How Do You Combat Feeling “Too Old” When Traveling Solo in Your 30s?

Recently, a woman shared her experience about feeling “too old” as a solo traveler, and for the sake of her story, we will call her Emma. Emma started traveling solo when she turned 30, and even back then, she noticed a considerable age gap between herself and most travelers in their early 20s. 

She felt like they thought she was “too old and boring,” so they didn’t talk much to her or invite her to group activities. This made her feel like she couldn’t relate to people much younger than her and didn’t know what to talk about to keep a conversation going for more than two minutes.

Now at 33, Emma is on a new solo trip for the next five months, but she is finding it hard to enjoy because she constantly feels reminded about how old she is. She can’t help but feel like she should be doing something more “appropriate” for other people her age.

Emma acknowledges that many of these thoughts are likely just in her head, or do to social pressures. However, she wonders if people really do think she needs to be younger for solo traveling.

At times, she meets people on her travels who are even older than she is but still seem like they can relate to younger travelers and socialize well with them. She wants to be like this!

Emma believes that it may not be an age thing, but rather that her insecurities are due to her lack of social skills, as she is on the autism spectrum and struggles with socializing in general. After she asked for opinions, here were the online responses for how others combat feeling “old” when traveling solo.

Stay at Hotels, Not Hostels

One person responded with advice that they were a 41-year-old woman, who travels solo. “I couldn’t even fathom staying at a hostel, though, because it sounds like I would be a fish out of water.” So she stays at hotels and meets people on day trips when she travels. “It helped me, and it might help you too.”

Stop Seeing Yourself as Old

Someone else chimed in that the issue is in her head and that Emma is seeing herself as old.

“Do you say you can’t relate or carry on a conversation for more than two minutes?” Probably not. “Then you’re in the same place! Most tourists during the day are doing similar things: walking around, looking at things, and, at some point, eating.”

They continued that you should talk to other travelers and “share and compare thoughts” about the next day’s happenings. Sometimes it creates an opportunity to enjoy things together.

Finally, the person giving advice confirmed that they were 35 now and had been traveling for nearly five years full-time. This person has met, made friends, and toured with everyone and every age. “I’ve crossed a Guatemala mountain with an 18-year-old Australian and a Mexican wine region on foot with a 73-year-old Swiss woman.

You’re not going to connect with everyone, and that’s normal. Still, age shouldn’t be a limitation when making friends and sharing connections.”

30 Is Young!

“I’m 29, and people around me are freaking out over their 30’s. I’m young enough still, and it is just about how much weight you put on it. Just chill out, do your thang, and accept that this is life!”

This user explained recently that they had just returned from a month long solo trip in Thailand and felt they were older than many of the people in hostels. Still, they also made friends with a 59-year-old and hung out all night with a man in his 60s at a bar. “Good souls will gravitate towards each other…you know.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Don’t Hold Yourself Back

You’re never too old to travel. Age is nothing but a number. If you’re open, you can meet and make friends of all ages. Don’t hold yourself back by something you think you should or shouldn’t be doing because of your age.

This article was inspired by a thread

This article was produced and syndicated by The Happiness Function.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock.

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