Marcia Hill has always loved travelling. In her youth, the Menzies Malvern resident's career as a model saw her regularly traversing the globe.
In her retirement, the sense of freedom that travel inspires is as exhilarating as ever. ‘Travelling opens up your mind to everything. It's the best education. You meet lovely people of all different nationalities,’ Marcia says. ‘Before my husband, Sidney, passed away (...), we had the most wonderful time going wherever we wanted to go. We were married for 48 years and together for 50.’
Marcia cites France as one of her favourite destinations. ‘It's a great people-watching place. You can just stand in the street and watch the people go by. They're so stylish. I love it,’ she shares.
Marcia says she’s relished almost every place she’s been. ‘I've had an absolutely sensational life. I've done everything and loved everything and wouldn't change it for the world. But new places excite me. I love cruising. They transport you everywhere, you don't have to think, and it's beautiful. I did a Mediterranean trip with Sidney to the Greek Islands, then around Dubrovnik, Croatia, and to the top of North Africa. It offers an opportunity to visit some of the more unusual places.’
Marcia isn't alone with her love for travelling. Seniors are fueling a travel boom with a sense of curiosity and a desire to learn about the world through new experiences. According to The Australian Seniors Series: Senior Travel Report 2022, retirees most want to experience history and culture as well as food and wine, and wildlife and nature as part of their travels.
With 31% of respondents in the travel report preferring a self-driving holiday and 28% dreaming of sandy beaches, Australia’s gorgeous coastline offers the perfect destination for senior travellers. Especially when they also rate the chance to include quality family time on their list of holiday preferences.
And with luxury, eco and cruise travel also on the seniors’ travel wish list, there are many places at home and overseas to fulfil your travelling dreams. In North America, seniors can find nature destinations, big cities and cruise holidays. In Europe, it’s all about history, culture, food and living like a local. Southeast Asia offers exotic beach destinations and is close enough for the family to come along. And for those looking for romance and relaxation or cruise options closer to home, the Pacific Islands are a must.
With so many options, it's not surprising companies catering to seniors' travel are thriving. Over-50s travel specialist National Seniors Travel has over 100,000 members and books adventures for seniors to locations across the globe. They cater for every tour and mode of travel imaginable. Think ocean and river cruises, coach and rail tours, train trips and tailored experiences for couples, groups and singles alike.
With the popularity of self-driving holidays, it’s no surprise to find grey nomads exploring Australia from top to bottom. For those with dreams of caravanning into the red dust but no van to do it in, Camplify can help.
Known as the 'Airbnb of caravans', Camplify allows members to tow a van, drive a motorhome or have a van all set up by the owner for them anywhere around Australia. It offers flexibility for travellers who don’t own a van as well as the opportunity to make added income for caravan and motorhome owners whose vehicles might otherwise gather dust for most of the year.
For Marcia, who is in her 80s, a recent back operation - requiring her to learn to walk again - isn't stopping her from achieving her travel dreams. Next stop? Canada. ‘I'm mad about trains, and I've always wanted to go on the famous Rocky Mountaineer's glass-domed train.’
‘It takes you right up into the wilderness and has a clear ceiling so you can see everything around you,’ she says. ‘I think I'll go with a girlfriend, but if I go on my own, that's fine too. You always meet people, and I talk to everyone anyway. I love going away, but you come home and kiss the tarmac when you return to Australia. We're in a very lucky country, this one.’
Learn more about Menzies Malvern, VIC.
For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550.
If you think your family or friends might enjoy this article, please share it with them.