The No B.S. blog about Travel, Writing and Life

Traveling after 40, My Birthday Blog

Today I turned 44. To my occasional disappointment, time has marched on. I like to think I am only a thin baloney slice more than what I used to be. Really, I don’t feel that old, but my tastes have changed. I have become a step slower and probably need glasses. I have evolved. However, I remember back in the day.

As a traveler, I lugged around that rucksack with all those international flag patches on it everywhere I went. I shared bagettes with other travelers and ordered extra butter to save money (one bagette and four plates, por favor). I slept on the floor of train stations and the bunk beds of youth hostels. I carried my own toilet paper and cans of sardines – just in case. Travel still happens after forty, but things have changed.

Food

The game of seeing how little I can eat in order to save money will never happen again. I have learned that fine dining has its place and I want to make sure I have a variety of locale faire. I still shop at local markets and buy food from side of the road push carts.

Accommodations

I know there are some spectacular youth hostels. However, my last dorm-style youth hostel stay was in Reykjavik Iceland. I slept in the top bunk and was awoken by an 18 year-old student who was urinating on the 72 year-old-backpacker sleeping below me. I vowed never to rest in a dorm room again.

Packing

I finally have a big-boy bag. I call it luggage. It has wheels. I leave it in my hotel room and unpack it. Although, I still never check it at the airport

Speed

I am much more will to take my time, but less willing to take my time on the slowest option from getting from one place to another. I think I once took a train that was pulled by a mule instead of the ultra sleek bullet train in order to save $9.

Planning

On my first backpacking trip ever. I arrived in London without a place to stay and never once made reservation. Now, I call ahead.

Of course all of this has to do with money and how I choose to spend it. I know that if pressed I can live quite happily on next to nothing. I am proud of that fact and have proved it many times. However, I have also learned that travel and adventure can take many forms. I look forward to even more of the second half. The old rucksack will go to my daughter who may one day want to see beyond her own back yard.

8 Comments

  1. Happy birthday Devin! Great tips that you’ve learned over the years … and here’s hoping I never have a hostel experience like the 72-year-old man in Iceland.
    .-= JoAnna´s last blog ..Last in the Travel Dictionary | Zzyzx, California =-.

  2. Hi JoAnna,

    It is funny know now. It was hugely annoying then. In fairness, I have had mostly very positive experiences in youth hostels. However, the duds stick out in my mind.
    .-= Devin´s last blog ..How to Write an Angry Letter =-.

  3. Happy Birthday! Sad to hear about that terrible hostel experience…yikes.

  4. Happy Birthday Devin!

    At least I know I can still travel in another 13 years.

  5. HI Heather,
    I think the hostel experience was worse for the guy in the bottom bunk.

    Hi Avery,
    My guess you can go longer than that, too.
    devin
    .-= Devin Galaudet´s last blog ..How to Get a Press Trip =-.

  6. Happy be-lated birthday Devin, and I feel I also share the same sentiments as I grow. Once in a while I have the urge to re-live my younger days again and go stay in a dorm room (mixed-genders too!) and to later regret it 😉

  7. Thanks Amy,

    Ah yes, the to call to the “younger days.” I still cringe at some of those younger days memories, but have an occasional pang to relive them, too. Glad they are over.
    d
    .-= Devin Galaudet´s last blog ..Free Stuff: All Four of Lonely Planet’s National Park Guides =-.

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