirt and shorts on the beach!)
    7) Greece/ Turkey
    8) Chile/ Argentina
    9) ???

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 12:37 am

      I love Japan too, but there are so many other places to visit. Yeah, let’s put Bora Bora on our list. 🙂

  • Paula @ Afford Anything February 18, 2013, 10:59 am

    I think it’s important to travel at all ages. When I was 22, I faced a dilemma: I really wanted to travel internationally for a long period of time, but I had gotten a job offer. Should I take it?

    I talked to couple of travelers, who recommended that I travel at every age. Traveling 22 is fundamentally different than traveling at 30. And that’s very different than traveling at 35, or 40, or 45, or 55, or 75.

    Your experiences on the road will change based on your interests (even at 29, I’m less interested in bar-hopping than I was when I was 22), the peers that you meet, and of course your comfort level. I don’t think that’s either good or bad… It’s just what it is.

    • Bernie February 18, 2013, 12:55 pm

      Thank you Paula….

      Personally, I find this post quite short-sighted, but definitely written by someone who is not “old”. Being 49 and a frequent traveler, I have found travel, both domestic and international, to be fun at any age, just different as you explain. It is impossible to definiteively say that travel is more fun when you are young when you have absolutely no experience travelling when you are old (or older). Tastes and interests change. While sitting on a beach drinking beer was great when I was 20, it’s not something I want to do now that I am 49. I leave for Peru in 2 months on a hiking adventure, something that I wans’t all that interested in when I was younger, but I can assue you will be something I talk about for a long tome to come.

      • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 12:41 am

        Just wait until you’re 65. 🙂 Have a great time in Peru! I would love to visit there too.
        I’m just saying the older folks I know aren’t having as much fun with travel anymore.

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 12:39 am

      I still think it’s more fun at 22. 🙂 I agree that it’s good to travel at all ages, but I just don’t see myself on a cruise or a tour bus though. It’s not fun for me.

    • Silly Lily February 19, 2013, 8:32 am

      I totally agree. Your comment reminded me of how I felt in the past years… fearless and ‘crazy’ in my 20s, adventurous and appreciative in my 30s, and now looking to ‘smell the roses’ along the way with a toddler. Thanks for the reminder.

    • chubblywubbly February 21, 2013, 1:47 pm

      I think traveling is fun at all ages as long as you take good care of your health. I used to think that I would love traveling all the time, but when I took four months off to travel with my husband we were homesick after two weeks on the road.

      I still love to take vacations, but I cap the time at 2 weeks maximum.

      • retirebyforty February 22, 2013, 11:54 am

        I think traveling is fun at all ages too, but it’s more fun when you’re young. 😉
        2 weeks is good, but I like to take longer trips too. I haven’t done it for 3-4 years though so maybe I’m wrong about long trips now.

  • Geri February 18, 2013, 5:06 pm

    This is an interesting and something we talk about at out house. At 22 we biked around west Ireland for a week. 20+ years later we wanted to share the experience with our 3 teenaged sons. I will say it was still great fun, but much harder on me than I even thought. We did Rome with middle school kids and it was awesome. They were able to enjoy and appreciate the trip. I agree with Paula, travel at all ages. We have taken our boys on several international trips starting in elementary. Has been great! We vote on locations and discuss any location. Just talking about it is fun. On the family bucket list: Africa, Thailand, Australia.

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 12:50 am

      Thanks for sharing. I should put Africa on my list too. We definitely want to take the kid on international trips so he’ll see what the rest of the world looks like.

  • The College Investor February 18, 2013, 5:53 pm

    Interesting lists! I have to agree with you! Some people plan to do their travelling after they retire, but as we all know the older we get, the harder it is for us to do things we used to do quite easily. So, if you have the means to do so while you’re still young why not travel now and have more fun in life while you still can, instead of waiting for retirement when you’ll have the time to do so, but not have enough strength to do it.

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 12:52 am

      Plus, you don’t even know if you’ll live long enough to retire…

  • Steve February 18, 2013, 5:58 pm

    The plural of anecdote is not data!

    There may be differences between travel at 20 and travel at 60, but they are just differences, not necessarily meaning either one is better than the other. For instance, at later ages you can probably afford to spend money on experiences that you couldn’t have when younger.

    Also there are plenty of non-youths staying in youth hostels. There are even hostels aimed at retirees. Sure, they’re less common, but they do exist.

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 12:54 am

      IMO, everything is better when you’re young. 🙂
      I have seen many older folks staying in hostels. That’s what I would do when I’m 60s too. I’d rather spend money on good food and transportation than a place to sleep.

