Today’s 50-somethings are redefining what it means to be a traveller in mid-life.
Armed with a better quality of life and greater access to health and wellness initiatives, we’re fitter, healthier and more vibrant than any of the generations before us.
We’re seeing a ‘young at heart’ movement that is continuing to rise – we are working harder, partying harder, with the mantra “we’re not old, we’re just getting started!”
And we’re giving back. Sustainable tourism – travel that minimises negative social, economic and environmental impacts and enhances the well-being of host communities – is one way we’re giving the over-50 stereotype a much-needed reboot.
More and more older Australians – and people around the world- are using their holidays to contribute to global communities that are in-need, and create positive impact.
Adventure travel company Bamboo, for one, is seeing this first hand.
Below, founders Colin Salisbury and Mark Foster-Murray, share why they believe sustainable adventure travel should be on your bucket list this year.
1. Breaking our social bubble
In an increasingly isolated digital world, responsible travel is a way to cultivate authentic and real-life human connections with like-minded yet vastly different people. Socially-minded travel allows us to cross numerous divides; people from all walks of life who wouldn’t otherwise meet are able to build strong bonds while making new memories around a shared goal of positive impact.
2. Reawakening our adventurous spirit
Travel takes us out of our comfortable bubble and into a place ripe for exploration, reinvigoration and growth. When our language, surroundings and routine are turned inside out, we lose our frame of reference and are able to rediscover who we are, what we value and, importantly, what brings us passion. Put simply, adventure is freeing. Responsible tourism allows us to break free from the monotony of modern urban life and immerse ourselves in different cultures, landscapes, initiatives and ways of being. If even a walk around the block can stimulate a new perspective on a difficult relationship, career decision or problem, what can a complete shift in culture and surroundings do?
A stimulating and purposeful adventure can also allow us to cultivate confidence. Being open to the uncertainty and mystery of new experiences takes courage, and it is this growth-building muscle that can lead to transformations in other areas of our lives.
3. A more conscious way of life
We connected many years ago over the idea that adventure travel can be a positive experience, not only for travellers but also for local communities. Ultimately, by devoting our time to community projects and initiatives, we have the unique opportunity to be part of a global understanding of community and purpose, one that moves beyond age, colour and class. It’s easy to feel bogged down by media messages that tell us that as we age we gradually lose our value; however, responsible travel initiatives remind us that it’s well within our capabilities to widen our sphere of influence. Something as innocuous as a holiday can become a vehicle for change and empowerment.