If you spend time looking at websites targeted at expats, non-stop world travelers, digital nomads, retirees and semi-retirees, snowbirds, and people seeking a better life with more freedom and less work, you start to see trends. The first trend you see is that most of the digital nomads, non-stop world travelers, and YouTube vloggers are younger people, many of them young couples. The sites hosted by older people are usually focused on relocating to a new country, becoming an expat or snowbird. The younger sites spend a lot of time talking about adventures, where they’ve gone and where they want to go, travel details and tips, best gear to take, how to find cheap flights, and so on. The older sites talk a lot about immigration red tape, real estate issues, retirement visas, places where you can live on low incomes or social security checks, and especially they talk a lot about healthcare and health insurance…but not so much about adventures. If you read enough of these sites you will eventually start to get the bias…youth is about adventure…old age is about survival.
Likewise, if you search for images of “people traveling” on the Internet you will find a large majority of the images are of people under 35. If you look for images of older travelers you will often find images which are biased towards illness and disability, with plenty of canes and assistive devices in the mix.
Granted, we do slow down and have less energy as we age, but the media seems to almost discourage older people from seeking adventures, focusing on the difficulties rather than the possibilities. We hope to combat that bias on this site and present information that helps older people seek a life which includes travel and adventure.
One type of post we see fairly often, particularly on expat forums, are from older people who are looking to relocate to another country because they aren’t able to retire in their own country on the funds they have available. Sometimes the people writing don’t necessarily even want to relocate, may not like traveling, but see no other choice to have a better life than to move to a country where the cost of living is half what it is in the U.S. In the words of Janis Joplin (or Kris Kristofferson) “freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”. Sometimes the move turns out to be the best thing they ever did. You see plenty of those stories. In other cases, the reality of life in another country didn’t meet their expectations and they end up moving back or sticking it out unhappily. You see some of those too.
I’m not saying this is all you’ll find in posts from older people. Many seniors have some retirement savings or even a decent nest egg that lets them travel and have fewer limits on where they can go and what they can do, maybe maintaining a home in their country of origin and renting a place when they travel. But we have targeted our website to cover the entire demographic, from people who have only a Social Security or a small pension to live on to those that are in better financial shape. We address those who want to travel for several months per year and maintain a home base in this country as well as those looking to relocate full-time to another country. We ourselves are starting out by keeping a home in the US and travelling for part of the year each year, but we may change our minds later and become fulltime digital nomads or relocate to another country. Time will tell.
On this website we hope to encourage more seniors to ignore prevailing perceptions of older adults and strive to develop more mobile, creative, adventurous lifestyles.