Am I Too Old To Go Travelling?

Before deciding to go travelling in Canada, I was riddled with insecurities about being too old for backpacking. What is the best age to go travelling? Is 28 a good age to go backpacking? Am I too old for long-term travel? These were the kind of questions I would find myself typing into Google, before scouring through various forums on the subject. The general opinion seemed to be that you are never too old to travel and that travel can actually be more enjoyable in your later 20s than when you are straight out of college or university.

However, I was still worried that the majority of backpackers would be gap year students and free-as-a-bird under 25s looking to get wasted every night. Me? I was nearly 28 with a full-time job and long-term boyfriend. It was not a simple book and go situation. I was scared that I should be focusing on my career and settling down as oppose to leaving everything behind for several months. I did not have to look further than my Facebook feed to see that many of the people I went to school with were having kids and getting married. Shouldn’t I be doing this too? 

Despite these concerns I took the trip and, more than a year on, could not be more relieved about making the decision to travel in Canada for five amazing months. As it turned out, my fears about being too old were completely ridiculous.

Jericho sunset Vancouver

Yes, there were plenty of gap years students. But there were also much older people as well and many around the same age as me. The hostels I stayed in were filled with people from all walks of life. Career breakers, retired people taking that trip they had always dreamed of, those who had a work visa and were looking for a job, 18/19 year-olds taking a summer break before started uni. Having such as varied pattern of people makes travel more interesting. 

I quickly realised that you are never too old to travel so long as you have conviction behind why you are making a trip. Even if you just simply want to get away for a bit. This qualifies as a valid enough reason. Nobody ever regrets travel. It opens doors and enriches you, no matter what your age. Travel made 2012 the best year of my life. So get out there and make that trip you have always dreamed of. Do not look for validation from others, just go for it! Everything works out in the end. 

 

Have you ever worried about being too old before taking the plunge into long-term travel? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Comments

  1. August 5, 2013 / 03:44

    Nah, you’re young. Glad you had a great time. I’m nearly 50 and hiked around the mountains of India recently. It’s fun!!
    Holly recently posted..Pleasing Who?My Profile

    • August 16, 2013 / 22:41

      Good on you, that’s amazing!

  2. August 5, 2013 / 19:20

    I had a lot of the same thought before I went to New Zealand on my own – would I be the oldest in the hostel? Would everyone be partying and I’d be the only one wanting to go to bed at 10pm? Would I meet anyone on my wavelength? Like you I needn’t have worried at all though – even if you’re doing the hostel thing they attract such a wide range of people now. I stayed in places with 18 year old and 80 year olds. It’s a great way to meet people you normally wouldn’t come across when everyone’s united by their love of travel.
    Lucy recently posted..One day in Santa FeMy Profile

    • August 16, 2013 / 22:40

      Hostels are full of cool people and the older ones are often more interesting as well!

  3. August 7, 2013 / 14:49

    I had the same feelings before we set off, I’m 31 now and was convinced I’d be surrounded by 18 year olds the whole time. There have been a few comedy incidents in hostels where I’ve felt like an OAP but we’ve also met so many people from school leavers to retirees. You’re never too old!
    Maddie recently posted..Every day is a school day – an afternoon with the youth of todayMy Profile

    • August 16, 2013 / 22:34

      Ha ha, hardly OAP! But I know what you mean about those moments. When I first arrived in Vancouver, there were students in my dorm and felt a bit too old. Most of the time there’s a good mix though. I avoided the party hostels – think all the kids went to these :-)

  4. August 22, 2013 / 00:14

    Sometimes when I end up in a hostel with 19 year olds who get drunk every night… I just think I booked the wrong hostel. I’ve see all kinds of travellers. The problem for me (I’m Italian) is that travelling alone is looked down upon. My friends don’t understand when I leave for a trip alone, short term or long term. Hey, but I do it anyway. After the first solo trip I learned not to care about what they think.
    Stefania recently posted..Slovenia – a fairytale countryMy Profile

    • November 21, 2013 / 11:03

      I think late 20s is actually the best age to travel. Just the right amount of maturity and life experience to fully appreciate and enjoy it more.

  5. November 10, 2013 / 11:43

    Like Marie-France, I thought you must be even older than me when I read your title! You won’t be too old for a long time yet – I intend to carry on travelling until I’m at least 80, and hopefully still a bit longer.

    • November 21, 2013 / 11:02

      Go you! When there’s a will there’s a way, as they say :-)

  6. November 20, 2013 / 20:23

    Yeah, me too. I thought you were over 50 LOL! 28; Gosh you’re young! We even used to go travelling when our son was a baby and it was no problem at all. We just asked the owners or establishment if bringing a baby would be alright and 85% of the time, they were absolutely fine!
    You’re never too old or too young.
    Victoria recently posted..THE FIRST TIME IS THE BEST TIME!My Profile

    • November 21, 2013 / 10:51

      Ha ha, as soon as I started travelling I knew thinking long-term travel was just for kids in their early 20s was a ridiculous preconception! I agree, you’re never too old or young to travel and, as you’ve highlighted, there are always flexible options for travelling with a baby. I can imagine many people think that as soon as they have babies they can’t fulfill their travel dream, but there are so many families out there challenging this idea. Blogs such as yTravel for example.