Saturday, July 20, 2024

Solo senior travel

In many ways, Graham Macgregor is not your typical solo traveller, says travel writer Sarah Pollock in an article published in the NZ Herald and online. He loves arriving in cities without a plan, staying in hostels, experiencing new cultures and chatting with strangers along the way.

There’s just one small detail that sets the Tauranga resident apart in the hostel kitchen or airline queue – his age. At 75, most people have settled into retirement, a season of midday movies and tea with friends. But for Macgregor, who retired from Tauranga City Council 11 years ago, it’s prime time to travel solo around the world, according to excerpts from the article.

“Once the house mortgage was paid off and I started to save money, I thought ‘I’ve wanted to travel but I don’t have much money’,” he said.

The solution? Signing up to Camp America for a summer work-experience programme based in the US.

Typically staffed by travellers in their 20s, Macgregor was by far the oldest volunteer but that didn’t stop him from spending nine summers in the US, working at the camp and using downtime and days off to travel around.

Twenty years later, Macgregor continues to take the world by storm, silver-haired and solo. In fact, he recently returned from an eight-week trip around the US.

“The first two weeks were planned, the other six weeks were ‘where do I want to go, where do I stay, how will I get there?’,” he explained.

Related: Advice on travelling overseas and your New Zealand Superannuation  

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