On the Road

The Mature Traveler

So maybe you’ve played ball for the first part of your life. You studied, got a good job and settled down into a good salary. You spend all day thinking about your career prospects and all night drinking with your friends who are getting uglier by the year. All is good except one day you turn around and ask yourself where the hell your life went.

It’s never too late to get on the road. It’s not just a crazy fad of the backpacker generation – the lust to go walkabout is as old as the opposable thumb (an evolutionary leap that we owe to the first hitchhiker..) and has simply been drummed out of us by modern society. When you hit the road you give yourself the time and opportunity to see your life in perspective and see if you’re happy with the direction you’ve been going in.

Of course if you find your trip begins to extend itself as time goes by you might one day have to think about that big white space in your resume. Thing is, no one knows what you did while you were away so there’s no harm in being a little creative with the details. Partying every night in Rio de Janeiro becomes ‘studying local dance’; growing your own weed in the mountains of Spain is ‘volunteering in organic agricultural projects’; and 4 months seclusion in a Himalayan cave is ‘Taking time out to write a book’.

Whilst in some places the hostel scene will be full of young and innocent backpackers, there are plenty of people of all ages on the road. This is especially true in South East Asia and parts of South America. India and Thailand attracted plenty in the 60’s and 70’s who never quite made their way back and with each generation that goes abroad, more and more return to the trail. It was when we realised how many of us are unable to lead normal lives any more that we came up with name Road Junky.

The only trouble you may have getting on the road at an older age is that you probably think you already know what life is about. Then everything you see and experience may fall into the framework you have worked out for yourself. But many things are very, very different elsewhere in the world. Not better or worse, just different. The more you can humble yourself and travel with a clean slate the more rewarding your trip will be.

And if you come home and you can’t get a job… don’t come whinging to us – maybe you were in the wrong job in the first place?