There may have been a time when sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch and watching the world go by was the ideal retirement. Those days are gone. People today are living longer and in far better health than they once were after 25 or 30 years on a job. As a result, many retirees take up hobbies and activities to while away their spare time.
One of the options people now have, many believe is the best of all—travel.
However, you do not need to be retired to gain the benefits of taking interesting trips. Travel can do more for the individual than stamp collecting or bird watching. Here are some of the advantages:
• Change of scenery. Perhaps nothing is more stimulating than finding yourself in surroundings that break the monotony of taking the same route to and from work for years and years. Travel exposes you to different forms of plant life and wildlife you might never experience by staying planted at home.
• Cultural exchange. Even within the USA there are interesting cultural differences as you travel to places you’ve never visited before. Such exchanges can be mentally stimulating and bring a new richness into your life.
• Relaxation. Travel is often accompanied by having other people doing things for you that you’d do for yourself at home. Travel by public transportation relieves the need to do it yourself; but even on a road trip, driving allows for frequent stops or changing drivers from time to time.
• Stimulates cognition. Far better than being sedentary at home working Sudoku puzzles or crosswords, travel is mentally stimulating. Seeing new things and being in new surroundings stimulates questions and learning. Using the mind keeps you mentally alert by turning your attention to subjects you might otherwise never even think about.
• Makes you more interesting. If you think about it, travel is not only interesting to you, but it is also a factor in making you more interesting to others. That is especially true if your travels take you to places not commonly visited by your circle of friends. In other words, it gives you subject matter that people want to hear you talking about.
• Gives new ideas. When traveling, you watch and learn new ways of doing things that you might want to do when you return home. This is especially true if, on your travel, you take a cooking class or go on an art safari.
• Lets you make new friends. Not only do you meet people from different countries or areas of your own, but also it is not uncommon to meet other travelers wherever you go. This may result in future correspondence, exchange visits in homes, or even future travel together.
It should be clear, if you really think about it, that travel can be chicken soup for a much more fulfilling life.