  • Greg February 18, 2013, 7:04 pm

    Seems like there’s so many variables…
    A visit to Denali National Park in Alaska – great when you’re 30, maybe not so great when you’re 60 and joints aren’t so good. So maybe an Alaskan cruise then makes more sense?

    And while I’d love to learn and interact with other cultures, as I get older, and while US relations with other countries errode, I don’t feel quite as safe going abroad unless I’m going with a friend that I trust and who can help me know what’s going on, and who already understands the culture and language.

    I came across this site a year or two ago, and some things on there got me thinking…
    Many of the goals mentioned were to visit all 50/51/52 states.
    Trying to fnd a good reason to visit each.

    Re: Bucket List,
    That one is in my top five movie favorites.
    But I’m not a movie expert… it’s just one that had a big impact on me.


    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 12:57 am

      I’ll get that movie from the library. 🙂
      Maybe you’re right. I don’t like cruises or guided tours so I’m a little bias. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I’m older.

  • Squirrelers February 18, 2013, 7:04 pm

    Excellent point, Joe. I traveled a ton when younger, pre-kids. Europe, Asia – not to mention most of the U.S. and Canada. Have to say, those who view extensive travel as something necessary and normal throughout life ( a few people I know) are not parents, or just don’t realize that we change as we get older. I thought this way once and had a great time traveling, and now see it the way you do.

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 12:59 am

      Thanks for your input. I’m sure you’ll travel more again when your kid is a bit older. It will be a lot of fun, but I don’t think it will be as carefree as when we were young.

  • Do or Debt February 18, 2013, 9:05 pm

    Traveling is my biggest motivation to becoming debt free. I love traveling so much and have had amazing experiences already. So many other places I want to go. My bucket list:
    1. Turkey
    2. Japan
    3.Berlin, Germany
    4. Morocco
    5. Brazil/Argentina–I’ve been to both and loved it so much I need to go back!
    6. Prague
    7. Taking the Trans Canada Rail from Vancouver to Toronto
    8. Thailand
    9. Russia
    10. Croatia

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 1:01 am

      Great list! I would love to visit Brazil/Argentina too. Life is too short….

  • Maverick February 19, 2013, 3:07 am

    Yep, a senior gentleman at my first job told me to travel internationally while I am young. “The US will still be here when you are older.” I too am not a fan of cruises (recent events seals that opinion) or tour groups. I have had the fortunate ability to see some locations while traveling for work:
    Norway – Kongsberg – old mining village
    France – Nice – is nice, however, an expensive part of the French Riviera
    Germany – Munich – many, many historical places and museums to see. My favorite country in Europe to visit.
    England – London – while there are also many places to sightsee in London itself, I prefer to venture out to the countryside.
    I’ve also travelled with the wife to:
    Hawaii – once you get away from Honolulu, I’m always impressed that man hasn’t ruined these beatutiful islands yet.
    Germany – Outside of Frankfkurt, we stayed at a castle several days. Absolutely wonderful, until you think about how the experience is not truely authentic since castles didn’t have electricity and running water.
    Would live to go to Japan and China, but would need to know more about specific itinerary suggestions before planning.

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 8:57 am

      Great list. I would love to visit the Norwegian countries too. Japan was so easy to travel around, but it was very expensive. China on the other hand was a lot cheaper, but much harder for an independent traveler. They are both a lot of fun.

  • nicoleandmaggie February 19, 2013, 6:30 am

    My father, in his 70s, still does youth hostels. He bought a lifetime membership decades ago and is getting his full enjoyment out of it.

    Personally I’m kind of meh on travel. I did a lot of it (the cheap way) as a child, and I do a lot of it for work (in a fancier way). I prefer living someplace for a while and then moving on. I do like watching my husband and oldest child’s reactions to going new places. Other than the redwood forest, though, there’s no place I’m particularly itching to see again any time soon.

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 8:59 am

      That’s awesome. 🙂 I would love to backpack around when I’m 70. Traveling isn’t for everyone and I can understand how you feel. One of my brother is like that too.

  • Mike February 19, 2013, 7:09 am

    I would love to see more of the world if I could-just more focused on finishing my class this semester and getting some incomes going like I wanted. If I had to I would choose the following: Taipei, Hong Kong, Jeju, Seoul, Singapore and maybe Macau. Those seem the most interesting to me.

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 9:00 am

      Wow, a lot of Asian cities. Hong Kong was a lot of fun for us. Taipei was alright, we had more fun in the countryside.

