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Silver Travel Book Club - Book of the Month - September 2018

I haven’t read this book – yet! But heard about the book & this forum from TripFiction, and have now joined & plan on adding this book to my TBR (to be read) list.
As an avid traveler, and a fairly new retiree, my retirement trip was a trip of a lifetime! This past June I traveled with a group of friends to Africa – Tanzania & Kenya – on a luxury safari. It is very hard to put into words the beauty, serenity, and wonder of all that I saw and experienced on this trip. From the many different types of animals that we saw in their natural habitats, the Massai warriors & their homes we visited, an orphanage, spinners & weavers creating beautiful handmade rugs, hot air ballon ride & champagne breakfast in the bush, daily game drives, all of these are just a few of the things that we experienced on this trip. We participated in a “crossing the equator” ceremony, had sundowners on a hill overlooking the Serengeti, and walked with rare African White Rhinos. The photo opportunities were endless & I’m still working on editing of the 7000 pictures I took during this 3 week trip.
I have been blessed to travel many places around the world, but still have lots of new places on my bucket list to see. I’m going to Kauai in October to celebrate 2 friends 60th birthdays this year, and have just booked a 1 week tour of Spain & then a Mediterranean cruise leaving from Spain directly following for October 2019.

Clinton Twp., MI

Great book !

Thanks @lionpops @ESW @SilverTravelUser_4342 @Sararose @JBGlasgow for all your comments on this month’s very special Silver Travel Book Club book, Turning Left Around the World. And huge thanks to author @davidcmoore for his thoughtful and entertaining interaction on this Forum.

How uplifting that Silver Travellers seem to be ‘singing from the same travel hymn sheet’ as David & Helene, with regard to embracing the opportunities provided by world travel, but respecting people, communities, nature and history along the way.

My own trip to celebrate ‘retirement’ was shorter, and much less adventurous. We Travelled Right to Australia, to see the Australian Open tennis in Melbourne, to visit Gill’s long-lost family near Adelaide and to explore under-rated Tasmania for a couple of weeks, in a camper van. One of our abiding memories was the terrible treatment of the indigenous people by the colonising British. If you ever go to Hobart, don’t miss a visit to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery https://www.tmag.tas.gov.au/ to understand more about local cultural heritage. Prepare to shed a few tears.

But on a brighter and more contemporary note, make sure you eat a scallop pie at Hobart’s renowned Salamanca market, held every Saturday https://www.discovertasmania.com.au/attraction/salamancamarket

Andrew

Thanks @SilverTravelUser_4342 Yes, it certainly took some time to plan, but worth every minute.
When we were on our last day Helene and I were overlooking Mount Fuji on a glorious sun filled morning with snow on its peak as if it had been dipped in vanilla ice cream.
‘Time to go home’ I said, more as a question than a statement.
We agreed that given the choice we would continue the adventure.
I think we may be planning again!
I hope you enjoy the book
Regards
David

Hi @JBGlasgow good luck with your planning, don’t forget the big map and box of pins!

You probably know this, but the OneWorldExplorer tickets we used to travel around the world for 10 months are extremely cost effective. They have their limitations of course; you have to travel the same way and it doesn’t include internal flights but at around £6,000 for an around the world trip across 10 countries it’s pretty good value
Regards
David

I must admit that I’m not that well travelled, but, without sounding like some harbinger of doom, I’ve started to realise that I really need to get past the daydreaming stage, and actually start saving and planning a trip!

I’ve been watching an increasing number of travel shows, but it really does all come down to finances. I had to retire early due to health problems, so I can’t say that my retirement has been the best planned stage of my life.

All your stories, and photographs, are so inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing with us homebodies!

