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7 Great Places to Travel for Personal Growth in Your Later Years

Personal growth is a lifelong process and pursuit that occurs even in retirement.

You can achieve this growth in a variety of ways, but it may be especially advantageous for retirees to travel to find this growth.

It provides plenty of benefits, if you are a retiree, one way to pursue personal growth is to travel. Traveling provides a variety of benefits, including: 

  • Maintaining a sense of purpose in your life; 
  • Introducing you to new languages, cultures, and people; 
  • Providing a sense of adventure in your life.

When traveling as an older adult, there are certain considerations, such as accessibility, that you’ll need to incorporate into your plans. Even with such considerations, there are a variety of inspiring travel destinations that can provide valuable experiences for people later in life. 



Italy is a country full of ancient ruins, religious sites, incredible food, and more importantly personal growth for all that visit. Specifically, the capital city of Rome offers a variety of experiences for retirees. 

If you are religious, you can tour religious sites across the city of Rome including: 

Travelers who are passionate about history can tour the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon. The truth is, even walking around the city of Rome is a history lesson. Learning more about history can inspire reflection in your own life, and can inform your future decisions. 



Like Italy, Greece has plenty of history and food for anyone interested in a Mediterranean lifestyle and cuisine. Greece is a country with a long history of philosophical thinking. Perhaps visiting the homeland of philosophers such as Plato can inspire deeper thinking and philosophical exploration in your life. 

In the capital city of Athens, there is a long list of historical sites and museums to visit — many of which are accessible to those with limited mobility. For example, the Acropolis of Athens offers an elevator up the hill, as well as more accessible walking routes to view the ancient site. 

Beyond the capital city, visitors to Greece can take ferries from Athens to neighboring islands such as Santorini, Paros, Naxos, and Mykonos. 


South Africa

Connecting to Mother Nature, and the animals we share our planet with is an opportunity to grow through reflection and considering other perspectives. Spending time outside of the city allows for the quiet time that is often necessary for personal growth. 

Visitors to South Africa have a chance to see some of the most extraordinary creatures on the planet up close on safaris and guided tours. 

Visitors to Kruger National Park can go on hikes and walks, or drive to see big game. Beyond Kruger, South Africa has 19 national parks to explore, as well as a vast amount of game preserves. 


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One way to grow as a person is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you are not a person who has spent much time on outdoor adventures, then going to Alaska and experiencing the natural wonders there may facilitate personal growth. 

If you are looking for an Alaska adventure that requires minimal planning, or if you have limited mobility, then exploring your options for an Alaska cruise may be the best choice. 



Spain is home to beautiful cathedrals, warm weather, and welcoming locals. Spain is also home to the El Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage that many people from all walks of life have undertaken for religious or spiritual purposes. You too can follow in their footsteps for personal development — plus you’ll get plenty of steps in that will benefit your physical health!

Some popular destinations in Spain include the capital city of Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla. Each destination offers different museums, palaces, ruins, and cathedrals that will keep any history or architecture enthusiast busy for weeks. 



Hawai’i is home to extraordinary beaches, delicious food, and beautiful cultural practices that may benefit your own personal growth. 

Those interested in learning about how Hawai’i became a part of the United States can visit Iolani Palace and other museums in the capital of Honolulu. If you want to see more of Hawai’i’s natural beauty, then Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park may interest you. 

Additionally, visitors to the islands can learn more about Hawaiian culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center. At the center, you can learn about the cultures of six island nations in the Pacific. 



If you are interested in personal growth through Buddhism and meditation practices, you can visit temples, take classes in different meditation techniques, and visit sacred sites in Thailand. 

You can also explore the urban center of Bangkok, eat Thai food and buy goods at floating markets, and visit elephant sanctuaries. 


Covering the Cost of Travel in Retirement

While travel is a worthwhile investment in personal growth, there’s no denying that the costs associated with travel are high. If you want to travel the globe in retirement, but are worried about the costs, there are several ways you can maximize your travel fund — sometimes even getting travel expenses for free


Passive Income

Passive income is money that comes to you with minimal daily effort. If you want to travel, but are worried about the cost, then setting up passive income streams is a solution. Possible options for passive income include: 

  • Real estate investments: While some real estate investments are very active, involving buying, renovating, renting, and managing properties, that isn’t the only option. If you are interested in a more passive real estate investment, you can earn money through real estate investment funds managed by large firms. 
  • Stock market investments: If you aren’t interested in becoming a stock market expert in retirement, that’s alright. Some financial advisors can manage your investment portfolio and bring in passive income
  • Digital products: As an older adult, you probably have expert experience and knowledge in your chosen field. You can create videos, ebooks, and other digital products that can be sold online without constant involvement from you. 

Each of these options may take some time to set up in the beginning, but in the long term, you won’t have to do much to keep the work up. By setting up a passive income stream now, you can continue to grow your travel funds as you travel the globe. 


Temporary Work

Temporary and part-time work can help retirees to take life-changing trips without breaking the bank. If you are a retiring healthcare professional, some temporary work opportunities include: 

  • Medical surveys: Websites across the internet are looking for the expert opinions of medical professionals, and they are willing to pay for your time. 
  • Locum tenens: Temporary positions open up at hospitals and medical facilities all the time. A locum tenens can fill these interim roles to increase their earnings in retirement. 

These opportunities allow retirees to bring in additional income between trips. The earnings from these temporary and part-time jobs can also cover other living expenses beyond your travels. 


Travel-Friendly Credit Cards

There are many ways that travel-friendly credit cards can help you travel the world. 

Certain travel-friendly credit points will allow users to earn travel points or miles by simply using the card. You can also access other perks such as travel insurance, sign-up bonuses, and exclusive deals. 


Travel Search Engines

Travel search engines are sites that allow users to search for flights between specific locations on different dates. Using travel search engines can show you the competing prices of different airlines and help you find the best airfare deals

Traveling the world in retirement offers you a chance to learn about other cultures and grow as a person. By taking advantage of the resources available to you, you can fund your travels and reach your goals throughout your retirement years.



Is there a location that is so good for travel that you would go there again and again?

-Jorge Sanchez, MD


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