  • Brick by Brick Investing February 19, 2013, 7:34 am

    Traveling while you’re young is probably your best bet. Chances are you have minimal attachments or responsibilities. Plus I believe it helps you truly understand how diverse our world really is, even if you don’t get out of the U.S. traveling to a different state is eye opening enough. When our kids are around the ages of 5-8 I want to go on a ton of road trips. I loved them as a kid.

    • retirebyforty February 19, 2013, 9:01 am

      We’ll do a ton of road trips in the next few years. This year I want to go camping at the beach and visit some local destinations. It will be so much fun with a kid. 🙂

      • Maverick February 19, 2013, 6:53 pm

        Joe, I had a great time camping with my brothers and mother (divorced) as a child. She bought a tent trailer and we were camping every summer until we were late into our teens. Many fond memories of setting up and breaking down equipment at our camp site, camp fires, swimming pools, watching a meteor shower before dawn, listening to thunderstorms at night pass by over the trees above our trailer, exploring trails, beaches, and nature in general. In my opinion, so much better for kids than playing video games indoors. I’m sure your son will enjoy it as well.

        • retirebyforty February 20, 2013, 8:48 am

          It sounds like a great time. I’m looking forward to more camping trips in the years to come. We can always leave momma at home. 🙂

  • SavoirFaire February 19, 2013, 9:18 am

    First I’d like to comment on how interesting I find your blog as this is my first comment. I never follow anyone’s personal blog as most are just gibberish but yours is of great interest to me as I plan for my retirement and I’ve been following you for awhile now. The fact that you are actually doing what you set out to do makes your blog more relevant than most. I’ve been planning my retirement since the day I started working and have made some mistakes along the way but am mostly on track. I think one of the biggest mistakes I made was not getting into a place that has a lifetime COLA adjusted pension. I probably could have retired so much earlier but it’s too late for me now.

    I’m always trolling for retirement planning information and seeking advice and information from others. I’m past 40 and probably will end up fully retiring around 67 as I can’t see how I can financially make it any earlier- and I’ve been saving fairly well since my mid 20s. I do plan on semi-retiring around 60 and work part time somewhere, mostly for the benefits. I find I want more free time as I so enjoy the days I don’t work and I want to have the free time to travel. I was curious what your plans were regarding medical/dental if your spouse was to retire as well? That is one of my biggest concerns as costs are rising so much. Thank goodness we are still healthy but who knows what can happen tomorrow?

    Anyway, I think many of us have limitations on traveling whether it be time, money, age, etc. My wife and I have been to many countries as well as several places in the US and have much more to see. I can’t imagine going to some of those far away places while we are both working full time as our vacation time is so limited.

    In regard to age and travel I can’t say I agree with you. I enjoy travel as much now as I have when I was in my 20s maybe even more. We do try and get the non-touristy view of things when we travel, but there are times you do want to see some of them. When we travel though we are more in the mid range dollar wise. We get the best deals we can on mid priced accommodations and such. If we are driving a lot we tend to get a low end luxury car since we may be traveling hundred of miles and I just find I enjoy the whole trip more that way. That being said we are also bargain shoppers so we will seek out the best discounts we can find, sometimes you don’t have to pay as much as you may think to get some nice accommodations or a nicer car.

    Personally I enjoy going to countries that speak English as I find I get more out of the experience as I am awful at picking up other languages. To be clear though I fully accept that this is 100% my limitation and would never be so rude or naive as to expect people of another country to speak English if it’s not their native language.

    I do find it very frustrating when I don’t speak the language of that country. Yes a lot of places speak English even if it’s not their native tongue but many do not. I simply get mentally exhausted trying to communicate in a language I don’t speak. That being said it would not preclude me from going places that have unique and wondrous things to see and experience.

    While there is a lot of mention of foreign places one of my most memorable places in the US is Alaska. Truly a location that everyone should see, it’s beauty is beyond words. I was just in awe of it’s stunning, untouched, real natural beauty. Try dog sledding if you go – it’s a Blast!