When I met my husband in 1994 he was already retired and I was lucky enough to take early retirement myself. We bought a very old camper van and set off to see the world. We did manage to see quite a lot of Europe, our first trip being to Portugal. Unfortunately my husband left the lights on and by the time we reached Santander the battery was very, very flat! Not being very technically minded he managed to connect the battery cables to the charger terminals incorrectly This led to an extremely difficult drive to our very first camp site but , with the help of a much more mechanically minded fellow traveller we made it. The next morning, again with much appreciated help we drove to a garage where a new battery was installed and damage rectified. While repairs were being carried out we were directed to a nearby cafe/ restaurant frequented by lorry drivers. There we had the best meal of our lives – three delicious courses plus a bottle of wine and all for about £5 each! The rest of our holiday seemed quite tame by comparison but we did enjoy our first venture abroad by camper van. Over the years we upgraded until eventually l found one that I felt able to drive. I will always have fond memories of our early trips in the old rustbucket and might even be tempted to buy another one day.

Wow, what a fabulous insight into what we can do with time. We thought we’d travelled well over the years, Goa, Hong Kong, Bali, Cuba, USA, most of Europe, South Africa but all spread out into small holidays. How wonderful to plan and undertake such a journey. I’m looking forward to reading this book, I’m sure it will inspire us to plan a fabulous trip for the future.

Hooray @davidcmoore – someone is talking the same language as me!

The issue of Overtourism is something that does need to be seriously addressed and I must admit I am disheartened by some of the response on the two threads on the forum which really do miss the point.

I am horrified by the behaviour of some of my ‘fellow’ tourists and their complete lack of understanding of the cultures and values of other places. They seem incapable of understanding why they should conform. Why can’t they climb Ayres Rock if they want?

Yareta is a very slow growing plant found growing on the high Bolivian plateau in desert conditions. It grows less than 1mm a year and many of the large clumps may be centuries old.

And people seem to think it fun to carve their names on it, which often leads to the death of the plant…

It also worries me that tourists are increasingly expecting 5* hotels with spas, swimming pools,even in the desert. This is putting increased pressure on already limited resources. They may have paid through an agency in the UK and once in the country actually spend very little money. I wonder how much of their money actually gets back into the local economy.

We were in Tunisia after the Revolution and there was an increasing sense of optimism that things would get better,There was also increasing concern about Muslim extremists who were wanting to restrict tourism to other Muslims. Tunisia for the Muslims and not the infidels. There was a school party on a field trip staying in the same hotel as us. Looking at the girls and the way they dressed and behaved I have to admit the extremists did have a point. Someone should have told the girls before they arrived that the skimpiest of shorts and bare midribs were not acceptable wear.

Bhutan does seem to have addressed the issue of controlling the negative impact of Tourism and the number of people entering the country. Perhaps they have seen the effect in Nepal and are determined it shouldn’t happen in Bhutan. I hope so…

it also saddens me when people come home from a holiday having learned little or nothing about the place, its history, culture and people.

Last Edited by ESW at 02 Sep 12:15
ESW
Lincolnshire

Hi @ESW I enjoyed reading your posts and wanted to comment on the very good point you made and @Andrew Morris commented on concerning tourists unintentionally destroying some must-see tourist sites.

Places like the extraordinary Machu Picchu were built for around 500 inhabitants not the 1.5M that visit each year. UNESCO has tried to apply pressure on the Peruvian government to regulate the visitor numbers, but at $69 a ticket there may be other considerations at play.

I would also like to mention Uluru or Ayers Rock. Whilst Helene and I had a wonderful trip to watch sunrise and sunset over the rock we were both disappointed to see tourists climbing it, despite the ‘PLEASE DON’T CLIMB’ notices.
For the Anangu people who lived at the rock and cared for the land for thousands of years it is a spiritually sacred place. As Helene said at the time ‘The energy here is so sad, I didn’t expect so many people to be violating the rock.’

Our guide Toby explained that the Anangu consider it disrespectful and after years of discussion the Board of Management agreed to close the climb on October 26th 2019. Unfortunately, this has just encouraged more visitors to attempt it before time runs out. I guess it’s up to the individual to decide if this is a place to conquer or to connect with?

A final point from our visit to the village of Longji in China and the beautiful rice fields. Talking to the locals it appears that the traditional way of life in agricultural China will disappear in a generation or two, the young people want to live in the cities and the villages we hiked through are being rebuilt for tourism. There is of course a dilemma here, the very reason tourists are visiting is slowly being lost as the rural population discards its traditions and adopts a more modern and commercial way of life.

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