Travel Enriches Senior Life

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Travel Enriches Senior Life

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Travel can be an enriching part of senior life.

With school over for the year and the start of summer just around the corner, we’re rapidly approaching prime vacation season.

As an older adult, travel can be an important part of you senior wellness program.

The idea of “getting away from it all” is just as applicable now that you’re living in a retirement community as it was when you were still part of the nine-to-five grind. Life is full of stress, and travel can be a way to introduce some much needed R&R into senior life—a time to refresh body, mind, and soul.


Time away from home can be more than a much needed mental health retreat. Travel provides a wealth of experiences that can enrich senior life—whether you’re going a hundred miles or a thousand.

  • Traveling supplies an opportunity to learn about a culture first hand and see the world through a different set of eyes. No one else lives life quite like you, and getting away from your local community gives you the chance to widen your perspective and step into senior life as others know it.
  • If you’re ministry-minded, there are always opportunities for volunteers to serve in areas that are in need or have suffered a disaster. 94% of Red Cross humanitarian work across the globe is achieved through the service of volunteers.
  • A search for excitement leads many older adults to travel the world in search of new opportunities, adventures, and friendships. Touristlink is a social media site for sojourners that can help you connect with both fellow travelers and locals who can help enrich your travel experience.

No matter where you go or what you do, there are a few basic rules of travel etiquette you should observe on your trip.

When called upon to navigate a particularly tricky social situation—like relating to a local in a country you don’t speak the language— have you ever distantly wondered what Emily Post would have done?

While Ms. Post may have left us, her well-mannered legacy lives on through the Emily Post Institute which provides advice on protocol in everyday life and conduct abroad.

While manners can be very culturally specific, the basic principles of respect, honesty, and consideration form the basis of an etiquette that is applicable to all individuals regardless of country, culture, ethnicity, or religion.

Before you travel, advises the Post Institute, acquaint yourself with your destination.

Every journey begins with a single step, and for seniors who want to find the most enriching experiences in their travels, that step should be a bit of research.

Get to know the basics of the country (or region) to which you’re traveling so that you can be sensitive to any local customs or issues. Respect is the ultimate guideline for older adults traveling or living abroad, and there are a few things you may want to consider before you step into senior life in another culture.

  • Who the key political figures are and the values they represent. Despite our own traditions, in the rest of the world, the President of a Republic could just as easily be the leader of strictly regulated society as a popularly elected official presiding over a progressive society.
  • Know the local religion and be mindful of significant holidays as well as other major celebrations and days of rest so that you don’t cause an incident.
  • Be able to say the proper name of whatever country, region, or city you’re visiting.
  • Some cultures may expect older adults to act a specific way, so it’s always important to understand how local traditions may impact your travel; you want to know if there are any customs regarding how things like gender and age affect personal conduct.

Taking the initiative to learn about a country and respect its customs is a sign of respect that will not be overlooked by your hosts, who will generally appreciate your efforts to adapt to their traditions while abroad.

Bryan Reynolds
June 07, 2013
Bryan Reynolds is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Bryan is responsible for developing and implementing ERS' digital marketing strategy, and overseeing the website, social media outlets, audio and video content and online advertising. After originally attending The Ohio State University, he graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of fine arts focused on electronic media. Bryan loves to share his passion for technology by assisting older adults with their computer and mobile devices. He has taught several classes within ERS communities as well as at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by the University of Cincinnati. He also participates on the Technology Team at ERS to help provide direction. Bryan and his wife Krista currently reside in Lebanon, Ohio with their 5 children.

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