Why You Should Not Wait Till You Retire To Travel

When we first started talking about our decision to give up work for a few years and travel, we were met by many interesting reactions. One really amazed me ”why would you travel now why can’t you wait till you retire?’ This made me actually sit back and question our decision…why aren’t we waiting until we retire? I mean it is obvious that is what most people do either they travel when they are young, before career, marriage and children, or they wait until they are 55 (or in our case, it will be 67) drawing a pension and head off around Australia with a caravan in tow. But that was not our dream, ours was to travel overland, exploring the world by motorcycle.

Doing It For Those Who Can’t Travel

Photo by Paul Green on Unsplash

I then started thinking about the friends I have had over the years who would never get to travel when they retire…the ones who had died young, the ones who are now committed to raising grandchildren and the ones who physically due to ongoing health issues can no longer do their dream holiday (let alone the type of travel we wanted to do). I realised then our journey was not just for us but for them too and we needed to live our lives to the fullest while we can.

Travelling Before You Are Too Old

retire travel


The reality was we were already 50 when we headed off, this meant a few more aches and pains every day anyway…. Towards the end, I was having trouble getting on and off ‘the Princess’ some days but still enjoyed the journey. I can’t imagine what I will be like at 67 when I was allowed to retire (if that does not change of course there is already talk of it being moved to 70). In general, our health is pretty good, some days we felt like crap and would just take things slowly but we were able to do that as we knew we have the time to do so.

Why We Chose To Travel Before We Retired

We made the decision to live our dreams not die with them, as by not travelling when we did we would not have been true to ourselves, It did mean some friends fell by the wayside as they just did not understand our need to do this but most of our friends and family supported our decision. There, of course, were some who did not understand our need to do this they encouraged us to live our life to the fullest. Our children especially were really supportive and that was the most important thing for us.



Coming Home

So now we are home do we have any regrets……NONE AT ALL. Since we left home tragically two close friends have lost their husbands, another friend of 30 years died suddenly and we have had numerous friends diagnosed with a life threatening illnesses. While we wished we were closer to provide support to them and their families we know our decision to take this journey was the right one. We may never go away for three years again but we already have plans to do more overland travel in the future….the bug for this type of adventure has been well and truly planted…


So What are you waiting for? Do some planning today!

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32 thoughts on “Why You Should Not Wait Till You Retire To Travel

  1. I keep telling my partner we should go around oz now while the kids are young plus you never know what is going to happen in the future. Enjoy your travels.

    1. We traveled a lot when our children were young and they still talk about the things we did. If you can do it as you are right you just never know x

  2. I agree, waiting isn’t always the wise choice. It’s good to enjoy life as much as possible while we’re healthy. And if we do get to be – finally – retired, then it’s bonus!!!!!

  3. Love this article so much!!! I think people wait and wait and then before they know it, they just don’t have the same energy they used to and put off travel. That and life happens, things change, and may get in the way. I always believe you should travel while you have the chance!!! Thanks for a great share.

  4. Love this statement, “We made the decision to live our dreams not die with them”. We also follow this motto and have done extended career breaks with our kids. You never know what the future will bring, so you need to do it now!

  5. Love every single word of this Michele…..my hubby is already carrying an injury from a bad accident when he was younger. His mobility is becoming more and more compromised so we want to do as much as we possibly can now before we need to consider major corrective surgery. I am 52 and he is about to turn 50 so I hear you on those niggly aches and pains but I’m not going to let that stop us!

  6. Absolutely. We’ve downsized and semi retired to have less stuff and more travel. Lost a few people too young and thought the same as you. Go travelling while we can.

  7. I love hearing stories like yours Michelle. As you mention, there’s so many people of our age not able to realise their dreams that I don’t understand why people don’t travel when they can. We often took our children when they were young and travelled every year during our working lives. Since retiring we have taken longer trips of up to 9months in Europe but had we not been able to do this, we would have been very happy with our memories of earlier trips.

  8. I think people should travel at all stages of their lives. Not only do you not know what the future will bring, but you see things differently at different ages. My experiences as an impoverished student, as a parent of young children, and now as an “older” traveller, have all been completely different.

  9. Totally agree with you. So glad I travelled a lot even when I was working but now that I am retired, now is the time to travel even more! Even though I’ve been retired almost 4 years, I feel the need to travel sooner than later. There might be a time (later in life) when I don’t have a choice about travelling. I might not be able to.

  10. Totally agree with you Michelle. Do it now while you still have health, energy and the desire. Your 3 year trip does sound pretty amazing 🙂

  11. I think you should travel whenever you can – I definitely do not think waiting until retirement is an option these days (67?!!!? – I have no idea what my health will be like then) I lost my father and my stepfather in their 50’s and they weren’t able to do the things they had planned – mum has still not been to Hong Kong which was her and my stepdads dream. I travelled in my 20’s despite watching my friends settle and have children. I then travelled in my 30’s as a single parent. Now at 50 we have a PR visa for Australia and me and my husband are moving in July – our intention is to work our way around Australia then New Zealand. We have sold everything and are ready to go! Some people can’t understand why we don’t wait while others are just saying – go for it!

  12. I SO agree with everything you say. Life is far too short to wait to travel. I say do it as soon as you can afford to start travelling. Smaller trips at first, larger trips later. And then back to shorter trips as you age and health deteriorates.

  13. Although my parents did some travel two weeks at a time, they planned to travel much more after retirement. Then they died at 62 and 64 years old. That’s why I travel as much as possible now (I’m 54) within the limits of practicality. So good on you for going when you did!

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