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The Travel Window
Old 11-11-2006, 08:02 AM   #1
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The Travel Window

Last night I had a discussion with some retired neighbors, he just got out of the hospital from heart surgery (frankly I thought he looked awful).

We were discussing the time when you can really travel. The start of this window is after your kids are educated and moved out after you finish the college/wedding/launching expenses you also finally have some money.


the end of this window is when your health no longer permits you to fly across timezones, climb stairs to the top of a cathedral dome, take trains and busses lugging suitcases etc. Knees and hearts for example can give out.

I thought this was an interesting concept. We are doing a lot of European travel now, I find walking cobblestone streets etc. challenging, and the handicap accessibility we enjoy here is not nearly as evident in the places we have been. Of course, being able to plan travel dates with no work restrictions has enabled us to get really good deals and travel off season when the crowds are much less. And I got to do the number one thing on my life list, go to the Sistine Chapel and walk all around Florence and Rome.

I think this could be the most compelling reason we strove so hard for RE, I didn't want to spend my life talking about what we would do when we retired, then finally get there and not be able to do it.
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-11-2006, 09:49 AM   #2
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Re: The Travel Window

I guess being single helps me out in this...

I leave for Egypt next week.. have been wanting to go there for awhile... going with a GF and her son...

I would say that you should try and get in some travel when you are younger.... because when you get older, you will have this massive 'inertia' of zero to move... you had not traveled before and will think of so many excuses not to do it now....

My former boss is retiring in a couple of months... he is 58, and has never been overseas!!! And he makes BIG bucks, so it is not from lack of funds... I asked him about it and he said he just doesn't have the desire....
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-11-2006, 09:51 AM   #3
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Re: The Travel Window

Quote:
Originally Posted by shorttimer

I think this could be the most compelling reason we strove so hard for RE, I didn't want to spend my life talking about what we would do when we retired, then finally get there and not be able to do it.
Ditto. And BTW, (yes folks, this is a repeat) most of what I expected
and wanted to do after I retired is long gone now. Happily, I am so loaded with adventures, there is no chance of living long enough to make much of a dent
in the "list". I wish for all of you the same good fortune. Don't wait too
long though.

JG
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-11-2006, 01:25 PM   #4
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Re: The Travel Window

Cruises fit nicely with latter day travel. Elevators on the ships, and tours that pick you up on the dock.

Adventure tavel and DIY is ideal for the early years. We are planning the early years to last until our mid-70s. We know some people who are still going strong in their 80s. Being active seems to help. Retiring early also helped.
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-11-2006, 03:18 PM   #5
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Re: The Travel Window

My folks traveled as much as they could while they were still working...about 3 to 4 weeks a year. After they retired (pa @ 62, ma @ 60) they travelled about 2 months out of the year, for about 8 years until he started having some health issues. After that they did a few 1 or 2 night trips each year....sometimes less

After pa passed away about 8 years ago, ma started to travel again....a lot more!!! In fact she earned the nickname of "Granny-Go-Go", because she was ALWAYS going somewhere. She hasn't stopped yet!!! In fact she hasn't even slowed down!!! She'll be 80 in a few months!!!

I'm going to RE @ 50, and follow in there foot steps....Go...Go...Go!!!! While working I could only travel about 5 weeks a year.....but that WILL change to months per year!!!
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-11-2006, 05:45 PM   #6
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Re: The Travel Window

This is one of the best arguments for ER as far as I am concerned (that is, if you can swing it financially and you're not still raising a family). Many people run into serious health problems way before 65. We have enough trouble wrestling with our motorhome, and I still marvel at folks 20 and 30 years my senior who somehow seem to manage OK, I KNOW it has to be a lot harder doing all that kneeling and bending down at their age.

There are certain kinds of travel I'm mostly putting off until we are older - group travel, cruises, etc. Right now it's great being able to do things on our own and with minimal assistance. One day I'm sure to be glad to pay more $$$ for someone else to help me travel.

Audrey
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-11-2006, 09:49 PM   #7
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Re: The Travel Window

Agreed. Thanks for a timely reminder.
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-11-2006, 11:26 PM   #8
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Re: The Travel Window

DH and I have been trying to get some traveling in now, while we're still working. Part of it is due to the realization that we may not be granted the time to get to ER.
Not that we're overly pessimistic or fearful ... but in the last year, we've lost a couple of friends in their mid-30s (heart attacks) and a neighbor who went for a Sunday drive and never came home. (hit by drunk driver)
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-12-2006, 08:01 AM   #9
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Re: The Travel Window

I think what I have enjoyed most about our travel are the spontaneous things that happen when you are on your own- If the only way I could travel was to take bus type tours I guess I would. My dentist went to Italy the same time I did, he took a tour we took trains, busses and walked. When we compared our experiences they were vastly different. Our meals were taken in little out of the way cafe's, and we ate breakfast each morning in our little b&b type hotels with people all over the world. He was herded about with his tour and had little contact with the locals or with the culture.

