I have always known in theory why maintaining physical function as we age is important. Likewise, I’ve always respected other people’s passion about traveling “Out West.” But this trip really drove it home.
Carrying your kids (or grandkids or simply yourself) up mountain passes at 8,000 to 10,000 feet isn’t just going to take care of itself. The whole two weeks was really active, hiking and biking and so forth. Though overall relaxing and restoring, the middle four or five days was packed and also at altitude, and afterward it really dawned on me how people could begin to opt out of enjoying some of this grandeur by letting their health and fitness go to crap.
Second, I now deeply and genuinely understand the special endearing nature of these vast open expanses. Prior, to me, a getaway or vacation meant ocean beaches and international travel. The allure of our own natural beauty in America clicks a lot more now. To really to get into it, however, you need to be a little physical. So you’re going to have to keep it together.
I’m reminded of a couple in their 70s my wife and I met while traveling in Italy some years back. They said they‘ve went every year for 25 years or so. As we asked about the nature of their travel, we discovered that it always looked like a prepackaged cruise where “exploration” of an area was predetermined on a stopwatch. Off the boat. Touristy spot. On the boat. Repeat. Even then I realized they flew to Italy over 25 times and never once truly saw the country. The same might be said about ourselves in our own backyards.
Let your travels be bigger. Let your life be bigger. Keep it together.