My father has always been the kind to travel to distant places within the country, places that usually involve a lot of (what seems to me unnecessarily) walking.
In the earliest memories that I have of him and his travels, he would disappear for days in the end (at least that is what it felt like to my 10 year old self) and come back, looking different, browner. He would tell us stories of walking a number of kilometers to reach the top of a glacier, or a temple at the end of everything. It all seemed like a fairy tale, visiting places so out of reach. I could always envision my dad walking in snow, reaching the top of a mountain, seeing the world from there.
The travel stories that he had were not all unicorns and rainbows, though. Often there would be stories of narrowly missing a landslide or of a bus falling off the cliff, or of other less dramatic, but equally severe accidents. All that time, all my father could think of was reaching to the end of the path. It was a feeling of accomplishment for him.
Because I was growing up with a man like that, once a year holiday vacations were part of our lives – it was not a novelty for us, but rather, something we took for granted. It was never a question of “Will we this year?”, but rather of “Where are we going this time?”
20 years later, all of the travels have faded away. My once trek-loving dad is a senior citizen, and now has severe arthritis that makes climbing one flight of stairs an ordeal. The family tradition faded since he lost the confidence to explore new places, not knowing if he will be able t make that walk. So our ritual faded to once in 2 years, and recently, stopped altogether.
This year, 2018, my sister and I thought of visiting Himachal, taking the time from work (since we haven’t been there before). We floated the idea past my father, whose initial reaction was, “no, I can’t walk so much anymore.” We somehow convinced him to say yes –“we will arrange for everything, we just need you to say yes.” Finally, he did.
Now that he has seen us booking tickets, hotel rooms, buses, and planning the itinerary, he is not only convinced, but it is the only thing he can talk about. His current concerns are more to do with “do I get senior citizens’ discounts everywhere?”, “will we see the mountain range from the hotel window?”, “make sure I get a window seat on the flight!” and so on.
We are lucky to be here to make arrangements and to make sure that he does not have to worry. We are in the same city, taking time off of work, to be able to give him what he loves the most.
It has plagued us to figure out what to do each year. Long absence from work isn’t possible, year on year. Taking time off if you are in a different city can be difficult to work with. That is where senior travel options help. It feels good to know that my dad can live his dream and not have to worry about anything, whether I am there or not. TriBeCa Travels does exactly that, helps seniors like my father live their dream of visiting new places, without concerns – he can learn to live his passion with his ailments.
Get in touch with TriBeCa Care to know more on how to gift your senior loved ones their dream of traveling.