I just feel lucky we have been able to do so much up until now, and hope it is a long time before the window shuts on us!!
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-12-2006, 08:17 PM   #10
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Re: The Travel Window

Quote:
Originally Posted by shorttimer
We were discussing the time when you can really travel. The start of this window is after your kids are educated and moved out after you finish the college/wedding/launching expenses you also finally have some money.
Tell them Sailors disagree. The world is such a big and beautiful place you definitely should not wait until your kids moved out. You just travel differently.
Little Sailor (2 years old) flown almost 30 times by now and for example had a blast in Greece, when we climbed to the stadium on the top of Delphi, he ran back and forth two times, when his mother was resting
But maybe we are crazy My brother is trying to talk us into taking a trip late next year and suggested either mainland China, Indonesia or New Zealand, and at this time Little Sailor will be 3 and we hope for his soon-to-come sister to be 10 months old.
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-13-2006, 06:12 AM   #11
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Re: The Travel Window

This travel window is why I'm working as hard as I can to RE soon. Dh is 64 and I'm 52, if I wait too much long he won't be able to do the things we want to do. I'm planning on going out west with him for the first time in 10 years this summer, we might even spend 3 weeks instead of 2 in FL and depending on how things go next year we could be doing a lot more of this.
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-13-2006, 08:25 AM   #12
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Re: The Travel Window

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
I guess being single helps me out in this...

I leave for Egypt next week.. have been wanting to go there for awhile... going with a GF and her son...

I would say that you should try and get in some travel when you are younger.... because when you get older, you will have this massive 'inertia' of zero to move... you had not traveled before and will think of so many excuses not to do it now....

My former boss is retiring in a couple of months... he is 58, and has never been overseas!!! And he makes BIG bucks, so it is not from lack of funds... I asked him about it and he said he just doesn't have the desire....
Shorttimer - this concept played heavily on my decision to RE. I didn't want to get to the age where I wished I was able to travel more

TexasProud - I'm thinking of making my next trip to Egypt. Can you tell me a bit about your travel plans - is it a tour or did you make all the arangements?
Do you have any concerns about safety?
What level of hotel are you using?

I have to do my homework and would like to find something like a European penseion.
thanks
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-13-2006, 09:02 AM   #13
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Re: The Travel Window

Been to Europe 8 times and planning golf in Ireland next May.
Seems like a lot, but we're still limited as my wife still works.
Hope to do more when she retires but that's as many as 8 years from now.
I think I'll still be young enough for vigorous travel for 15 more years or so.

BTW, Egypt scares me - ALL of the middle east scares me. I won't go anyplace I'm not wanted. Friends of mine went to Egypt a few years ago, saw the pyramids, but
had an armed escort when doing so.
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-13-2006, 09:14 AM   #14
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Re: The Travel Window

I'd be interested to hear about the Egypt trip as well. I want to avoid the middle east for the same reasons Ben cited - but the pyramids and other ancient architecture are high on my list of things to see before I die.

It's SO important to realize we won't have the energy and desire to travel as we age, or the unexpected might happen, and do it NOW! I am only 46 and already have lost interest in youth hostels and backpacking thru Europe. But that's ok. I did some of it at 20.

Here's a strange thought, recently I had reason to fear I might loose my eyesight. When thinking about if I had limited time, what would I REALLY want to see - Antarctica is what came to my mind. Weird eh?
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-13-2006, 09:26 AM   #15
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Re: The Travel Window

My assisant went to Egypt by herself in 2002, she is single and travels all the time. I just asked her if she felt safe while she was there, she said she had no problems, felt safe walking the streets at night but that's only because of the armed guards on every corner. Maybe it's changed since then but she said she'd go back. Her latest trip was to Rome in Sept for a week and I believe she is thinking about Paris next but who knows with her.
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-13-2006, 10:05 AM   #16
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Re: The Travel Window

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennevis
BTW, Egypt scares me - ALL of the middle east scares me. I won't go anyplace I'm not wanted. Friends of mine went to Egypt a few years ago, saw the pyramids, but
had an armed escort when doing so.
I hear you.

I am pretty open-minded and adventurous when it comes to traveling, but I had just about the worst trip of my life in Morocco this past August. And that's supposed to be one of the most Western-friendly "Middle East" countries (yes, I know it's not technically in the Middle East, whatever that is, but it's very similar culturally).

The best thing to come out of that trip is that I can cross off a long list of countries from those that I intend to visit someday.
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-13-2006, 10:27 AM   #17
 
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Re: The Travel Window

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusitan
I hear you.

I am pretty open-minded and adventurous when it comes to traveling, but I had just about the worst trip of my life in Morocco this past August. And that's supposed to be one of the most Western-friendly "Middle East" countries (yes, I know it's not technically in the Middle East, whatever that is, but it's very similar culturally).