    • retirebyforty February 20, 2013, 8:44 am

      Thanks for sharing! Health insurance is a tough question for sure. When my wife retires, we’ll have to buy health insurance. An alternative is to go live in Thailand until we qualify for medicare. Healthcare is much cheaper there and I qualify for public healthcare there.
      I like going to countries that speak English too. It’s so much easier. However, I think it depends more on how easy it is to travel. In Japan, there weren’t many English speakers, but it was so easy to travel around in. We had a ton of fun with minimal stress. China on the other than was much more stressful. It was a lot of fun though.
      We visited Alaska about 10 years ago to attend a wedding. It was beautiful and unspoiled. I like the summer there. 🙂

  • Ramona February 19, 2013, 10:29 am

    Joe, thank you for your post. I love travel & I’m always planning the next trip. I agree that travel can become more challenging as we age – I’m always looking at flight times/direct flights/arrival and departure time now because I know how exhausting some situations can get. Hope your mom’s return journey is smoother.

    On my bucket list just now is a week or more in Paris, followed by a transatlantic cruise back to North America. Your article has persuaded me to do this sooner, rather than later – thank you.

    • retirebyforty February 20, 2013, 8:47 am

      We love Paris! Don’t miss the farmer market and all the fresh cheese/produce/wine. A picnic lunch we picked up from the farmer market was one of the most memorable meal we had. I love the fresh baguette too.

  • Nick February 19, 2013, 11:57 am

    I believe I am entering the transition phase of this phenomenon. I am still young (28) but I know have a 1 1/2 year old. Certainly traveling with a child is much harder and I definitely want a safe and comfortable place to stay when I’m traveling with my wife and daughter.

  • Rosey February 19, 2013, 1:50 pm

    I’m going to vote for both. 🙂

    Angkor Wat is one on our bucket list too, it looks like a very memorable trip. We travel internationally w/the kids, but that’s one trip we’re waiting on because the youngest is too young for it (he’s 5).

  • Suzanne February 19, 2013, 2:40 pm

    My husband and I never had kids so we are still DINKS and proud of it. Traveling is fun when you’re young but when you get older and afford to stay in nicer places, it can still be fun if you know what you’re doing. We try to go where the locals go, eat where they eat, and generally interact with them. We want to experience the culture. I’m not sure if other couples our age feel the same way.

  • Kevin @ Invest It Wisely February 19, 2013, 5:51 pm

    Hmm, yeah, I don’t know if I’d want to do backpacking and stay in ghetto hotels when I’m in my 50s. On the other hand, when you’re older, you might have more money to stay in nicer accommodations. 😉

  • Don February 19, 2013, 9:04 pm

    I’ve been frugal most of my life, so I haven’t traveled much (which I regret). I definitely think that it’s better to travel while you are young. Who would want to dive off cliffs when they are in their 80s?

    Very smart approach!

  • Little House February 20, 2013, 6:51 am

    When you’re young, sleeping on the ground on a mat is not a problem. As you get older, even if you’re in shape, your back aches, your joints creak, and you can’t get off the floor as quickly. Youth is wasted on the young! – I’m beginning to agree with this saying. 😉

    • retirebyforty February 20, 2013, 10:55 pm

      I know what you mean. My back can’t handle crappy sleeping surfaces anymore.

  • Pauline February 20, 2013, 7:56 am

    10 years ago I went for a round the world trip on $10 a day, for a year. The experience was incredible and much more fun than last year when I toured Europe on a motorcycle for five months. There is something about the thrill, the adventure, that you can’t recreate when you travel more comfortably. I am frugal but never stopped traveling, this is always first on my list.
    Bucket destinations include Brazil, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Cuba and Madagascar.

    • retirebyforty February 20, 2013, 10:56 pm

      Wow, that’s great! I would love to take a trip like that. Uzbekistan is unusual! Mrs. RB40 was there for 2 years in the 90s.

  • retirebyforty February 20, 2013, 8:45 am

    Wow, heli snowboarding looks so awesome on film. I’m much more risk averse now that I am a dad too.

  • jim February 20, 2013, 12:32 pm

    I think traveling can certainly be ‘fun’ at any age. But I agree that the older you get the more difficult it may be and that may make it less enjoyable. Even if you don’t have mobility problems when you’re older, I think all of us generally have more energy in our 20’s than our 60’s. On the other hand, honestly I wouldn’t want to stay in a hostel at any age.

    • retirebyforty February 20, 2013, 10:59 pm

      Really? I like hostel. You meet such interesting people. I never met anyone when I stay in a comfortable hotel. Everyone just goes off to their room.

  • Sarah Park February 24, 2013, 2:40 am

    Travelling is indeed more fun when you are younger. But it doesn’t mean you would try to be boring when you get older. You will spot some difference, but don’t let that ruin the fun.

    • retirebyforty February 24, 2013, 10:33 pm

      I think traveling when you are older is a lot of fun too, but it’s just more fun when you’re young.

