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Adventure before dementia

October 2016

Travel is one of the most popular activities for our age group – how lucky we are compared with earlier generations.

But that said, travel is not easy for everyone and of course cost is always a major factor. But even when we can’t travel ourselves, or when we are in the planning stages, it is always good to read about what others are doing.

Today with websites such as Trip Advisor and numerous blogs and personal reports all over the internet, it should be easy to find out what we want. But in fact the sheer numbers of travel stories can be a problem; what information is reliable; what information has been sponsored by companies or people with vested interests;  how up to date is the information?

So we were pleased when we came across the website Adventure before Dementia.

jean and ian morrison

It has been written by Jean and Ian Morrison, a West Australian couple who decided they wanted to do some travelling before they became too old and decrepit.   As Jean says, who knows what is laying around the corner for us to deal with regarding health issues.

The problem was they couldn’t really afford organised tours. They didn’t want to be involved in big groups of people they didn’t know, and tours all seemed so expensive. They also found it difficult to find the small details on what they call the nitty gritty aspects of travel...all the things such as how to buy tickets or what the toilets are like that you need to know but can be hard to track down.

As they loved trains, they decided to start their travels with a number of independent train journeys and because they had problems sorting it all out, they decided to put together a web account of their personal stories to help other travellers learn from their experiences.

Now their site Adventure before Dementia is up, running and full of fabulous details re their train trips that can be hard to find elsewhere. At the moment they have included details of trips across Australia, across Russia, Bhutan, Tibet and the Himalayas, plus to Tasmania and Norfolk Island off Australia and the information they have included is useful for anyone planning to visit these regions whatever type of holiday they are on.

For instance, the site gives detailed information about travelling by train between St Petersburg and Moscow; and a suggested itinerary for visiting Bhutan.

If you follow the Bhutan section Jean and Ian give precise day to day information of their trip such as the really hot showers at the hotel Zangton Pelri, and how Jean’s fears on reaching Tiger’s Nest on the back of a horse were fairly unfounded.

In Llasa in Tibet it was fascinating they saw very young kids coming out of school and being met by parents at 8.45pm at night.

On the Russian trip there is similar attention to tiny details that make the whole blog so readable. Lovely they were willing to admit they had booked a hotel at Vladivostok through the online Hotel Advisor website but when they got there it no longer existed! Also they reached the ticket office for the train and found there were heaps of ticket office windows and they hadn’t got a clue what to do! In fact they said they stood there for ages looking helpless before assistance was found in a group of Asian youngsters.  Despite the fact that there was only one person ahead of them in the queue, they said it still took an hour to obtain their tickets.

And so the chat and the information goes on throughout their blog.  In typical Laterlife style, we contacted the couple of Perth, Western Australia, to check the facts etc before we mentioned their site here, and it sounds like they have lots more adventures up their sleeve.  Let’s hope their detailed reporting continues.

 If you know of any readable and informative travel blogs for our age group, do let us know.


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