Inspire Lifelong Learning with Travel
By Leah Lancione
Time for a winter getaway? While jaunts to nearby Ocean City or Rehobeth last summer had their signature charm, you may be longing for an inspiring tour of someplace new. Well, Road Scholar, the not-for-profit travel service, offers educational trips to all 50 states and 150 countries abroad. The service, created by Elderhostel, Inc., provides travelers with an opportunity to take part in exciting, expert-led excursions that range from cultural tours to study cruises. Sophisticated and stimulating adventures are available on any continent, all year-round.
The Road Scholar instructors who lead the education-focused tours are seasoned experts in the subjects associated with each particular trip. Topics range from history and culture, walking and hiking, homes and gardens, food and wine, theater, birding, photography and more. Popular packages include: New York: “Ultimate Opera: Two Nights at the Met,” “Mystical Lands: the People and Culture of India and Nepal” and “Beyond the Pharaohs: Egypt Past and Present” (an adventure afloat).
Road Scholar’s website (www.roadscholar.org) claims “fresh adventures to fortify the spirit and enrich the mind await both new and experienced participants.” The difference between this and any other travel service is the focus on education and learning that is central to every trip. This is not just an ordinary tourist or sightseeing experience. Travelers learn through lectures about culture, food, people, landmarks, natural wonders, sports and the arts.
Single travelers can join a group and be paired with a roommate or select a room by themselves. Packages can also be geared for small groups with a specific interest or preferred activity level. Furthermore, intergenerational trips offer something for everyone. Just think, you and your family can take a trip to Montana to take part in a “Yellowstone Adventure for Grandkids and Grandparents,” or to Kentucky for “The Daniel Boone Experience—Rivers, Rails and Trails,” or off to Arizona for a “Grand Canyon Family Adventure.” Engage your children and grandchildren so the entire clan learns the value of lifelong learning.
If travel on a budget is a necessity, Road Scholar also offers year-round trips to locales closer to home. A few intriguing options include: “Delaware during WWII: On the Front Lines and Women Spies,” Pennsylvania: “Christmas in Gettysburg: Past and Present” and Virginia: “Three Friends: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe.”
Road Scholar’s user-friendly website features the extensive list of already-planned adventures; highlighted programs; a search capability for programs based on location, interest, activity level, date or category; instructor and participant blogs; and last-minute deals.
The Senior Citizen Journal (www.seniorcitizenjournal.com) endorses Road Scholar as a viable source for “senior citizens who are seeking a positive educational experience that will remain with them the rest of their lives.” This online journal also provides articles with valuable advice for senior travel, including senior travel needs, WiFi and ATMs, senior travel on a budget and traveling with pets.
Odysseys Unlimited (http://odysseys-unlimited-catalog.com) is another travel site that will send you a free catalogue to explore an assortment of coordinated tours for small groups. Also consider visiting www.usa.gov/Topics/Seniors/Travel.shtml for resources that pertain to senior travel — discounts, passes, tips and more. For up-to-date travel news and information for seniors and baby boomers, visit www.seniorjournal.com/travel.htm Lastly, AARP online features a wealth of useful information, including expert travel advice presented by CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg.
If you agree with the quote by Seneca that “travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind” start planning your next great adventure now!