Traveling in My Forties is So Much Different than When I was Younger
My first trip outside of the United States was in 1998 at the age of 22. The military transferred me to a Navy ship located in the small Italian fishing village of Gaeta.
My ship’s role was more ambassadorial in nature than military. We would sail from country to country and host receptions for foreign dignitaries.
Over the course of two years, I was able to visit some really great cities like Marseille, Dubrovnik, Haifa, Venice, Barcelona, and many, many others.
In a pub in Spain in 1999 with my friend Jeff
Like many sailors in their early twenties, most of my shore exploration consisted of finding the nearest pub with my Navy buddies. Unfortunately, my memories don’t extend much beyond the pub scene. This pattern would continue throughout my twenties.
At a bar in Pisa, Italy in 1999 with Jose and Anthony
In my thirties, I was a little better about exploring the places I visited. However, I tended to stick to organized tours geared towards tourists.
While many of these organized tours were great, I wasn’t exposed to the kind of cultural experiences that really make travel so wonderful.
To be honest, I was a little afraid to venture out on my own. Only recently have I realized that I need to get out of my comfort zone and explore the community I'm visiting.
Exploring the Paris streets in the rain at night!
Now, in my forties, traveling is about searching for culturally immersive experiences. I do this by interacting with people that actually live and work in the place I'm visiting.
One of my favorite ways to do this is to get my haircut in the places I travel to. Seriously. . .no matter where you are in the world, your barber is going to want to chat.
I use this opportunity to figure out what restaurants my barber eats at and what places I should go see beyond the normal tourist spots.
Yes, I still visit the typical tourist spots and I'll hit up a pub or two with by buddies, but now I try meet local people and find the places that are a bit more off the beaten path. This has really changed my travel experience.
Thanks again for stopping by,