  • Mike February 28, 2013, 3:47 am

    My partner and I have made a decision not to raise a family and to chose to be DINK and travel multiple times a year exploring what can be explored. And before anyone comments no its not for everyone but then again neither is having a family.
    Many of my family members waited until their children grew old enough to travel so I am going to break the mold and do it early.

    • SaviorFaire February 28, 2013, 6:27 am


      While those of us who are ChildFree are in the minority (albeit it’s a growing minority), it really is nothing that needs to be explained. Folks that choose to have a Family do not have to explain themselves as to why they want a family and neither should ChildFree people. There is nothing wrong with either choice they are simply different life choices.

      • Mike February 28, 2013, 3:39 pm

        Good call Joe….Appreciate the words.

    • retirebyforty February 28, 2013, 11:54 pm

      If we didn’t have a kid, we would have fine with that too. We weren’t going to do the whole fertility treatment thing. It’s great that you can travel now. Waiting for a kid to get old enough will take a while.
      I agree that’s it’s just a different choice.

      • Greg March 1, 2013, 12:18 am

        I think I ended up in the SIWD crowd.

  • Kalli April 1, 2013, 3:38 am

    I really agree with this post! Seeing the world changes your perspective in unimaginable ways, and it’s a shame that so many people wait until they’re in their sixties to have that experience. My husband and I traveled for three years, got pregnant, had the baby “on the road” and have kept on traveling internationally (to 6 countries so far). He doesn’t know any different, and so traveling is easy with him. In fact, travel with a baby is much more fun than without one. It’s much easier to make friends this way! You’re going to love having a child with you, it’s a whole new experience.

  • Kalli April 1, 2013, 10:11 pm

    Traveling with a baby is SOOOO much more fun than traveling as a couple. I really, really recommend it. We travel full time with our baby who was born on the road and it rocks.

    I agree that it’s too bad to wait until you’re older to travel; it gives you such a difference in perspective that is life-changing and it shouldn’t be postponed until you’ve lived the majority of your life already.

  • Nomad Capitalist April 30, 2013, 2:22 am

    I can appreciate that travel is easier at a younger age, but thinking it can’t be done when older is merely a limiting belief. Have a kid? Take them with you. Expose them to foreign cultures. Have them learn a foreign language (a good idea for any kid these days). Let them learn the various cultures and ways of the world firsthand. It will shape them in a very positive way. And it will teach them that are is always somewhere beyond their own country’s borders to go if they should wish for greater opportunities or a different life.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2013, 10:42 am

      I’m just saying traveling is a lot more fun when you are young and carefree. It’s still fun when you are older, but it’s more complicated. Older people (60s and 70s) have more health problems and it’s harder to take long extended vacations.

  • andoxchape February 22, 2016, 8:09 pm

    In some cases it’s not about becoming old physically, it’s about becoming wiser, or realizing that some things changed in a negative way.

    Traveling, for instance, is becoming increasingly boring. I traveled extensively all my life, and I’m noticing that nowadays it’s not the same.

    Traveling became a thing of the masses, and as such, quality has suffered. Gone are the days when traveling was an adventure, ordinary activities such as ordering food required learning some words of the local language, and cities had personality and identity.

    Today I find myself visiting small towns, out of the scope of tourism, because that’s the only place where one can now find something different. But, of course, there are less things to do in them, and it’s pretty obvious that it’s just a matter of time before they also become engulfed by this traveling massification.

    Going to Paris or Bangkok 50 years ago was a blast, but today, just McDonald’s everywhere, shopping malls, the same cars and streets you see anywhere else in the world, the same smells you can find in Los Angeles, and even the same music when you go out.

    Globalization might be a good thing, but trust me on this one, it has almost completely killed the adventure of traveling. Instead of going to Tokyo, you’ll be better off if you just order sushi from the comfort of your own home in Toronto, watch a 30 minute video about samurais and put the $2,000 in your savings account.

    And to conclude, a piece of advice: don’t tell people that they are wasting their time and money traveling. They will react aggressively –maybe because deep inside they know it’s true–.

    • retirebyforty February 23, 2016, 10:27 am

      That’s a very interesting theory. I still think life is just better when you’re young. Even if everything stays the same, the 2nd visit isn’t as exciting. Young folks take in experience differently. You’re right about the big cities, though. They all feel pretty similar now. I wasn’t very impressed with Sydney, Barcelona, and a number of big cities. I’d rather go to unique location like Venice. Travel is still fun even if it’s getting blander. 🙂

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