Travel

Most of the people we spoke to had something to say about travel. Their trips covered all budgets and the whole spectrum of destinations and types of travel, from do-it-yourself four-wheel drive adventures around Australia to all inclusive world cruises. Many people travelled immediately after retirement. Retired caravan and camper trailer travellers in Australia have become known as grey nomads (see Interests and activities: Lyn & Robin)

Janet and Gypsy are travelling more now than when they were younger. Gypsy does all the planning.

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Val has mobility problems and Austin thinks cruising would be a good solution.

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Brian E is thankful that his wife was the driving force behind their travel in early retirement because he has not travelled much since her death.

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For those people who did not want the hassle of driving themselves or those who had relinquished their driver’s licence, bus tours, both day trips and overnight, were a viable alternative.

Edith loves Australia and has seen many places on bus trips.

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Brian E and his wife travelled around Tasmania on community bus tickets.

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The cost of travel was an issue for some people but they had ingenious ways of overcoming the expense. Slow travel on public transport, using travel concession cards and staying with family and friends were good ways of keeping costs down.

Len wants to travel on the Ghan train through Central Australia and return by bus.

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Elaine H goes to northern Australia every winter and that is enough for her now.

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Lan still travels but finds it tiring. She can cut costs by getting cheap fares and staying with family.

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A few people said that their desire to travel waned as they aged; others said that their wish to travel remained the same but their ability to continue travelling decreased. Val said that there was a big difference between her 70s and 80s, when she found travelling more tiring and no longer wanted to do it. Health problems sometimes changed people’s plans to travel and several said they were travelling while they could because they knew it could not go on forever (see Val above). Earl and his friend travelled to overcome bereavement and he will continue to travel while he is fit enough (see Death and dying: Earl).

Shirley does not feel old, just slower, but health problems changed her and Brian’s plans to become grey nomads.

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Because of her husband’s health issues, Marjorie has modified her expectations to modest goals centred on reading, travelling and relationships.

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Dorothy says she is now “just too tired” to go on road trips or flights.

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Some people travelled with friends but a couple of people said that had changed their relationship. One woman said “I almost killed her (friend)” for talking too much and one man said “we had a falling out because for ten days sharing a cabin with me and being on holiday and a coach and living in a hotel …”.

As people got older their holidays and travelling were more likely to revolve around visiting relatives. They were also more likely to rely on other family members to travel with them.

Sabihe loves to travel with her family and rode on a motorbike for the first time in her 70s. She says people should not put limitations on what they can do.

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