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Finding adventurous travel partners
Old 01-15-2013, 04:11 PM   #1
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Finding adventurous travel partners

(I'm new to the site, so apologies if this has been discussed before)

I retired 8 years ago, at age 45. One of the things I never considered before retiring was how hard it was going to be to find other people in my age range who had both the means and the time and the desire to share my lifestyle. I rock climb, raft, backpack, sail, roadtrip, and travel to (mostly) 3rd world countries. I never got married (never found a woman who didn't want kids) and now I find myself doing a lot of these activities alone. It seems like everyone I know/meet is either:

- doing similar things, but is in their twenties
- likes doing similar things, but works full time and/or is still raising kids
- is retired with the time and the money, but would rather go on a cruise than backpack through Southeast Asia
- is already coupled up and not interested in the company of a 3rd wheel

Anybody else with similar issues?
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by susswein View Post
(I'm new to the site, so apologies if this has been discussed before)

I retired 8 years ago, at age 45. One of the things I never considered before retiring was how hard it was going to be to find other people in my age range who had both the means and the time and the desire to share my lifestyle. I rock climb, raft, backpack, sail, roadtrip, and travel to (mostly) 3rd world countries. I never got married (never found a woman who didn't want kids) and now I find myself doing a lot of these activities alone. It seems like everyone I know/meet is either:

- doing similar things, but is in their twenties
- likes doing similar things, but works full time and/or is still raising kids
- is retired with the time and the money, but would rather go on a cruise than backpack through Southeast Asia
- is already coupled up and not interested in the company of a 3rd wheel

Anybody else with similar issues?
Yes.

And when I've found someone to travel with, after a couple of less-than-stellar experiences, I've found out that I need to seriously vet the person beforehand.

omni
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by susswein View Post
(I'm new to the site, so apologies if this has been discussed before)

I retired 8 years ago, at age 45. One of the things I never considered before retiring was how hard it was going to be to find other people in my age range who had both the means and the time and the desire to share my lifestyle. I rock climb, raft, backpack, sail, roadtrip, and travel to (mostly) 3rd world countries. I never got married (never found a woman who didn't want kids) and now I find myself doing a lot of these activities alone. It seems like everyone I know/meet is either:

- doing similar things, but is in their twenties
- likes doing similar things, but works full time and/or is still raising kids
- is retired with the time and the money, but would rather go on a cruise than backpack through Southeast Asia
- is already coupled up and not interested in the company of a 3rd wheel

Anybody else with similar issues?
If you do any of these things at an elite level, you should be able to find men with similar interests for short, focused trips. They will have to get back to work.

If you start living aboard, you will definitely find women who will hitch along for some period or other. They have already given up steady careers and typical aspirations, so if you will assume financial resposibility for the time you are together, and maybe giver her some severence when it is over, it should work.

Soon, women who have been teachers or other public employess will be reaching retirement at an age where they may be interested in you, and you in them. They will have their future security pretty well locked up.

So there may be good possibilities in one or another of these categories.

Young, non-working, unmarried and well to do men are not really common, for reasons that I am sure you can figure out. And an attractive, rich, young woman skier, sailor, climber is likely traveling with bodyguards.

Ha
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Not rich, and not necessarily looking for a woman
Old 01-15-2013, 04:40 PM   #4
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Not rich, and not necessarily looking for a woman

I guess I wasn't clear enough in my original post..

1) While finding a travel partner who was also my lover would be great, I'd happily settle for a another guy or couple who wanted to travel together. Some trips just aren't practical to do solo, like buying a used land rover and road tripping around southern africa for 6 months.

2) I'm by no means rich, and have just enough money to do the things I enjoy, but not enough to cover the costs of a travel companion.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:53 PM   #5
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You might be interested in this site - Find Travel Partners for Group Trips

I haven't used it, but I've met the developers and they built it specifically for adventure travelers such as you.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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I love to tour on my bicycle, and increasingly I like to do it in developing countries. Sometimes I've found travel partners from my local bike club. Years ago, I put an ad in the club newsletter looking for a touring partner. One inexperienced but enthusiastic responder and I went on 3 trips together, once in SE Asia, once in South America, and once in Mexico. I've also been quite willing to head out on my own, and on several occasions I've met other touring cyclists while on the road. In recent years, that happened to me in SE Asia and in Sri Lanka.

Another relatively new source for meeting individuals with similar interests is www.meetup.com (Find Meetup groups near you - Meetup). I don't know how much the site is used in your region, but I've met some nice folks through meetup events in my area.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
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2) I'm by no means rich, and have just enough money to do the things I enjoy, but not enough to cover the costs of a travel companion.
You could try out adventure / eco-tourism companies where you go on a guided tour with like minded folks. Something like backroads but maybe more hardcore. But these trips can be very expensive and are tailored for folks who might have 2-3 weeks available.

