We think you may have ‘empty nest syndrome’. The two most common symptoms are a sudden overabundance of free time and feeling like you have a hole to fill.
As you moved beyond the half century mark, did you suddenly find yourself with an empty nest which brought about a period of introspective re-evaluation? We think you may have ‘empty nest syndrome’. The two most common symptoms are a sudden overabundance of free time and feeling like you have a hole to fill.
A remedy? Travel. It will help you get over the bitter sweetness of saying goodbye to the last birdie to leave the nest. Trust us, we speak from experience. Our third and last child went off to college abroad and so my husband and I decided to do the same and we don’t regret it one bit.
This is your chance to satisfy a lot of the unfulfilled ambitions you had stored away while you were stuck at home doing chores, prioritizing your career, raising a family and only traveling to family friendly destinations. The best part? You can travel when school is IN SESSION.
Don’t know where to start? We got your back.
Empty nester traveling 101
1. Retire Abroad:
Do you live in a place that isn’t the most exciting? Is it the safe and ‘responsible’ choice? Maybe you and your partner have your careers sorted, the schools are great and your family has a great social circle? Don’t get us wrong, these are great positives but is that really all you want from life, especially as an empty nester?
It’s definitely nice to have a home for the kids to visit but you could also head somewhere further afield now that they are just visiting. You can bring this vision to life by looking for housing options abroad for you and your partner to retire in. Maybe in a city you have always dreamed of living in or a beach town you have always loved? Some types of accommodation to search for are bungalows, ground floor flats overseas, retirement homes or assisted living options in your future home, and more.
Don’t worry; the kids will still come, because you are their home and no matter where you go, they will want to see you. Let that empty-nest guilt go because this time in your life is for you.
2. Take an Extended Vacation:
Excited by the thought of retiring abroad? How about you try it on for size before you take the plunge? Just imagine the chaos if you committed to it without a trial period, sold your house and moved, only to find out it really wasn’t a great fit. As they say, “it’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”
As you spend an extended time in a location, you start to assimilate into it, you understand it better. Hence, you might consider spending an extended time in another country before deciding to move permanently. Do you fancy yourself a snowbird vacation in the Caribbean Islands? Or maybe, you want to stay in your hometown for the winter and travel the rest of the year? You will only know what you like when you experience it for yourself.
3. Jump Into a Cruise:
Cruises and retirees go together like rum and Coke. Why? Well, cruises have a lot to offer to seniors. For instance, cruises allow you to head away and see countless beautiful places with minimal effort on your own part. All you have to do is hop on and you’re sorted. There’s a roster of entertaining activities to choose from to have a good time until you reach where you want to disembark and explore. The added benefit? A comfortable bed to sleep in at the end of each day with great service around the clock.
The variety of locations and the lack of hassle are great selling points for cruises but if you’re not a fan of big crowds, consider looking for smaller vessels. You can easily find options to charter a private cruise or go on a river cruise which offer the comfort and benefits of a traditional ocean liner but without the crowds.
4. Hit the (RV) road:
You can also try out the less radical approach by trading a brick-and-mortar base to roam the world gypsy-style, maybe in an RV? This way, you’ve got everything you need with you when you hit the road, and you don’t have to worry about planning overnight stays and hotel searches.
Like moving to a foreign country, we recommend you try RV-ing on for size first. And, what better way to do a trial run than without permanent costs attached? Simply rent an RV and head out to see if the RV-ing lifestyle suits your needs.
So, does this sound like something in your travel future?