Hello fellow Empty Nester! How was your May? Mine? Exhausting, honestly. My husband and I had one graduate from college, and a second (and our last of 4 kids) graduate from high school. Happy tears. Sad tears. And Now What?
The Empty Nester Challenge
So, I’m not a psychologist. I just play one on TV. But even without that degree, I think I can take a stab at what it’s like to be an Empty Nester. It’s WEIRD. How’s that for fancy terminology? But let’s just call a spade a spade. It’s WEIRD. Regardless whether you have been a stay-at-home parent or a fully employed outside the home parent, kids take up a TON of time. Parenting is a full-time job.
And when the kids are out of the house, whether it’s just off to college, or living on their own, I think most empty nester parents kind of look at each other and go, “Oh hi other person I have been living with for a while. Maybe I should reintroduce myself now. And…what are we going to do with all this extra time now. And what are we going to TALK about???” Sound familiar at all?
Here’s one way to tackle that weird moment in life. Travel.
Empty Nester Travel
Get out of the Rut!
Why travel? Well, lots of reasons. First, all of us get in a rut. We eat at the same restaurants. We watch the same TV shows. Our routines around the house are the same day in and day out. But travel shakes all of that up for us. New places mean new restaurants. New sites to see. It’s almost impossible to adhere to a routine while traveling. And that’s kind of awesome!
Have an Actual Conversation!
Another reason to travel as an empty nester? The opportunity for conversation. And not about the kids! Travel opens up a whole new world of subjects to discuss together. Like we tell our kids, put down the cell phone and have a conversation. A real conversations! Doesn’t that sound novel and kind of dreamy???
Reconnect with other Couples!
Empty Nester travel is a great way to reconnect with other couples! Trust me, they are dying to have a conversation with other adults too. The secret to a good couples’ trip is to make sure there’s at least one activity that everyone in the group will enjoy. If the boys want to golf in the morning while the girls want to spa…fine. Meet up in the afternoon for a group activity. Then spend the rest of the day together. Every second does not have to be mandatory together time.
Interviews: Ideal Travel
Recently, I enjoyed several conversations with Curious Cowgirl followers. Some are clients of mine, and others simply read my Blog fairly regularly. All are empty nesters, or REALLY close to being empty nesters. I asked each of them to describe their perfect trip. Talk about wildly different answers!
One answered that her perfect trip allowed for toes in the sand, and nothing else on the agenda. Maybe a teensy bit of exercise, but basically sand and fancy drinks in pineapples with little umbrellas peeking out. Made perfect sense to me. We are all TIRED!
Another answered that her perfect trip included travel to new destinations with multiple site-seeing and cultural opportunities. Museums, history, theater and different languages. Again, this answer made perfect sense to me. Break out of the old routine and flex that large muscle, also known as the brain!
A third interviewee had a different take on empty nester travel. She said her ideal trip would include her grown daughter. Not that she didn’t like her spouse, but she was looking forward to getting to know her daughter as an adult. Trading the old chicken fingers basket for a glass of rose. Solid choice my friend!
Bottom line: empty nester travel can take many many forms. None of them are wrong, and all of them come with the guarantee of ushering in a new chapter of life with new vistas, new conversations, and renewed energy for what comes next.
What’s the best way to get this Empty Nester Ball Rolling???? I’ve got a few suggestions:
- Subscribe to my Blog by clicking here. You will receive all my Blog posts directly in your InBox. I write every single Blog post with Empty Nesters in mind. Travel in the US and in Europe. Every single Blog post may not relate to you specifically…but a LOT of them will, that’s a promise!
- Follow me on Facebook by clicking here. On my Facebook Page, I post many excellent Travel articles from other Travel Bloggers and sources like Travel & Leisure. I have not been everywhere (but it’s on my list) so I like to share with my Facebook followers great travel information about places I’d like to go too.
- Follow me on Instagram. I am very active on Instagram Stories when I travel, so you really get a feel for the places Will and I go. My handle is @thecuriouscowgirl
OK Empty Nesters! It’s going to be fine! Put away the school backpacks, dust off the rolling suitcases, and let’s get after it! It’s our time now!!!!
Tags: Domestic Travel | Empty Nester Travel | Travel Challenges
Great post, Mary! Sharing!
Oh Cathy, thank you!!!!!