Three's A'loud

Top tips for travelling when you are older - Part 1

“The world is a book and those that don’t travel read only one page.”
- St Augustine

So let me start off by clarifying the title of this post. My husband and I recently went on a wonderful trip to Brazil and Peru. It might have been our first trip in a long time but we are not old. This is not a post for old people. However, we are slightly older than the last time we got on an international flight. 12 years older to be exact. And I was really surprised at how much we have changed.

Back when we were fresh-faced 21-year olds my then-boyfriend (now-husband) and I decided to do the whole “working holiday thing.” For a couple of years we were all over the place. We lived and worked in some amazing countries and during our holidays we travelled to some other amazing countries.

Then we came home to get married under our favourite sky in the world: our beautiful African sky.

We both work in the hotel industry so we figured it would only be a couple of years before we travel to some other exotic location. After all, in spite of our impressive CVs we really struggled to get back into the South African job market. But shortly after the wedding we were blessed with a pregnancy and we decided to wait a few years. When our eldest was almost a year old our careers slowly but surely started getting on track again so we waited a little longer. A year later our second daughter was on her way and you know how it goes from there: workworkwork, maternity-leave, lifelifelife, family and friends and just like that a decade is gone.

Marais family of five

Don’t get me wrong, this decade has been amazing and we have the best life ever but oh! The world is so big! There are so many languages and colours and mountain ranges and seas and how can we grow old without experiencing at least a few more of them?!?!

So 2 years ago I put my foot down and told my lovely husband that we will be going to South America in 2018. He looked at me like I was slightly tipsy. Well, technically I was, but that is not relevant to this tale. The next day I started looking at options. A week later I showed him some of my favourite ideas. He pointed out that the amounts linked to those ideas could

  • Cover our home loan for 2 or 3 months
  • Buy him a new bakkie
  • Pay the kids’ school-fees months in advance.

I told him this is important. He just smiled and told me he loves me and “someday we will travel again.”

Graffiti and kisses

So quietly I started saving. And saving. And saving. And here is tip number 1 for travelling when you are older.

  1. If, like us, you haven’t made it “big” yet, and you have children to raise and bills to pay, saving a small amount for a year or two can add up to a nice little travel fund.

    And by “a nice little travel fund” I mean quite a bit of money. A small debit order into a good savings fund for 24 months = $$$. Even with our painful South African exchange rate. So start planning early. It might seem crazy to plan that far in advance, but sheesh, if I have learned anything over the past 12 years, it is that time flies.

Gerhard and Susan in Cusco, Peru. 2018

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