For the 50+ Traveler

Terri and James Vance started traveling in their 20s and never looked back. When they found an opportunity to move to Africa for their first overseas working/living adventure, they jumped at it and grabbed a one-way ticket to adventure. The experience humbled and educated them, imbuing a worldview that sustains them today. And it fueled their appetite for more. Now, over thirty years later, and hundreds of one-way tickets, they're experienced global nomads wandering the world...still lovin' it and still married! Be certain to see more about their travel adventures on their blog Gallivance.

Terri and James were kind enough to answer some of our questions below.

Local bounty: Picnicking in Kotor, Montenegro. Photo Courtesy of Terri and James Vance.

TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?

Terri and James*:* We've been traveling since the early 80s, and for us, the first bite of the travel bug was on the job. But it only took a brief glimpse outside the US to inspire us to see more.

TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?

Terri and James: From the beginning, we've always preferred independent travel. Even though it takes more work on our part, we enjoy the freedom and flexibility to determine our own itinerary and schedule. And don't get us wrong, we're huge believers in travel, so if organized tours and cruises gets folks out on the road that's a good thing.

TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?

Terri and James: We've taken a couple of round-the-world trips that were wonderful experiences. On the first RTW, we purchased our plane tickets in advance so our itinerary and schedule were set. However, the second trip was totally planned on the fly. And far and away, it was our favorite. Having the flexibility to stay longer (or leave early), and visit places on a whim was fabulous. Thankfully, technology has advanced so on-the-road planning is not only possible, but easy as well.

TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?

Terri and James: Easter Island has always been on our radar. The Rapa Nui's culture and their mysterious statues are intriguing and seeing them for ourselves continues to be on our list.

TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?

Terri and James: We're followers of the travel-light lifestyle, so what we take on every trip is important to us. In addition to our carefully considered clothing and multipurpose tech gear, we always take our "picnic kit." This tiny set of plastic plates and silverware enables us to sample food from the local market or have a salad on a park bench or in our hotel room.

TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?

Terri and James: Always travel with an open mind and sense of humor. At its very core, travel is about the wonders and novelty of new cultures, and there's no denying that a broader world view is better for everyone. But new experiences, perspectives, and ways of doing things may be outside your comfort zone, and can sometimes be disorienting and confusing. And one of the sure solutions to this stress is a sense of humor. Relax, smile, and cherish the fact that you're lucky enough to be able to see the world.

TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?

Terri and James: Bama: Kelly: Anita and Richard: Lex Cline:

Ancient Maya capital: Uxmal, Mexico. Photo Courtesy of Terri and James Vance.

TA: Where was the most unusual place you've ever stayed?

Terri and James: On safari in Kenya, our tent camp on the Masai Mara was one of our most unusual lodging options. The really fun part was when we wanted to leave the tent at night we had to wave down one of the roving Masai guards to escort us. There were no fences around this camp and we were just dinner on foot.

TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?

Terri and James: Sensational news stories about political problems, protests, and internal disputes sometimes convince travelers to avoid entire countries. Of course, some of this caution is warranted, and it's wise to do your homework to find out exactly what's going on. But knee-jerk reactions to news reports can mean missed opportunities for adventurous travelers.

TA: What's a travel scam travelers should be wary of?

Terri and James: Dishonest taxi drivers can spot a gullible tourist a mile away, and it happens all over the world. No matter where we travel, before we arrive we do a bit of online research (travel forums or sometimes wikitravel), to determine what a reasonable taxi fare is and any other local scams.

Learn more about Terri and James:

Visit their website Gallivance.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us!