A cheaper alternative is to find a similar reputable company but one that is local to the area you are going. I think many travel companies sub-contract out locally anyway.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:04 PM   #8
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Suss, we are a couple and have a hard time finding adventurous folks in our local circle, so we've found like minded people through adventure rallies. Some truly great friendships have started through these connections, from all over the world.
Always hard to find older folks, though, they are having kids or whatever instead. But the younger people are tons of fun and have a great perspective. Have you checked out any of the overland we clubs like HUBB or Explorers in South America?
Feel free to PM me for details, or just search Mototaxi Junket here on the site for links to the group we do stuff with, the Adventurists. Warning, craziness is catching!
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:51 AM   #9
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When I was going to Burma during a 7 month trip to SE Asia, I didn't really want to do that part by myself. There was someone on the lonely planet forums (Idea #1) looking for a travel partner around the same time and it worked out great. She was French and definitely an adventure traveler and we became good friends. We had a great time in Burma and also spent a week together in Thailand.

I also had two other friends join me for over a month each during that 7 month trip, although I couldn't really classify them as adventure travelers. What got them to join was that I had already made plans, and friends were free to join if interested (Idea #2). If I had not done it this way, it never would have happened.

I am not so much into the adventure stuff anymore but I can see how what you are saying is a problem. I have had trouble getting friends to join me climbing Mt. Kinabulu (SE Asia's highest mountain, non-technical climb, just hiking, on Malaysian Borneo) and touring around India. There are several Filipinas that would go with me, but they either lack passports or physical fitness for a climb and usually both.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by anethum View Post
I love to tour on my bicycle, and increasingly I like to do it in developing countries. Sometimes I've found travel partners from my local bike club. Years ago, I put an ad in the club newsletter looking for a touring partner. One inexperienced but enthusiastic responder and I went on 3 trips together, once in SE Asia, once in South America, and once in Mexico. I've also been quite willing to head out on my own, and on several occasions I've met other touring cyclists while on the road. In recent years, that happened to me in SE Asia and in Sri Lanka.
I ride quite a bit but haven't done any self supoprted touring. I have read some inspiring (and hair raising) books by world touring cyclists like you. But, I have often wondered how you survive. I would expect to get robbed a dozen times over in many of the places you folks frequent. Is the world really much safer than many perceive? Where do you keep your $$ and how much do you carry?
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:54 AM   #11
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I ride quite a bit but haven't done any self supoprted touring. I have read some inspiring (and hair raising) books by world touring cyclists like you. But, I have often wondered how you survive. I would expect to get robbed a dozen times over in many of the places you folks frequent. Is the world really much safer than many perceive? Where do you keep your $$ and how much do you carry?
Don, my boss is headed to Burundi for 10 days cycling in May and while the country is dangerous, according to the State Dept, he is going with a friend who lives there and they will have van support. He isn't too worried and neither am I.

We have met countless cyclists in our travels, and have not heard of any greater danger of robbery from them. My fear would be injury, same as what can happen anywhere bicyclists aren't recognized as legal road users.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:39 AM   #12
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I have traveled all my adult years and as I got older I found this to be more and more of a problem. In my 20's it was easy to meet other kids like myself who were out wandering. One day I would be in Barcelona and hook up with some people who were headed to Morocco and they would say "hey, why don't you join us"? and I would say "why not" and off we would go... easy fun times.



Then by 30 or so, most had settled down to married life and/or careers and I would often find myself alone and somewhat lonely. Around 35 I ended up coming home for awhile until my feet got so itchy I didn't know what to do and I was off again. This time I tended to settle down in one location for awhile and immerse myself with the locals. It brought it's own set of problems though.

I am stuck here in my hometown for the next 12 months but when done here, I would give anything to find someone of like mind to be able to travel with. It is very difficult indeed to find someone, of any age really, who can or wants to be out on out on the road for longer than a few weeks, so if you do find a good long term travel partner with their own money, you have found that needle in a haystack..
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:57 PM   #13
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I ride quite a bit but haven't done any self supoprted touring. I have read some inspiring (and hair raising) books by world touring cyclists like you. But, I have often wondered how you survive. I would expect to get robbed a dozen times over in many of the places you folks frequent. Is the world really much safer than many perceive? Where do you keep your $$ and how much do you carry?
Yes, most of the world really is safer than many perceive. OTOH, I don't really think I've taken any great risks. I'm sure the greatest risk is traffic. That can be somewhat mitigated through smart route selection, but the risk can't be eliminated completely.

I've never been robbed, but I had a minor burglary from my panniers in Spain. There were 2 unsuccessful attempts to steal from me in France. (IMO, there's a lot more petty theft directed toward tourists in Europe than in most developing countries or in non-European developed countries.) The place where I felt the absolute safest was Chile!

