July 22

Boomers, Travel and Cultural Investigation in 2021


Baby Boomers Everywhere

I caught a bus to work today. There were immigrants everywhere.

I am an immigrant - well I'm the product of immigration at least. My indigenous ancestors arrived here about 60,000 years ago. White anthropologists tell me the English part of my family came in boats just 160 years ago.

Our current government doesn't accept refugees from boats anymore. You have to fly here to have a chance of re-settlement. Before there were planes we all came in boats.

Politics aside, we have an amazing cultural tapestry to enjoy if we choose to. It seems ridiculous to spend mountains of money to travel to far away places to meet other strangers. There must be more in this vacationing idea.

A man and girl looking at scores of hot-air balloons

Photo by Mesut Kaya on Unsplash

Overseas and Over Yonder

What about all the beautiful places to see?

There are so many wonders of the world to see and so little time. But wait a minute! Anyone who has ever been to a sporting event and who owns a TV can attest that the view is better from the comfort of the lounge. It must also be true of nature and geography.

Sir David Attenborough has devoted his life (so far) to bringing us extraordinary images of things that cannot be seen by the average tourist. By and large, we can all access these movies for little or no charge.

Therefore the places to see and the people we can meet are very much available to us at home. Yeah?

Travelling overseas and domestically can open up other cultures to us as well, you might say. This is certainly true. My semi-serious fleering poses the question, "Why are we travelling on vacation?". Here is a link to an article on people and love and stuff.

Photographs and Memories

A camera, map and bag of a traveller

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

It has always appeared to me that the inveterate traveler gained two enduring things - pictures and memories. Well, heck, I can get pictures and memories right here.

The places that I have most wanted to visit are Old Europe and the mountains of South America. The two places could scarcely be more different.

And the reasons to go there are as diverse as Machu Picchu and a Saxony village.

Wherever you want to go, there is a great chance that you could have a great time doing research into those places from home. Just as Charles Dickens can still take you to the streets of Olde London Town, Anthony Bourdain can still take you to a kasbah in Morocco.

As it turns out, a lot of my fellow Australians are here today because of Dickensian mischief of the fore-fathers and the guy I share a place with now is half-Moroccan.

The more I challenge myself about the advantages of foreign travel the more I am happy to stay here. I get that the 'experience' of travel is different to the movie. So is the experience of being a nomad different to the one of being homeless.

It has always appeared to me that the inveterate traveler gained two enduring things - pictures and memories. Well, heck, I can get pictures and memories right here.

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A Sentimental Journey

So, here is my challenge to you, my unknown reader.

Imagine the place that you would love to go to next. Take a moment and really be fixated on being somewhere else that would make you happy.

Two, having decided that this is the place that you would most love to travel to, note the reasons you must go there. Make sure that you list the reasons and not the features of the place that you wish to see and feel.

Then, remember all the horrible things about the reality of travel. The paying of hard-earned dollars to the travel agent for accommodation and airfare. Money transfers. Airline delays. Hauling heavy luggage, daily. Learning or not understanding language. Time and temperature variances. I think you can do this without too much more prompting from me. It might rain even! (or worse)

And imagine that when you return, the stories that you tell and the photos that you want to show really aren't that interesting to ANYONE ELSE. People are either jealous or bored with returned adventurers.

Baby Boomer couple overlooking bay from restaurant

Photo by Marco Barsotti on Unsplash

The Journey of a Thousand Mile...

Having analyzed the reasons, the pitfalls, and the letdowns, we can construct our own project right here - right now. No planning, dreaming, scheming and scrounging.

Give yourself a timeframe of a month and investigate and study the destination of your dream. Maybe make an itinerary of -
  1. Peoples
  2. Landmarks
  3. History
  4. Religion
  5. Art and Culture
  6. Economy
  7. Politics

And then do it. Through the power of the internet and cable TV services you can have a ton of fun.

In your local area you may find associations and cultural groups of the folks of that region. Their festivals are always a delight to 'outsiders' as well as themselves.

A trip to the library may uncover large books and other resources that would make a great day's adventure.

Foreign movies are often so good. And you feel that you have discovered a hidden gem whenever you step out of the everyday swill of popular entertainment.

Past Boomers

Finally, don't forget guys like Dickens and Bourdain. Once you enter a wormhole on the net you can find other women and men that have been driven to document their version of history and geography.

If you are lucky, you may make new 'exotic' friends that live nearby - that will not leave you with you 'postcards' from a trip abroad.  But instead, you will have a lasting connection to other cultures and experiences.

Bon voyage et bon app├ętit.

Want more?

You don't need to be of the baby boomer generation to enjoy our weekly compendium newsletter. Last week we perused life-style, work-style and home-style issues. The Stylish Generation newsletter will be delivered weekly to your inbox if you just take a chance [HERE.]


baby boomer, classic, cultural, peace of mind, travel

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