LEGALLY AGING: Travel Advice | Lost Coast Outpost

My goal in life is to have visited more countries than my age (currently 80 to 79 – I can die happy), so I have traveled a lot. You might know all of the following, but just in case, here are some hard-earned, sometimes painfully, tips that don’t fall under the usual “How Not To Get Stolen” type of travel advice.

If you are traveling with someone, know that you are vulnerable to minor irritations. For Louisa and I, it’s at the transition points that we tend to be finicky with each other – checking in at the airport, deciding which restaurant to go to, shall we / shall we take a trip to boat about to leave. Knowing our vulnerabilities ahead of time makes it easier to stop halfway and say, “Hey, we’re just doing our Transition Dance.

Be gentle with yourself! Chances are every time you arrive at a new destination you somehow get it wrong – get ripped off by a taxi driver, you lose trying to get back to your hotel, say to the waiter in your best French that you like them when you I mean you loved the meal… it happened to all of us when we are away from home. I have a rule: the first few days in a strange place, I have to pay too much for something or other, so I allow myself to “donate” about $ 50 to the local economy. And these two days to understand things? It’s not wasted time, it’s learning time.

Do not rush ! Soaking up the atmosphere is more important than checking off the must-see spots in your guidebook. For example, we are drawn to the old churches and cathedrals of Europe, not so much for the history, their stained glass windows and their ornate tombs. It’s more about the smell, the atmosphere, letting in the ghosts of centenarian visitors, not to mention the hardy, often daring craftsmen who built these stone buildings. So we sit quietly, letting the sense of place come to us, rather than looking for it.

Pride lives on! Thanks to a stained glass window between the sun and these azulejos in a 600-year-old church in Portugal. (Barry Evans)

Don’t skimp! You spent a ton of money just to get anywhere. If it costs five or ten euros to visit a monument, so be it. Same as bacalhau com natas (salt cod with cream) Portuguese dish that looks so inviting on the menu – it’s expensive, but compared to what you paid to get there, maybe not that expensive.

Don’t plan too much. The days when you wake up not knowing what you are doing that day are the best of all. Taxi drivers, Uber drivers, tourist office assistants, front desk staff are your friends. Make the most of your time with them. We learned more about a country in 30 minutes in the backseat of an Uber than days wandering around to see the sights.

Learn the frequent flyer points game to get free flights anywhere. here is a
good place to start. And, since you will probably be flying (deep) the California Redwood Coast – Humboldt County Airport, aka ACV, you should go to the United Airlines Visa card website, here.


A few years ago we flew Cambodia for free with frequent flyer miles. This temple is near Ankor Wat. Photo: Barry Evans.

Finally, know that trains are the way God intended us to travel. Take them whenever you have the chance.


En route to the Copper Canyon, Mexico. Photo: Barry Evans.

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