In 2014 Abi and Patti retired, a bit on the early side, to live a simpler life and to travel the world. By sharing their journey, they hope to inspire others to redefine retirement. Boomer-aged travel is on the rise and they are excited to be a part of the growing trend! You can see their work at One Road at a Time.
Patti spent time with us answering our questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Patti: We've been traveling through life together for 40 years embracing each new chapter and each new adventure with open minds. Our travels have taken us to 4 continents -- North America, Europe, Australia and Asia -- and to date we've traveled to 19 countries.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Patti: We do not specialize in a particular type of travel, other than we are boomer-aged travelers redefining retirement. We enjoy classic road trips as well as travel abroad. We prefer slow travel, staying for a period of time in each destination, although we've definitely experienced our share of fast travel.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Patti: I don't think it could be described as a vacation, but one of our most memorable travel experiences was walking the Camino de Santiago - 350 miles across Spain. It was by far the most challenging, exhausting, exhilarating and inspiring experience to date.
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
Patti: Italy. In all of our travels we have yet to visit Italy.
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Patti: My auxiliary phone charger
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Patti: Pack light!
What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
Patti: wavejourney.com; ricksteves.com; intentionalretirement.com; bbqboy.net; ourbigfattraveladventure.com
What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Patti: Our #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019 is Porto, Portugal. Although, we're particularly worried about Porto becoming over touristed, it is one of our favorite cities in the world. With the Douro River Valley, and the Atlantic Ocean, the landscape is stunning. And, of course the port wine cellars on the Gaia side of the river are a huge destination attraction.
Porto is a city full of color and hills; hills that will test your endurance, which is a good thing as it allows one to walk off the delicious Portuguese pastry. While Lisbon is the more well-known destination, Porto is the city with charm, culture and the people are warm and inviting. And, the food! Porto has it all.
TA: What are the top 3 websites you use for research/inspiration when planning a trip?
Patti: Our #1 go to for information is Rick Steves, the man has the answers and information for pretty much any destination in Europe. What we appreciate about Rick is his honest opinions and his ability to keep it real.
When mapping out our travel routes, whether it be across Europe or across town, we use Rome2Rio. It's a fantastic site for mapping because you can type in your city of departure and your destination and it gives all the modes of transportation available and the length of time, cost, etc., for each route.
We also make good use of Booking.com. They often have properties listed that you can't find on other sites for lessor known areas. Also, what we appreciate is that only people who have stayed at a property can access the reviews. We also like the site's rating system.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Patti: While we definitely believe in doing our homework when it comes to safeguards for travel, (and yes, there are certain areas we would not travel to) too many people seemingly let fear dictate their plans. Yes, one should pay attention, but all too often travel advisories are based on specific incidents.
For example, the Paris bombings in 2015. It was horrifying, but such an event should not keep one from traveling to such a fabulous city. We've been to Paris several times and I don't remember a visit that didn't include a protest march passing by. It's the same for every large city. It's the same for our hometown, Washington, DC, which is another fabulous city that doesn't get the love it should because it is seen as a political hotbed.
Life is too short to give in to the hyped fear. Do your homework, talk to other travelers and then trust your gut.
TA: What is the most beautiful and affordable city you've ever visited? (Any specific locations people need to see there?)
Patti: There are so many to choose from, but I'm going to pick Ljubljana, Slovenia. Ljubljana is truly a small city that belongs on the pages of a fairy tale book. It is more picturesque than the imagination can imagine. The people are friendly, and the culture is charming. The city even has a dragon bridge, how fun is that?
The historic city center is a pedestrian promenade so there is no fighting traffic to explore the quaint streets. Stroll the avenues along the river that runs through the city, visit the pink cathedral, take the funicular to the castle and hike down following the trail. Take a free walking tour to glean a fascinating look at the history of Slovenia and the country's transition.
TA: What's something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Patti: There are a few things that make us crazy, but two of them stand out. The first is people who just can't seem to get themselves in to their seat on the plane, or train. They are seemingly unaware that there are others who would like to find their seats. Toss your carry-on stuff on your seat and then move aside so others can pass. It never fails that someone will just continue to block the aisle as if there is not another soul on the plane because they want to take off their jacket, neatly fold it and place it just so in the overhead bin.
Secondly, people who literally just stop in the middle of a sidewalk to check their map and figure out where they are. In larges cities people on the sidewalks move fast so those who just stop and block the way; it's extraordinarily inconsiderate. And, quite frankly, it targets them as tourists and they put themselves in the site of scammers and/or pickpockets.