I’m a Baby Boomer. Not a senior yet, but definitely in mid-life… and loving it. The text clip above? Well, I had just finished my follow-up exam from my orthopedic trauma surgeon (Yikes! Read how I survived my nearly fatal car crash in South Africa!) and was waiting in line at the reception counter to check out. I got bored and opened the file the doctor had given me to take upfront. I saw the line above and my face split in a grin from ear to ear.
“Look what he wrote!” I said to the receptionist. “Go ahead and take it,” she said, smiling. I tried to give a tip with my co-pay, but apparently that was frowned upon in that establishment.
In some ways, I’m not so different from other “boomer women” – we’re healthy, active women; we make 75% of the travel decisions for our households; we are empty-nesters who have the freedom, discretionary income, and inclination to travel.
We rock. We seek adventure, savor local cuisine, explore historically significant sites, pamper ourselves at spas, love walking on the beach, and enjoy engaging with locals. We sometimes travel solo, other times with family, friends, or significant other. We don’t stay in hostels but we do eat street food. We’re livin’ la vida loca, baby!
I’m a little different in that I’m more of an adrenaline junkie than most other boomers. If there’s an adventure to be had, I’ll find it.
In fact, TripAdvisor hailed me as one of the “20 Baby Boomers Having More Fun Than Millennials!”
It’s all about lifestyle. I’ve traveled to most of the United States, around 60 countries and islands, and 6 continents. To see where I’ve been, hover your mouse on the “Go Here” tab above and select the location that interests you. The funny thing is, every time I take a destination or activity off my bucket list, I seem to add two new ones. I’m so pumped about my travel schedule!
Don’t hate me. I live a charmed life.
“I want your life!” people say to me. They could have it if they wanted it, if they were willing to do the things I’ve done to get here. It’s not brain surgery, but I’ve worked dang hard to get to my dreamy life.
My life’s motto is “Above all, life should be fun!” Fun doesn’t just happen – you have to make it happen.
Here’s how I made it happen.
1. I’m not one of those sell-everything-and-travel-the-world-with-just-a-backpack types. More power to them, but I like coming home to my really nice house that I own by myself, hanging out with my large group of friends, and spending time with my sweet man and photographer, Kary Kern.
And I like to stay connected to my two amazing kids, now in their 20’s and no longer live at home, but within a relatively short drive.
2. I was a lobbyist for 10 years. It’s true, politics is like watching sausages being made…you really don’t want to know what’s in it. But I was successful. My picture was on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and I won the “Unsung Hero Award” which came with a $25k check. Yeah, one of those giant photo-op ones.
There are a lot of different ways to travel and write – none of them right or wrong, this way is just right for me. I don’t want to be a full-time digital nomad, but I’m thinking about living in a foreign country for 3 months of the year.
3. Around 2011, it occurred to me that I might be able to fund my wanderlust by combining my two loves: travel and writing. Seriously, it was the proverbial light bulb over my head. I’d already been published in several magazines revolving around my political activism, so I thought, “Why not try to get published writing something people actually want to read?” I did a bit of online research and went to a travel writer’s workshop, and submitted my first story to International Living Magazine. And they accepted it! (Since then, I’ve had over 150 bylines in over 40 print and online publications, including about two dozen for International Living — here is a list/links to my International Living articles.)
4. I thought, “I’m on to something!” and began to take online courses and hone my craft.
5. I began writing for a series of publications, some paid while others gave me the exposure I needed to get perks, FAM trips, and self-guided press trips. I was featured on the cover of The Barefoot Writer magazine. To see where I’ve been published, click on the “Bylines” tab above.
6. I spent the next couple of years gaining bylines with a lot of print and online publications and then started blogging in 2013. I really love blogging because I get to use “my voice” instead of adhering to specific editorial guidelines.
7. I have spoken at several writer’s conferences. I love helping other aspiring travel writers find their mojo.
8. I wrote an e-book called “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone. You can get it for free right now when you sign up for my mailing list (you should see the popup soon!).
9. I’m very active on Facebook, but I use my personal profile to post travel stuff, not a “fan” page. It was a difficult decision, but anyone who is my “friend” can see my travel posts. Now that Facebook has changed it algorithms, only about 5% of people who “liked” your page will see your post unless you pay to “boost” it. I think I’m better off with my 4900 friends seeing my posts….but I’ve almost reached the 5,000 limit that Facbook restricts, so I may have to re-think this soon.
I’ve already won numerous awards for my blogging:
Best Female Blogs to Follow in 2016 (Credit Donkey)
Top 50+ Travel Blogs to Follow (Hello Travel)
24 Baby Boomer Travel Experts Reveal their Favourite 3 Destinations (Faces & Places)
Top 5 Mexico Travel Blogs (Asher Ferguson)
Twipper of the Week (TWIP: Travel With Interesting People)
Movers & Shakers (TravMedia)
Sisterhood of the World Bloggers (Nomad Women)
Media Maniac (Women’s Toolbox)
So that’s how I roll.
“Where’s your favorite place?” people ask me, all the time. “That’s like asking me which of my children I love best,” I say.
But I’ll let you in on a secret…. my favorite place… is always the one I’m going to next. That’s the one I’m most excited about.
Want more Baby Boomer inspiration? Check out these Baby Boomer Travel Trends!
Patti has over 100 bylines featured in:
- NATJA (North American Travel Journalists Association)
- ITWA (International Travel Writers Alliance)
- ITWPA (International Travel Writers Professional Assoc.)
- US Press Association
- PTBA (Professional Travel Bloggers Association)
- AWAI (American Writers and Artists, Inc.)
You can also follow my adventures on: