Think back to when you were a child. To the days when you might run out of the house to meet friends, or jump on your bike to explore. As carefree as a lark. Those were the good times, free from the stress and worries that later came with adulthood.
A little later on, when you were a young adult, right out of high school or college age, you might, at the last minute, jump in the car with friends and take a little day or weekend trip! Your necessities might consist of just a map, some Cheetos or jerky and whatever money you could scrounge up, from couches, siblings or lawn mowing. Why don’t we do that now? Is it because we are so much more responsible? Is it because we think of all the things that could go wrong? Is it because we might have to explain to our children our behavior?
We can’t relive those youthful, frivolous days, but we can indeed experience moments like them and savor them like we did a “Sugar Daddy” sucker or a “Missile” popsicle.
As the over 55 group (and many of us empty nesters), what a great time to bring day or weekend trips back into our life! We might even keep a bag packed for such spontaneity. It could contain; water bottles, sunblock, sunglasses, hats, snacks, a first aid kit and of course some dinero. Also, remember comfortable shoes and your phone and camera. Fill up your car with gas on Thursday or Friday, so you are ready to escape first thing in the morning.
There are some wonderful places for seniors to visit, and many have discounts, so check to see. The lifetime senior pass (for those 62 and over) to US national parks is only $80, which is quite a deal if you like the outdoors. We’re talking about places like the ocean, Yellowstone, Gettysburg and Yosemite, to name a few! There are 418 National Parks in the US. Of course, trips can expand to other activities and sites. We recently went hunting for opals at an opal mine. Another trip included a beautiful mountain lake, paddle boarding and a Melodrama theatre.
On other weekend trips, we’ve gone whale watching and to festivals and concerts. Everyone’s trips will be individual. It all depends on what is in your area and what your budget and interests are. Of course, if you are limited medically, that too is a consideration.
My husband and I still work, so longer vacations don’t happen as often as we’d like, but day and weekend trips allow us to explore the beautiful and interesting areas that are closer to home. They also provide rejuvenation, as we unplug from stress, work, social media and tv. Also, remember that the drive is part of the experience. Whether you are with a spouse or friends, being free from these distractions, you are able to reconnect with each other. This seems to be a lost art in our fast-paced society that we live in.
We may think that in order to enjoy a vacation, it needs to be at a 5-star resort or in another country. Not only are day and weekend trips less stressful and fun, we can take advantage of them more frequently. We may have to get older, but we don’t have to act old. Keep the thrill and wonderment in your lives. Now, go act your age and have fun!