Name: Gwen McCauley
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Current Base: Split between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Algarve, Portugal
Fun Fact: I’ve visited Australia 4 times
Goals: When I turn 70 I want to camp my way across Canada, visiting musical festivals en route
Gwen McCauley is a Portugal Travel Expert, writer and tour guide specializing in culinary and cultural concepts. Gwen has been in love with Portugal since 1975. Gwen loves to educate North Americans about the charms of Portugal and its cuisine. Her Algarve Dining review guide specializes in off-the- beaten track Portuguese cuisine restaurants and her “A Taste of Algarve” custom culinary tours are popular with solo travelers and couples interested in an in-depth exploration of local food culture. Gwen contributes food culture articles to Discover – Canada/Brazil/Portugal Magazine. Meet Gwen McCauley!
“Travel is life’s soul food. Sometimes messy but always satisfying!” –Gwen McCauley
8 Travel Tips for Senior Citizens
We here at the Travel Experts love seeing people of all ages who travel. Our office is filled with women of all ages who have traveled the world as Solo Female Travelers, as part of Couples, or with our Families. We want everyone to be able to enjoy traveling without fear, discomfort, or confusion- no matter their age! That’s why we love Gwen McCauley, the young 68 year old who doesn’t let the title “Senior Citizen” stop her from traveling the world. Gwen explains, “I decided many years ago that I wanted to live my life without regret and I pretty much manage that.” Gwen has been generous enough to share her top 8 Travel Tips for Senior Citizens to have their best possible experience. Let’s take a look!
#1/8 Travel Tips for Senior Citizens :
If you can’t lift it or carry it yourself, it’s too much
#2/8 Travel Tips for Senior Citizens :
Bring plenty of different sized re-sealable bags
#3/8 Travel Tips for Senior Citizens :
Keep several sized safety pins pinned to the inside of your purse
#4/8 Travel Tips for Senior Citizens :
Use a cross body day bag with lots of pockets; keep your passport and credit cards away from the outside pockets or use one of those safety pins to seal the zipper
#5/8 Travel Tips for Senior Citizens :
Trust your gut. If it feels uncomfortable, go elsewhere
#6/8 Travel Tips for Senior Citizens :
Travel how YOU like, not how your family friends think you should.
#7/8 Travel Tips for Senior Citizens :
If you’re in a hurry, take pictures of street signs, restaurant names and tourist sight signage. It’s amazing what you can read off your photos when you have the time. Also great memory joggers for people who want tips from you.
#8/8 and the Final Travel Tips for Senior Citizens :
As you get older, be ready to adjust your travel to your new circumstances.
For Example: I find that it now takes my hips several weeks to fully adjust to walking on cobblestones. So I no longer plan to walk for hours and hours when I’m in a new destination. I’ll take more busses or metros to get places where in the past I always walked. I have a friend who has developed asthma. She’s learned that even with her meds walking in hilly cities can be a challenge, especially soon after a flight. So now instead of filling up on coffee before leaving the hotel, she plans on stopping every hour or so for a coffee and a break. She’s discovered that she keeps way better journals as a result so there’s a hidden bonus.
Work and Travel
Travel Experts: You travel and work quite a lot, you’re always growing and learning, so what life questions are you trying to answer now?
Gwen: These days my big life question is about whether I really want another relationship in my life and what I’m prepared to do to make that happen. [Gwen was recently divorced after a 30 year marriage] I feel that I do want a very non-traditional relationship …and yet when different men show up I find myself unwilling to accommodate them. So I’m curious about whether I truly do want anyone.
Travel Experts: You seem full of life and drive. Where do you get your inspiration to keep traveling and growing?
Gwen: I’m typically inspired by young people I come across who are living vital lives and creating new things in the world. I’m also inspired by people my own age who don’t settle for boring lives with no dreams, hopes and wishes for a compelling future. I believe that when you stop dreaming you have died and are just waiting for your body to notice.
Travel Experts: So Gwen, you travel somewhat frequently and have gotten to know quite a few places rather well over the years. Tell us, which day was your very favorite?
Gwen: I refuse to choose just one! But, in general, my best travel days are those when I happen upon something that feels truly magical to me. Like the time I was in London and realized it was my birthday. I discovered an Evensong service in the Church of St. Martin in the Field on Trafalgar Square and experienced a truly magical choral music concert. Or the time I left my friends and headed off for a couple of solo days on a ranch in Australia. We’d gone out looking for kangaroos to no avail. Since the ranch was near a mountain range, I got up early to see the sunrise. Sadly, it was a gray, foggy morning. As I finally headed back to my room for a nap, a movement across the valley caught my eye. A kangaroo was bounding down the hillside. And then I saw much more movement and was able to discern a herd of about 50 kangaroos all heading downhill at great speed. What a moment to remember!
Adios and Gracias to Gwen!
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Gwen and would like to thank her again for sharing her great Senior Citizen Travel Tips! As always, keep us in mind when booking your next cruise, flight, or vacation! We’d love to be of assistance. Get a free trip quote here.