Conscious Aging: Thinking about Travel

I have places that I want to see, Viet Nam chief among them. Viet Nam was such a huge part of my early adulthood, what they refer to as “the American war”. I’d like to see the places we heard about every night on the news: Hue, Danang, the Mekong River Delta, Hanoi, Saigon — now Ho Chi Min City.

Lyndon Johnson couldn’t believe that short Asians in black pajamas and rubber sandals could defeat the U.S. military, but they did, didn’t they? I wonder what we learned from the experience? Many conservatives still apparently think that if we’d “unleashed our military” they could have won. I’m not sure how much more unleashed you can get than 500,000 soldiers, tons of bombs and Agent Orange, and whatever else we did over there.

Sara has helped me find a trip that seems to touch all the places I want to see. I was going to hurry up and try to make a mid-June departure, but it rains a lot over there at that time, pretty much like Panama. Walking around is probably more appealing in the fall, when it’s less humid and buggy.

I’m still planning to go to Panama, even though Minga has died, but perhaps not every year. I’m making a list, from now until I’m 80, starting with Viet Nam.

Will keep you posted as the list expands. 🙂

Glad to hear of any spots you’ve been to that you think I shouldn’t miss.

9 thoughts on “Conscious Aging: Thinking about Travel

  1. I totally agree. Ron and I love to travel and experience other cultures. We’ve traveled around China several times, including a Yangtze River Cruise, when I’ve taught at conferences There. China is beautiful and very exotic. In the past 2.5 years we have enjoyed experiencing mid evil cities and waterways on 3 Viking cruises to places we had never before been. Next year we’ll sail to the south of France. I have my eye on a cruise that circles South America and another in Portugal. Also plan to go to conferences in Abu Dabi and Scotland. We are going to keep on traveling til we can’t. Love it!

  2. for Katie: All of these trips sound great. You’ll find Abu Dhabi very interesting, I think. Dubai is very close — you could do both. Go for a drink at the Emirates Palace Hotel, just for the experience. When I was there for a conference with SUNY Geneseo students years ago a Coke was the equivalent of $21. The kids with us almost died of the shock when they opened the drinks menu. I told them we couldn’t afford to eat there, but a drink, yes. 🙂

  3. have a “bucket list” which I created in 2000 when I retired. Have completed most of them, but Warsaw and Berlin remain. Somehow, I doubt that I will get there. Interesting that you picked 80 as when you would stop. Realistic. I will be 80 this year, which is why I think those two cities will remain unvisited.

  4. My parents continued to travel into their 80s. We took a big trip to Italy for 2 weeks. They walked all over Tuscany, Rome and Venice and even took the trains. They took cruises and visited California often to see family and Florida to see friends. My Dad was still driving til he passed away at 86. My Mom did a big trip to California at age 90 with us. I think you’re in good shape and should still plan to travel.

  5. This is encouraging. We are both in good pyhsical shape. What I have found is that I can’t be bothered with the hassle. Air travel is certainly not the fun it used to be……………..but who knows! Thanks for your response…….

  6. for Ada: Just in general, I have less tolerance for hassle, especially the mindless kind. And there is a certain amount of hassle when you travel. Last time leaving Panama I got pulled over for extra questioning by Panamanian authorities. No idea why. They were perfectly polite and it didn’t amount to anything, but it was a hassle.

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