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Hi I am interested in travel
Old 11-09-2013, 10:49 AM   #1
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Hi I am interested in travel

I have recently given up a part time job as a nurse, and am starting to realize that it is time to restructure my life. Married with kids and grandkids, none of whom I care for full time. Only occasional babysitting. I live in Southern Cal, and there are not many activities in my local town. I have to drive at least 50 miles to take a cooking class, or spend time at the beach. So I am bored. I would love to do some traveling, but all of my friends work or have busy lives. I have some disabilities involving my back, so I have to be choosy about what activities I do. Anyone out there in a similar situation with some advice?:
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:56 AM   #2
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Check out meetup.com for any groups of interest in your area or nearby. If there aren't any, you might consider starting a meetup group of your own.

One of the many meetup groups to which I belong is a group called [neighboring city name] Women 50+ for Fun and Friendship. This group has grown to about 300 members in 3 years time (some of whom drive 50 miles to attend events).

They have about 5-6 activities a week (and at times, 3 events in a day!) ...which include travel (trips to Canada, Nicaragua, Hawaii, etc.), many hikes/walks, theater (live and cinema), dining (casual to fancy), music (dive blues bars to opera and the symphony), kayaking, potluck dinners, attending free lectures at a nearby university or at the library, going to art shows and the art museum, wineries and bird watching, etc. Sometimes attendance is 2-4 people and sometimes its 40.

This meetup group has become my favorite as they are always doing something interesting and the members are easy-going and friendly. And I've met a whole bunch of interesting and active ladies that I never would have connected with prior to meetup.

omni
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Old 11-09-2013, 01:22 PM   #3
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That sounds awesome! Thanks for the tip.
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Old 11-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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You might also check out Road Scholar Road Scholar: Educational Travel and Learning Vacations for Adults from Alaska to Italy. They have an amazing variety of trips near and far for "mature" adults and they are single friendly and good value. I did one Road Scholar event this summer. As the activity was cultural, it was not physically challenging and attracted an older group of people. Obviously if you go hiking in Macchu Picchu you will get a self selected active group.
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Old 11-09-2013, 04:00 PM   #5
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Thanks meadbh, I have actually taken one of the RS trips, a few years ago with some of my relatives. It was excellent. I have been eyeing RS again, but as I recall, on our tour there were no solo travelers. If one of their trips looks good enough I would go for sure.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:06 AM   #6
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ocnlvr,

I had a few more thoughts on this.

I've heard good things from some of my single female friends about On the Go Tours Adventure Tours and Tailor-made Holidays to Egypt, India, China, Vietnam, Peru, Jordan, Morocco, Russia, Turkey, Africa and more and Overseas Adventure Travel (a little pricey, but several people I now have done 6-8 tours with them) Overseas Adventure Travel - Small Group Adventure, Value & Discovery | Overseas Adventure Travel

I did a great bicycle tour of Greece with Classic Adventures a number of years ago. I went alone and took the option of sharing a room with another single female. I was assigned a lovely senior as a roommate and I saved the extra cost of a single supplement. https://www.google.com/search?q=clas...ient=firefox-a

Don't know if you have an interest or hobby in arts, crafts, photography and the like. There are many places around the country that offer week-long classes (and room and board) with excellent (world-class) instructors for reasonable fees. I've taken classes in production weaving and jewelry-making at Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. I really enjoyed the classes and I was very impressed by how interesting, well-read and well-traveled my fellow students were (as all the concurrent classes ate at the same time in the same dining room, we got to meet everyone on campus during mealtimes).

If you have an interest in learning foreign languages, another option is taking language training classes while traveling. Typically, the language schools offer 20 hours of language training every week (Mon-Fri, from 8 am- noon) and then you either have the afternoons off to go exploring on your own, or most schools offer the option of participating in school-led local sightseeing or activities in the afternoons (for an added fee). They also offer either a home stay with a local family or they'll set you up with a room nearby. A friend of mine did this in Sorrento, Italy last year for 6 weeks. She loved it! She was telling me that several of the people who were there taking classes during her stay have now become her lifetime friends...plus, this year she's traveling to visit them in their home countries (New Zealand and Thailand). I'm going to Nicaragua in December and am planning on taking language classes while there to brush up my rusty Spanish (very inexpensive -- $270/week for classes with homestay (incl 3 meals/day) and afternoon activities, $230/week for classes with homestay (incl 3 meals/day), $170 classes only).

omni
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:52 AM   #7
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This is thread is a great source of travel info. My wife and I have traveled to nearly every Caribbean island from the Bahamas to Aruba over the years, and these new trips sound exciting.

For those travelers that have been on some of these trips, is there a good source of health info before traveling - such as recommended vaccinations and what to avoid eating/drinking.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al18 View Post
For those travelers that have been on some of these trips, is there a good source of health info before traveling - such as recommended vaccinations and what to avoid eating/drinking.
Yes, the US Centres for Disease Control
Travelers' Health | CDC

And the Public Health Agency of Canada
Travel Health - Public Health Agency of Canada
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:50 AM   #9
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Yet another thought...

I know some folks here enjoy food and cooking. I'm not a foodie by any stretch, but I was traveling in Italy a few years ago with a friend who is an avid cook. While we were in Tuscany, she was bound and determined to take a day-long cooking class offered by a very nice restaurant (a recommendation she found in Rick Steves' tour guide for Italy**). On a whim, I decided to attend the class also. We both had a blast. There were 4 other students (2 were from Holland -- and 2 were from Canada). We made pasta, and mozzarella, and bread, and salad, etc. etc. learning all about the local types and specific ingredients. About 2 pm, we finally sat down in the restaurant and began to consume all that we had prepared. The owner and his wife brought out a bottle of 30-year old brandy for us to enjoy after our meal. Just typing this brings back fond memories of a great day spent with fun and friendly people.

While I was traveling in China, there was a young British couple with us who would arrange their own "learn to cook Chinese" class. If they knew they'd be in a town for several days with an "open" day (no group activities planned), they'd approach a restaurant and ask them if they'd be willing to teach them something about the local cuisine. They were delighted with their new skills gleaned from their day of cooking.

And a quick Google search will turn up any number of cooking tours offered by various tour companies for people who are serious about food. Just type "cooking tours" and a country you're interested in.

_________

**For budget-conscious travelers in Europe, I highly recommend Rick Steves' series of travel books (Europe Through the Back Door, etc.). I've used them in number of countries and have never been steered wrong...he offers great ideas of sites to see and sites to skip and the best times to visit certain sites to avoid crowds and long lines. Using his guides, I've eaten at some great out-of-the-way restaurants (that I never would have found on my own), got hotels rooms at great prices and fabulous locations in major cities like Rome and Madrid, got discounts to various venues by showing the guidebook, etc. When in Europe, it's fun for me to look around at other travelers and see those who are toting their Rick Steves' guidebooks. It's almost like secret cult. LOL

His company also offers organized tours. I have not taken one, but I know several people who have and they have spoken highly of them.

omni
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