Travel Isn’t As Fun When You’re Older

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Hey everyone! I’m heading back to the U.S. next week. Woohoo! I’m so excited to go home. Chiang Mai is excellent, but I miss my family. Also, it has been a stressful 10 weeks. My mom is in the hospital and will stay there long term. She was touch and go for a while, but she is stable now. At least I’m heading back on the upswing. Anyway, I’m really ready to go home. There is a ton of stuff waiting for me to deal with. However, I am not looking forward to the long travel day at all.

These long travel days never bothered me when I was young. But I’m older and creakier now. My lower back has been in pain since last summer. I went to see the doctor and she said it was arthritis. Ugh! I have been doing some physical therapy and it helped a bit. However, it is difficult to be consistent while I’m not home. I need to do those exercises more often. My back is better, but it is still a bit painful. Sadly, I know it will be bad on a long travel day.

Crazy travel day

My trip back to the U.S. will be pretty crazy. I must have booked it when I was young. Nuts!

8 am – The first flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok will take 90 minutes. I booked this flight early in the day because the airlines used to cancel flights during the pandemic. They combined flights if there aren’t enough passengers. I didn’t want to miss my connection in Bangkok so I gave myself plenty of time. As it turns out, too much time. Flights are full again.

12 hours layover in Bangkok – I plan to put my luggage in a locker and go into town. I’ve been to most tourist attractions in Bangkok so I don’t have any specific place to see. I’ll probably go see my aunt and maybe go shopping at Terminal 21.

9 pm – This flight from Bangkok to Incheon will take a little over 5 hours. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sleep on this leg of the trip.

12 hours layover in Incheon – Incheon is a great airport. There are lounges for travelers to sleep in and good Korean food to eat. I plan to nap for a bit and see if I can join the Incheon Airport transit tour. There are several free tours that travelers can join. I signed up to visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace and Insa-dong. You need a valid visa or the K-ETA to enter Korea. The K-ETA cost only $8 and I was approved in a few hours. It should be a lot of fun.

11 hours flight to San Francisco – I’ll be exhausted by this time and shouldn’t have any problem sleeping on the plane. I got some muscle relaxants from the pharmacy so they should help relax my back and neck.

2 hours layover in SF – This probably will be just enough time to get through customs, immigration, and security.

2 hours flight to Portland – Yay… Mrs. RB40 will come to pick me up at the airport.

That’s 46 hours in total! I must have been crazy when I booked this. This kind of trip wouldn’t faze me 10 years ago. Now, I’m seriously dreading it. My back can’t take this punishment. Maybe I can go sleep in a capsule hotel for 4-5 hours during the layovers. Actually, I should fly to Bangkok a day early so I can get a good night of rest before the long-haul flights. Let me see if I can find a ticket.

Travel isn’t as fun

My enthusiasm for travel diminished greatly last year. I spent more than 6 months away from home. It was fun to travel around, but I’m exhausted. I’m ready to spend a year being comfortable at home.  

My prediction from 10 years ago is coming true. Travel is more fun when you’re young.

I can still travel for many more years, but we’ll have to change the way we travel. We’ll try to have shorter flights. Maybe we can stop in Hawaii for a couple of weeks and then continue on to Thailand. Maybe we’ll feel wealthy enough to splurge for business-class tickets at some point. Although, I doubt I’ll ever get there. Those tickets are so expensive!

Do you have any good tips for older travelers?

*Passive income is the key to early retirement. These days, I’m investing in commercial properties with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the United States. It’s been working so well that I’m planning to sell our rental condo so I can invest more. Go check them out!

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image credit: Susan Bughdaryan

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.

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