Experiencing new things has always been a practice for me. It keeps me on my toes at the young age of 70! As many of you know, Pablo, my husband of 42 years, passed away almost two years ago this December. The past two years have been full of more new experiences, most of which have enriched both my present life and my memory of the interesting life Pablo and I shared together.
Pablo and I had a list of things we wanted to do and places we would have liked to visit. That list included learning more about Viking history and experiencing its art and culture. Last month I set sail on a Scandinavian Cruise focused on understanding the Viking origins and traditions. Pablo would have loved it!
Traveling alone as a senior had its moments. I learned from an article titled, “Seniors and Travel” (Aginginplace.org, October, 2019) that people 50 years and older represent the bulk of cruise ship passengers. While I often travel alone on business, this was my first cruise trip alone. It brought home that I am no longer part of a couple. While that brought on a bit of sadness, I quickly learned that it is okay to travel alone and embrace the solitude. In a way, it was also liberating, as I was free to explore the sights and museums that truly interested me.
While visiting the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, I suddenly found myself separated from my tour group. I am navigationally challenged. Pablo was the half of us that got us where we needed to be. I thought about how on earth I would find the group and get back to the ship. I looked around for a bit and realized that I was going to miss the opportunity to explore this amazing museum. My ears caught another tour guide who seemed to know what he was talking about so I joined that tour group instead! I learned so much from that guide. At the end of the tour, I got help back to the ship.
My reflections remind me yet again to take the advice I give others: Travel as much as you can while you are physically able. On this cruise, I met people who travel with walkers and canes. Despite some limitation, they wanted to explore new places, learn from different cultures, and experience life from the perspective of the people whose countries we visited. They inspire me to travel and explore new opportunities for self-growth and learning.
Let’s grow those opportunities together.
~ Cora Tellez, CEO and Founder