Planning for retirement travel

Anthony is retiring soon but he and his wife have vastly different views of what they want to do. Kay O’Sullivan suggests a solution.

Q. Anthony
I’m planning on retiring soon and would like to share the trip of a lifetime with my wife of 40 years. I thought we could combine river cruising, a coach tour of Eastern Europe and a stopover in Hong Kong. But she has different ideas, wishing to experience life as a volunteer in Cambodia, time in Goa and some trekking in the Andes. So how do we reconcile our very different travel dreams without going on separate trips?

A. Kay
Oh dear, your bucket lists sound like a case of irreconcilable differences to me. But don’t call the lawyers yet! If you have been married 40 years and want to travel together, you already know the answer to this curly question: compromise. It’s the crux of all happy marriages and happy travels as well.

Your wish lists are very different, and they both involve a lot of travel, so I wouldn’t just blend them. Also, you’re hopefully going to be enjoying life in retirement for a long time, so why not string out the anticipation and plan a few trips, and do a bit of both lists in each trip?

It makes sense to combine all the destinations that are in the same area, for instance, Hong Kong, Cambodia and Goa. The following trip could be devoted to Europe and maybe you could source a hiking holiday in one of the European alpine regions so that your wife feels she isn’t missing out. I’d look upon it as training for that hike in the Andes, which demands its own separate trip.

Do you have a travel question for Kay? If so, email your Travel SOS to [email protected]

Kay O’Sullivan is no accidental tourist. More than a decade ago, she decided to combine two of her favourite things – journalism and travel – and become a travel writer. Since then, she has written about travel for numerous papers, magazines and on the internet, both here and internationally.

Written by kayo



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