Happy Spring... time to start planning those Summer Vacations. :-)
Maybe you're thinking about heading to the lake like every other year... but maybe it's time for a something different. If a little adventure is your goal, consider the following possibilities.
Create Your Own Adventure. Hostelling International USA offers over 50 locations across the country, many in converted mansions, reinvented lighthouses, and historic urban buildings. In addition to very reasonable prices and interesting locations, you may meet other guests from over 100 different countries.
Adventures for Mature Travelers. Prefer to travel in a small group of active peers? Check out ElderTreks, worldwide adventures for the 50+ crowd (and their 18-50 companions). Prefer a single or couple trip? Check out the Evergreen B&B Club for adults age 50+. Club membership gives you access to over 2000 sites in the US and Canada at the price of $20/night for two, $15/one, including breakfast.
Respite Adventures for Family Caregivers. If you're a family caregiver, you probably realize how much a few days away would benefit you and your loved one. Recognizing the value of respite, Road Scholar, a not-for-profit travel organization, offers Caregiver Grants which provide all but $100 of any trip of $1400 or less.
Adventures for People with Special Needs. If you or a loved one has special needs, it can sometimes be a challenge to find vacations that meet those needs. If so, check out Vacation Destinations for Individuals with Special Needs which lists 32 user-friendly beaches, historic sites, theme parks, tours/programs, nature sites, and museums. If you're caring for a loved one with dementia, you may find that two British organizations, Tourism for All and Dementia Adventure, offer everything that you could wish for. Finally, if you're staying local, check out SPARK! (Cultural Programming for People with Memory Loss) provided by 14 museums in the Milwaukee area.
Bottom line.... We all benefit from time away from our daily routine... whether it's a day, weekend, or two-week overseas adventure. Be brave. Start planning yours today. Add some sparkle to your life!
After the age of 25, our memory speed and accuracy start to slip. Aghhhh! That fact alone often produces anxiety in the adult population, especially those over the age of 40... the age at which the U.S. Department of Labor starts to identify workers as "older adults" (emphasis added).
Recent research in brain development, however, indicates that memory "decline" is not the beginning of the end but an indication of cognitive growth. This theory is supported by German researchers who have concluded that slower memory responses reflect increased knowledge. They reason that because knowledge increases with experience and experience increases with age, aging brains just have a whole lot more information to sort through. Read more here.
Dr. Goldberg, a neuroscientist at New York University, expands further on the role of experience. He suggests that that experience helps to develop highly-refined pattern recognition skills. These skills allow us to speed up the problem-solving process when making decisions, resulting in actions that we "just know" are right.
That "just knowing," along with reflection and compassion, is often correlated with wisdom... a quality that many of us strive for as we age. We also seek it in our leaders, hoping that their wisdom will guide us through the challenges that we face together.
So the next time your memory fails to perform at warp speed, don't panic! There's a good chance that you're in the process of trading quick memory for a more mature and wiser mind.