Wandering Rose Travels is the blog of two baby boomers, living the dream of exploring the world and being active outdoors. Libby and Martin hope that their journeys inspire others to seize the day and find their own ways to be active and explore. Through the blog they share their (mis)adventures, plus travel tips and ways to stay safe and healthy on the road.
Libby and Martin were kind enough to answer our questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Libby & Martin: Always! While raising our kids we traveled a lot as a family. Libby and I are in our early 60s; we left our careers a bit early to maximize our travel while we could be active. We hope to bike, hike, and paddle our way through many journeys before we “wear out.” Our children are super active travelers and quite adventuresome. They inspire us to be spontaneous and experience things as the locals do.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Libby & Martin: We focus on active travel…at least active for two baby boomers. We’re not jumping out of airplanes or biking 100 miles daily, but we attempt to include hiking, biking, and paddling in our trip plans. Even when we stay in cities, we seek walking or biking as the preferred way to tour. We also enjoy history and immersing in local culture.
TA: What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Libby & Martin: The British Virgin Islands. We rarely go back to a place twice, but the BVI is an exception. It is truly our travel “happy place.” We’ve been five times — twice on a sailboat and three times staying on land. We can dive, snorkel, and boat from dawn to dusk. We’re always impressed with the “belongers” (their term for citizenship) and enjoy mingling and hearing their stories.
TA: What’s one place you’ve always wanted to visit?
Libby & Martin: There’s no one magic place we are longing to visit. Rather, we’ve long aspired to spend several months exploring a destination and really immersing in the local culture. When we worked, that was impossible. We’re hoping to make that happen in the coming year.
TA: What’s one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Libby & Martin: Travel power strip with both AC and USB outlets. Finding even a single empty outlet in a hotel can be challenging. And we travel with lots of electronics that need charging at night.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Libby & Martin: Things are going to happen when you travel that are beyond your control. We try to relax when we travel and embrace the journey, even if it takes us places we did not expect. As long as your life is not in danger, just roll with it, embrace it and keep moving. Some of our favorite travel experiences were happy accidents.
TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
TA: What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Libby & Martin: Yellowstone National Park in the winter and stay in the park! Mammoth Hot Springs is closed for renovation during the 2018-19 winter season, but you can stay in nearby towns. You can drive to the Lamar Valley area to spot all different kinds of wildlife, and visit the hot springs. The hotel was steeped in history when we stayed there, but the heating and other things were quirky so the renovation is due. After exploring the Mammoth Hot Springs end of the park, cross to the Old Faithful side to enjoy the wonder of the geyser basin. We stayed in the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Cross country ski, snowshoe, learn about the fascinating ecosystem of the park and of course enjoy more wildlife in that area. We were in total wonderment the entire trip, from the science, to the history, to nature and of course the physical activity; our choice was snowshoeing. There are no crowds in winter. The folks who work winter in Yellowstone are hardy souls and they love the park! We struck out on our own snowshoeing one morning, following the Firehole River. We saw just a couple of cross country skiers, otherwise it was us and the beauty and quiet of the river and the woods that surrounded us. We did come upon bison warming themselves near a thermal pool by our trail and had to backtrack, but that just added to the awe of our day! Yellowstone National Park in the winter was as much a spiritual trip that touched our soul as it was an adventure!
TA: What are the top 3 websites you use for research/inspiration when planning a trip?
TA: Do you have any good airport or flight hacks for people traveling by plane?
Libby & Martin: Invest $85 for five years of TSA PreCheck or $100 for Global Entry. TSA PreCheck provides expedited security benefits for flights departing most U.S. airports, including leaving on your shoes, belts, and light outerwear. Plus, you don’t have to remove laptops, tablets, or liquids in most cases. Global Entry has the benefits of TSA PreCheck plus expedited Customs screening for international passengers entering the U.S.
TA: What is the best piece of travel advice you’ve ever been given?
Libby & Martin: Don’t wait for retirement to travel. That advice came from Martin’s dad. He saved too many bucket list travel destinations for post-retirement and found that health, agility, and confidence became issues as a senior traveler that he would not have faced even just a few years earlier. So take dad’s advice: Do all the active travel you can afford before retirement (so we retired early to live out this advice).
TA: What’s a travel scam travelers should be wary of?
Libby & Martin: We’ve been warned of pickpockets in Europe, but have been smart and lucky and we haven’t had a problem yet.
Taxi cabs! Our small group had to split and flag two cabs, (unbeknownst to the drivers) and one took the short route and one the long way to the same place and yes one cost a lot more!
TA: What was the most romantic place you ever visited with a partner?
Libby & Martin: The Greek Isles. We first visited the Greek Isles via cruise ship. It was a good introduction but of course we were always there with the cruise ship mobs. A year later we returned on our own, staying several days on Santorini and Rhodes and had an amazing time, including overnighting on a boat.