Travel is Therapy

Global population ageing is a triumph and a challenge for humanity. Did you know that worldwide, the proportion of people aged 60 and over is growing faster than any other age group?

Let’s get into the numbers, between 1970 and 2025, the expected growth is approximately 694 million or 223%. In 2025, there will be a total of about 1.2 billion people over the age of 60 and by 2050 there will be 2 billion with 80% of them living in developing countries.

The reality is we will all get there eventually and as we grow older, we will experience major life changes, including career transitions, retirement, children leaving home, the loss of loved ones and physical and health challenges. How we handle and grow from these changes is often the key to healthy ageing.

Few of us know ahead of time how to age well and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. One such organisation, the Siler Surfers Club, has been steadfastly disrupting perceptions of ageing and encouraging a positive outlook to growing older. In the 8 years of running the club, offering events, birthday and festival parties, job placements, silver bazaars, holidays and meet-ups, the founder, Dipti Varma Narain has seen members blossom into fun, active, independent and enthusiastic individuals buoyed by the strength and friendships offered by each other. 

Dipti says, “We’ve witnessed first-hand how the friendships formed within the Silver Surfers Club cocooned our members with a strong support system, gave a new sense of purpose, empowered our members to be more active and allowed them to be seen, heard and included.”

Darshana signed her mother, Maya up to the Silver Surfers Club, 6 years ago after she bravely ended a long-suffering marriage at the age of 60. Darshanasays she noticed a remarkably positive change in her mother’s confidence and moods with her busy Silver Surfers social calendar. Maya travelled to Masai Mara and Croatia with the group and is part of three offshoot interest groups that were organically formed between the members of the community. Maya said she has the most fun with the dancing group as it’s something she always shied away from during her marriage. Recently they went for a jive night at a Beatles tribute concert, one of her all-time favourite bands. 

Lalita joined the club to meet new people her age after she moved from Delhi to Bangalore to be closer to her grandchildren. She had stopped travelling as her husband passed away and her children were busy with life and their own families. Lalita has since been an active member, hosting annual Diwali parties at her farm for the other members, who have all become dear friends. Lalita also rekindled her love for exploring new places and has travelled solo with the Silver Surfers Club on 7 holidays. Her favourite holiday was the one to Japan and she is looking forward to the Mediterranean cruise in April with her buddies from the community.

The motto at the Silver Surfers Travel Club is ‘Friends in Places’. Travel is not just about taking a vacation – it’s about allowing active seniors to fulfil their exploration dreams and to do so with easier paced itineraries, accompanied by like-minded ‘Seenagers’ that become fast-track friends along the exciting journeys. It’s also about breaking society’s stereotypes about how seniors can and cannot travel.

Nearing 80, Anil attempted his first river rafting excursion in Kashmir, inspiring courage amongst the younger members of the group. Aged 60 and 65, Savita & Mac were hailed as forever heroes for completing the hike to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan. At age 72, Uma refused to be left behind and wriggled herself into a kayak to paddle across the blue waters of HaLong Bay. Aged 76, Usha and 7 other Silver Surfers soared away from Cappadocia, singing loudly to the skies in a hot air balloon. The common dominator between all these Silver Travellers? – Their indomitable will to have fun and feel alive. 

As holidays to bucket list destinations became the delight and highlight of the community, 2022 saw the birth of afree membership Travel Club for seniors, a concept that’s been brewing for the past 4 years. The idea was to grow the community, widen the net of like-minded friends, offer more domestic and international holidays and breathe joy and purpose into more lives by keeping the community active and alive. 

I believe communities such as the Silver Surfers Travel Club send a strong message that the colours of life are beautiful at every stage. Ageing gracefully isn’t about trying to look younger, it’s about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, we can get better with age and with the right care.

There is also no doubt that travel has cathartic effects travel on the senior community. Holidays have repeatedly proven that Travel is Therapy and creating memorable experiences is the way forward to live a happy full life, no matter your age.

If you or perhaps your parents, an older relative, a mature neighbour or a senior mate could benefit from some Travel Therapy, get in touch with the Silver Surfers Travel Club. We can’t help getting older but we don’t have to grow old!

This article has been written by Bay Agnani for The Silver Surfers Travel Club, a Travel Community with a difference, created for the new breed of ‘Young at Heart’ 50+ travellers who crave independent travel.

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Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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