Thursday, May 3, 2012

Solo Travel with a Purpose

I have been using a new mantra this year:

Be a Traveler NOT a tourist
Learn something new,
Find a new adventure
Experience the local life
In 2008, after many years of trying to do or see everything in the  2 or 3 weeks a year my 24/7 job allowed, I finally took a sabbatical.

I had been dreaming of moving to Italy for part of the year for a long time.   All my vacations to Italy were wonderful.  My business trips were "interesting" but allowed me to see new parts of Italy.
But would I enjoy living there?   I am an Italian American but would real Italians accept me?  How do you manage in a town where you do not know anyone and do not speak the language fluently?
But it was now or never and I closed my business, obtained a dog sitter and took off for Sorrento for 3 months.  I know I would not have enjoyed or on some days survived this adventure without my weeks at Sorrento Lingue.    For all of you who already travel solo, I won't comment on solo travel, but long term travel opened a new door to my travel adventures.     
During my months in Italy "living as an Italian, not a tourist"  I searched for ways to enrich my days.
I spent hours exploring the towns along the sea.  Walking with a view of the sea was an endless pleasure.   But I still looked for a way to fit in, to participate,  not just another member of the expats organizations.

Tina, a former student at Sorrento Lingue, found a GREAT solution.        She did volunteer work!  See her story below.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Solo Mature Travel is Increasing!

       Travel  is NOT only for the young or what I call the 'ark' people, 

                  those that go 2 by 2.                          You can go great places solo......

                           BE A TRAVELER NOT A TOURIST

May 1, 2012, 12:23 p.m. EDT

Overseas Adventure Travel Concurs with Older Americans Month 2012 Theme: "Never Too Old to Play"

More than 50,000 Americans 50+ Choose Soft Adventure Travel

BOSTON, May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- As the U.S. celebrates Older Americans Month, beginning today, with the theme, "Never Too Old To Play," Alan E. Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Overseas Adventure Travel, offers the following insights into the soft adventure travel preferences of the 50+ market, including top 10 travel destinations for 2012.
"How older Americans travel today is far different from just a generation ago, when coaches would shuttle older travelers through five countries in 10 days to see the sights," said Lewis. "At OAT, today's traveler is healthy, physically fit, and off the bus -- eager to explore remote destinations, interact with local people, and engage in cultural activities. And close to 3 in 4 of OAT's 50,000 travelers are female (70%) -- up from 2 in 3 (60%) just 10 years ago, with one-third of them traveling solo."
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are more than 94 million Americans older than 50. Travel is the number one pastime for Americans over 50 [Immersion Active 2010], accounting for four leisure trips per year and making up 57 percent of all leisure travelers [Travel Industry Association 2012]. Today, more than 40% of Americans are single [2012 U.S. Census] with more than 35 million having taken a vacation by themselves in the past three years [Travel Industry Association 2012].