There are plenty of places I wouldn't go to on my bike. As much as I'd love to tour in the highlands of Guatemala, there are simply too many robberies and violent crimes in that country for my taste. Same thing with South Africa. OTOH, I went to Sri Lanka when the civil war was still going on. Everything I read, including from other tourists on the ground there, indicated that the fighting was restricted to two isolated parts of the country which were easily avoided, and that turned out to be the case. The people were kind and welcoming, and I never felt in any danger. It's a wonderful country to visit, though traffic and bad roads were occasionally minor problems. Laos felt extremely safe. There's a low population density and very few cars, so the roads had very little traffic. Laos is another very rewarding place to visit.

For money, I keep it mostly in my wallet, but I keep a backup in another place. While I typically use my ATM card to get cash, I also carry some travelers checks strictly for insurance purposes in case I do get robbed of everything and need to get some funds quickly.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:39 PM   #14
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I travel by backpack, not bike, but I agree with pretty much everything anethum said. Yes, I've pccasionally been the victim of petty theft or a small scam, but I try to think of those losses as simply a part of the trip expenses. In any case, they amount to a whole lot less than the ripoff prices charged by American hotel chains or group tour operators.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:29 AM   #15
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Did you consider reaching out to folks who fancy themselves as travel writers for some of the better-known travel guides? What about writers for Conde Nast magazines or other writers for newspaper/magazine travel sections? There are also professors who go on sabbatical looking for adventure, so offering safe travel companionship might be of interest.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:46 PM   #16
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Yes.

And when I've found someone to travel with, after a couple of less-than-stellar experiences, I've found out that I need to seriously vet the person beforehand.

omni
I wish I had more sage words for this thread other than me too.

Many years ago, I had a travel partner that was similar in age, income and interests. We were both good solo travelers; but, having a partner was good for the budget (sharing hotel rooms, ship cabins, etc.) and safety. (Although, I really enjoy solo hikes, they have gotten me into a bit of trouble on occasion; luckily, never anything too serious that did not heal in a couple of weeks.) On those rare occasions when our interests did not align, we were both fine doing our own thing and regrouping for drinks afterword (that evening, next day, whatever).

He got married 10 years ago and has not been allowed to leave the country with me since that event. This still makes me sad: I have not found a travel partner as compatible in those 10 years.

If you find one, they are worth their weight in gold.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:02 PM   #17
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I wish I had more sage words for this thread other than me too.

Many years ago, I had a travel partner that was similar in age, income and interests. We were both good solo travelers; but, having a partner was good for the budget (sharing hotel rooms, ship cabins, etc.) and safety. (Although, I really enjoy solo hikes, they have gotten me into a bit of trouble on occasion; luckily, never anything too serious that did not heal in a couple of weeks.) On those rare occasions when our interests did not align, we were both fine doing our own thing and regrouping for drinks afterword (that evening, next day, whatever).

He got married 10 years ago and has not been allowed to leave the country with me since that event. This still makes me sad: I have not found a travel partner as compatible in those 10 years.

If you find one, they are worth their weight in gold.
I looked and saw that you are also a man, as is your former travel partner. I know that this situation is hurtful to you, and has caused you some loss and pain. Yet it is funny. A grown man, living in America, is not "allowed" by his wife (jailor?) to go on trips with his same sex friend and compatible travel partner. And he puts up with this.

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:12 PM   #18
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I wish I had more sage words for this thread other than me too.

Many years ago, I had a travel partner that was similar in age, income and interests. We were both good solo travelers; but, having a partner was good for the budget (sharing hotel rooms, ship cabins, etc.) and safety. (Although, I really enjoy solo hikes, they have gotten me into a bit of trouble on occasion; luckily, never anything too serious that did not heal in a couple of weeks.) On those rare occasions when our interests did not align, we were both fine doing our own thing and regrouping for drinks afterword (that evening, next day, whatever).

He got married 10 years ago and has not been allowed to leave the country with me since that event. This still makes me sad: I have not found a travel partner as compatible in those 10 years.

If you find one, they are worth their weight in gold.
My husband's two male travel partners have also fallen by the wayside. They have done a few mountain climbing trips together, but it would seem that in the past year or so, they have succumbed to demands of home and work to the exclusion of travel, at least of the arduous type. I attributed it to age (they are all 50) and maybe just not wanting to admit they can't make it to the summit any more.

Sometimes I think you have to look at younger folks to find good travel partners, somewhere in the "sweet spot" of before kids and career take over their interests. And then as they fall away, keep looking for fresh ones.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #19
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Hi! My husband and I retired last Feb. 2012. We love to rock climb and mountain bike. We spent this past summer in Canada doing just that. Upcoming trips are snowboarding in Colorado, Moab in the spring, Crested Butte this summer and NZ next winter. We're always game for company. We are 47 and 48 yrs. old respectively. Best to contact me via email if you are interested.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:05 AM   #20
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I won the lotto--married Adventure Girl. Traveled to the South Pacific (Rarotonga, Fiji, Marquesas & others), Bali, Cambodia, drove 1K miles accross arctic Canada & Alaska and we are going to India (Kumbh Mela), Bhutan & Nepal in a few days. Many trips in the US as well, Route 66, rafting the Colorado River. Kids are grown and we are retired and playing.
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