Many people often day dream of a lifestyle that will allow them to travel the world as they please. Due to certain life situations, fears, financial concerns and so on very few of us day dreamers get the opportunity to turn that day dream into reality. Fortunately we can live vicariously through the lives of the ones who have chosen to seize the opportunity to travel the world full-time. Once a month we choose an extraordinary traveler to answer a few questions and give recommendationsome about full-time traveling based on their personal full-time traveler experience.
Meet David and Veronica, they are a fun witty couple who truly have no boundaries when it comes to travel. They enjoy traveling the world, seeing the world, tasting the world and bwing one with THE WORLD!David and Veronica are Full-Time retired travelers and during this travel interview they will be bestowing some of their travel wisdom onto us curious travel readers.
Full - Time Traveler
We are David and Veronica James and have spent the last thirty six years together, ever since a boy from the heartland met a Valley girl on the west coast and took off to Nashville for a wild ride through parenthood and the music business. After sending three kids out into the big wide world we set out to find it for ourselves, selling everything and taking off in a beat up old motorhome. Along the way we accidentally created the top travel blog GypsyNester.com and authored the book Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All (Skyhorse 2015). In the past seven years we have visited and written about fifty countries on six continents.
Happily, I think it is still the excitement of taking off for a new discovery. Guess that is why we are still at it.
We have been pretty much for the past ten years, although we are trying to slow down a bit recently. When the empty nest hit it struck us quite suddenly that we wanted to make a drastic change in our lives. There were several factors; perhaps the biggest being that we had been living on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands for eight years. When our son headed for college in the States, we decided to take off ourselves and see all of the friends and family that had been so far away. Veronica also faced the prospect of returning to work at the school where all three kids had graduated, and that would seriously put the empty in empty nest. She had been quite the helicopter mom, hovering over every aspect our children’s lives, so the withdrawal would have been severe. The final kick in the pants came when we Googled “empty nest” and an ad for an Alzheimer’s patch popped up on our screen. We certainly didn’t feel ready for that! We had a lot of life left to live.
At first it was mostly about catching up as we said above. Between visits we would stop off to see the sights, National Parks and so forth. After a few years GypsyNester.com started to catch on and travel providers and PR firms began to contact us and send us all over the globe to write stories.
That’s hard to answer because when we started out in the motorhome almost every day was a new destination. Lately we have been visiting around eight to ten countries a year. I think the most was eighteen a few years ago.
As fate would have it, the same day as our youngest started college we flew to Sardinia. At one point on the plane we looked at each other and both said we did it, now it wouldn’t matter if the plane went down. We didn’t mean it in a morbid way, just that we were through with the huge responsibility of day to day child rearing. They were all adults.
This is always such a hard question because we have visited so many fantastic places. Usually it's where ever we are. The amazing diversity of animals and topography of the Galapagos Islands makes them a definite favorite. But we also love Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula for its unique archeologic sites, and they have some great food too. Oh, and speaking of food, we have to include Italy in our favorites. Newfoundland also springs to mind for some of the friendliest people we have ever met.
Food is a big part of what makes a favorite for us, also historic sites, and of course the people.
Oh yes, certainly. With some of our Favorites we have the opportunity to return. We have been to Italy dozens of times and always love it. Prague and Paris a few times each, and Mexico as well.
Without a doubt the sense of adventure. We are never bored. Better yet, along the way we rediscovered the couple who fell in love years ago
We generally like the freedom of traveling just the two of us, but we have had a great time in groups too. There are a few companies that cater to folks like us. We have had amazing times with Road Scholar, Backroads, Viking Cruises, Country Walkers, and VBT.
That was one thing that surprised us at first, there are tons of us out there. A lot may be due to the fact that we have more time now, but we think that people our age have also learned that travel is a great way to stay young.
The pros are pretty much what we have described above. The only con that we encounter much is that we do get tired more than we used to, but we can adjust.
Honestly, the best advice we have to offer is that the hardest part is just doing it. By that we mean making the decision to jump in and then following through. You can never plan for every possibility, so we actually adopted the motto: The plan is no plans. Once we were committed to taking the leap, everything else became problem solving, scheduling, and attending to details. Those are things every parent is pretty good at by the time their kids are grown.
Mark Twain wrote: ”Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” We have found this to be very true. Our greatest discovery throughout the over fifty countries we’ve visited on six continents is that people all over the world are basically good and decent, friendly and welcoming, and happy to meet someone from a far away place.
Gabby H. #TravelBlogsAndMore #TravelingCharms