The best thing to come out of that trip is that I can cross off a long list of countries from those that I intend to visit someday.
Can you tell us what went wrong? - Were you in any danger? - Or just not a pleasant experience?
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-13-2006, 11:22 AM   #18
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Re: The Travel Window

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Can you tell us what went wrong? - Were you in any danger? - Or just not a pleasant experience?
Well it started off with being shaken down by the border guards while trying to get into the country (after a 6 hour long ordeal of being shuffled from one guard station to another ... I would have called it quits after the first 30 minutes but we were traveling with another couple and it was sort of their trip, so I went along against my better judgment). One American and 3 EU passports ... I still don't know what the problem was supposed to be. The whole time I'm thinking to myself what part of we're-trying-to-come-into-your-country-to-spend-money don't you understand?

And once we made it passed the border, each day was better than the next, as they say. Trash strewn everywhere. Anywhere we stopped we were followed, stared at, or outright harrased by angry looking young men (and we were 2 men and 2 women, respectfully fully clothed in pants and long sleeved shirts, walking around in broad daylight).

The most pleasant interactions we had were with the pestering people trying to sell us something or the one friendly cop who told us, with a smile, that we really shouldn't be walking around (in broad daylight, next to a beach!) because it wasn't safe.

And although I don't speak the language, I didn't need to in order to get the gist of the several groups of young guys that harrassed us in basically every place we tried to visit.

The entire time we were there, the atmosphere was seige-mentality. If you want to spend thousands of dollars to stay in a swanky hotel with a private beach guarded by guys with machine guns, well, I'm sure Morroco is a lovely place to "visit". But if you want to really drive around and explore the country for yourself, the way I'm used to doing ... forget about it.

When we were shaken down again, by a bunch of guys manning a makeshift roadblock (about, oh, 1/2 mile from the coastal town we were trying to get to - we weren't driving around some backroad desert area) we decided to call it quits. (Told the nearest police officer we could find, he pretended he couldn't understand us and waved us away ... )

After another 9 hour wait trying to get out of the country, I was more than happy to pay my share of the bribe to the border guards that we needed to board the ferry back to Spain.

With a population that did nothing to hide its animosity towards us (for no reason that I can guess other than that we looked different) and a corrupt "police" force more intent on shaking us down than providing any sense of security or order, I daresay we were in danger the entire time we were there. I was kicking myself for going along with it in the first place.

And to make matters worse, it wasn't even like I was "putting up" with some negatives in order to have some great experience or see something really interesting - basically all we saw were trash strewn landscapes and dirty broken down concrete ghettos, with a few walled off compounds guarded by guys with machine guns for the rich and powerful sprinked here and there. Casablanca was smog and dirt and confusion and more of the same hospitality from the locals whenever we did try to walk around.

The thing is, the other guy I went with was a few years older than me, and he had actually worked at an oil refinery in Morroco for a year, about 15 or 20 years ago. Back then, he had a great time and a great impression of the people. That's changed for sure. My guess is that population explosion and materialist-lust brought about by cable TV etc. has completely changed the country from the days my friend remembered.

If I were traveling around with a bunch of guys, maybe, just maybe, I would have had a different take on things. But with both of us with our wives and constantly having to be in confrontation/protection mode with nearly everyone we met, it was a disaster.

I kissed the ground when we got back to Spain.
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-13-2006, 11:52 AM   #19
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Re: The Travel Window

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor
But maybe we are crazy My brother is trying to talk us into taking a trip late next year and suggested either mainland China, Indonesia or New Zealand, and at this time Little Sailor will be 3 and we hope for his soon-to-come sister to be 10 months old.
We traveled to China when the kids were little, left them home. We were frequently asked why, and who is taking care of them. I told them that the travel is expensive; that a 12 hour plane ride was a lot to ask of small children, and that their grandparents were caring for them. We were asked to please bring them the next time.

The issue, other than the expense, of traveling with little ones is making sure that all get enough rest. Don't over schedule. They won't be sleeping in familiar beds, or sometimes at their regular times.

In Asia children are precious, particularly so in China.
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Re: The Travel Window
Old 11-13-2006, 12:13 PM   #20
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Re: The Travel Window

Interesting topic and timely for me. I just returned, a week early, from taking my mother on a "dream-trip" for her to Italy-a gift for her 65th birthday.

Three days in, she tripped and fell on some stone stairs in a villa in Tuscany. Ambulance transport 40 minutes to Florence, night spent in the hospital (nice folks, no English, "rustic" medical care).
Mom wound up with a skull fracture (where the nose meets), a concussion, some broken teeth, and a whopper of a beaten-up face. After getting her out of the hospital, I waited a day for her to rest (and me, too, after 5 hours of standing by her bed in the emergency room and 9 hours of sitting in a chair by her bed).

We then came home, 7 days early. The trip will likely be her last "big trip". She really lost a lot of confidence and I had no idea what it is like to recover from a fall like that when you are her age. It is a depressing ending to a much-anticipated trip.

My lesson learned is travel now, while you can. I hope to one day get back to see Rome, the Italian Rivera, and Venice but sadly, without Mom. Sarah
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