A woman’s needs and wants varies throughout her life. Nowhere is this more evident and important as in her travel preferences. What women want out of travel often changes dramatically as her life changes.
Many of us start out life either being interested in backpacking around the world, staying in hostels, finding inexpensive, culturally rich places to visit and eat. Or perhaps we begin our travel lives with a preference for top-drawer, 5-star, luxe vacation oases, replete with massages, mojitos and perhaps even hot and cold running beach boys! And some even choose to forego exotic travel, preferring instead to head to the cottage or campsite with kids and family.
But over time our lives change and our travel interests change as well. As we move into our 40’s, 50’s and 60’s many of us find that whatever our travel history has been, we are craving different things. For a surprising number of us, we begin to prefer to travel alone or in small groups. For others, either through bereavement or divorce, solo travel is foisted on us.
It is not unusual for ‘women of a certain age’ to begin to seek out travel experiences that offer a combination of experiential learning along with opportunities to meet new friends and discover new cultures. Our bodies may be telling us that while we still feel vital and interested in adventure, we are no longer drawn to sleeping rough or sharing with relative strangers. Standard tours and cruises often don’t meet our needs: too many people, too little time to really explore a place, too few opportunities to create our own discoveries. Take my client Ida. Recently widowed, she’d always traveled with her husband, taking cruises around the world and spending happy summers at the cottage. As part of her re-discovery process she took an adventure trip to Turkey and reports a new sense of self worth. Then there’s Vicki, a single woman who had become tired of vacationing with her girlfriends. She came along to one of my retreats because she felt it was time for a process of reclaiming herself and discovering what she wanted for the future. Her two weeks of reflection, exploration and introspection are still with her two years later. Katy just wanted a couple of weeks away that had more focus than a beach vacation has but was free from the daily moving on that her typical tours entailed. She selected a creativity retreat with me and discovered a renewed interest in painting, but also realized just how big an issue safety is in her life. She realized that she’s missed out on a lot because she chose cruises, tours and all-inclusive packages in her earlier years.
I get numerous calls from women who are retiring or who are thinking about what kind of life they want for themselves now that their kids have left home. What seems to be a common theme amongst them all is that they are seeking something new and fresh in their travel lives.
It never fails to amaze me how my personal experience parallels that of other women. And what I discovered from the many women who’ve participated in my retreats and culinary experiences further supports this. But what about you?
What are you craving in a travel experience these days? What would the perfect get away look like for you? I’d love to compile a list of what women want out of travel these days. Please be certain to leave a comment and I’ll happily post a summary in a few weeks time.