And now comes word that older people – in their 80s and 90s – are not only traveling but trying cockamamie things like “wing walking.” Never heard of wing walking? Neither had I. Apparently it involves strapping your feet onto the top of a single-engine bi-plane which then flies off into the wild blue yonder at 160 mph. This passes as adventure travel for an 89-year-old British man, according to a story in yesterday’s NYTimes. Now I intend to travel as long as I possibly in my older age – but wing walking is a bit too much. Then again, I was never particularly keen on adventure travel in my youth. Call me lazy or unambitious, but when I travel, I like to go off on my own and wander and explore. That’s adventure enough or “experiential” enough for me.
The closest I’ve gotten to an adventure travel trip was several bike trips I went on as a teen-ager with my parents in Vermont, which were fun. Interestingly, the same NYTimes story mentions that VBT (Vermont Bicycle Touring) – the tour company my family used – now does a rip-roaring business with the over-70 set. I can see going on a bike trip at this age but a trek up Mount Everest or parasailing at age 80 (or any age) – I’ll pass. I do have one English friend – whose idea of a good time is strapping on crampons and climbing up an icy Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps – who might enjoy this. Heck my friend Russ might even enjoy wing walking.
One more thing I learned from this article: Elderhostel, an educational travel outfit I’ve always thought some day I’d use,is now called Exploritas. I can see ditching the “elder” part but “exploritas?”