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The High Deserts Social Network Blog…

VACATIONS AND TRAVEL KEEP HEALTHY AGERS POSITIVELY OLD

One of the things that separates those that age well from those that become bitter and disheartened as they age seems to be the ability to get away from it all on occasion.

Taking a vacation or even a staycation from technology and our routines often provides just the refreshment and perspective that we need to bounce back with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

I’ve been thinking about travel the past few weeks as I determine how to use my timeshare this year. I’ve gone to Paris and Ireland, Greece, Mexico and various areas in the U.S. in the past. I’ve saved up my miles for a trip to New Zealand where I plan to hike the Milford track, which several of my experienced traveler friends have described as the most beautiful place in the world. An excursion through Italy, Canada or parts of South America all sound particularly intriguing to me.

In truth, it doesn’t matter where I go. The fact is I will be getting away from the daily routine and all the technology that entails. Travel keeps us curious. It helps our minds remain active and engaged. We meet new people. We evolve our perspectives of ourselves and those around us. In short, we keep growing and developing no matter how old we are.

I have friends that are avid hikers. They get back to the serenity of nature. There’s no way this is not good for the soul or your health…unless, of course, you fall down a crevasse like James Franco in the recent movie, 127 Hours (OK, probably not a good reference for an article promoting the wonder and beauty of travel!). So hike in groups and only go spelunking if you know what you’re doing. And bring a cell phone. You never know, sometimes they work. I was able to make a call on mine from the top of the Angel’s Landing monolith in Zion National Park in Utah when my girlfriends and I did a day hike there several years ago.

Travel affords us quality time to spend with loved ones, either those we live with but never get to really relax with, or those we rarely see. It’s a great socializer in this respect, and social contact is THE #1 way to stay happy and healthy as we age, according to various government research.

Lastly, travel gives us the opportunity to do unique things or take on new challenges. You can scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef, finally lean to spelunk properly (but be careful!), or spend a week at a yoga camp. I finally accomplished my dream of swimming with the dolphins three years ago in Quintanaroo, Mexico, a true highlight in my life. I could not take that stupid grin off my face the entire time (exhibit A above).

Taking on new challenges and living new experiences is what makes life worth living. Now it’s your turn to tell us all about your favorite trips and excursions. And hurry, I’m still looking for recommendations on how to spend my timeshare week this year!

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January 20, 2011 Posted by | AGING, baby boomer, positivelyold | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment