About

Why Generation X?

Much of my reason for starting GenXTraveler was my frustration with being between 35 and retirement age but only finding travel sites for 20-somethings and retirees. I was looking for travel sites that spoke to me. I was sure I couldn’t be the only Gen Xer traveling or the only one looking to connect with other Gen X travelers. I kept asking myself: ‘If everything is written by and for care-free 20-year-olds and retirees with time and money, where does that leave my generation?’.

Gen X Travelers, we are not alone! You’ve found a place on the internet (and IRL) for people like us.

Hopefully, GenXTraveler inspires you to get out and see the world without delay!! No matter your situation, I hope you will find a means to travel and do all the things you’ve always wished you’d do.

 

Who is Generation X?

Circa 1986

This is the generation born between 1965 and 1980-ish. We are fiercely independent probably due to being the “latch-key generation.” We grew up with one foot in the analog age and the other in the digital revolution. We were the first generation where divorce was more the rule than the exception to it. We were raised on MTV and microwave dinners. We came of age listening to New Wave and Grunge.

Sadly, we have been almost entirely overlooked. Sandwiched between Baby Boomers and Millennials, we are the “middle child” of generations. But our time has come. Nearly, the entire generation is now age 40 and over. We will soon overtake the Baby Boomers in numbers and buying power.

Gen X is coming into our own and we are a force to be reckoned with!!

Who is the Gen X Traveler??

Hi! I’m Susan aka the Gen X Traveler. I have to admit, I am on the older end of the Gen X spectrum but by all definitions, I am part of the MTV crowd.

I suppose I’ve always had a bit of wanderlust. I recall seeing pictures of the crystal blue waters of Bora Bora and thinking ‘I want to go there one day!’ I remember learning about the ancient Egyptians and being fascinated. I thought, how cool would it be to see the pyramids?Pyramids

But like so many from our generation, this was something that might happen after doing all the things I was “supposed to do; you know, after getting ‘established’. Well, life has a way of throwing us curve balls.

At 29 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Once I realized the diagnosis didn’t mean my life was over, it became a great motivator to live my life to the fullest.

My husband Bill and I decide to leave the area where we grew up and moved to the beach. I went back to school and got my Master’s Degree because there was no guarantee this would always be an option. All my life I had believed triathletes were the true athletes. So, with my doctor’s permission, I decided to sign up for a triathlon!

Then in 2004, at the age of 39, I thought my disease had taken me out of the game altogether. I began having non-stop tremors and muscle spasms. I needed a cane to walk. Even grocery shopping became a major accomplishment. At this point finding a way to get well was my full-time job.

At the recommendation of my doctor, I began exercising. At first, it was all I could do. I would lay in yoga classes and cry because my body wouldn’t perform. Over time, I got stronger and my health began to turn around. Thankfully it did because I was going to need my strength.

Virgin Skydiver

Abruptly in 2008, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. She never smoked and generally took care of herself. Both her parents were still alive and nearing 90 years old. She wasn’t a likely candidate for cancer. She died less than a year after her diagnosis. She was 65 years old.

Mom – 2007

My mother was a traveler. Because of her early death, she didn’t get to do enough of it.

This was another pivotal point in my life.

Shortly, after my mother’s death, I took my first trip overseas. Solo. In 2011 I went to Egypt while the country was in the midst of their Arab Spring. Once I did that, I felt I could go nearly anywhere. And, I got to see those pyramids, I had all but given up hope of ever seeing. Since that trip, I haven’t stopped traveling.

Prior to that trip, most of my travel had been in North America. I didn’t even have a passport! Now I’ve visited 20 countries and counting.  When I travel, I feel like I am honoring my mother’s memory. Churches especially remind me of her. And I imagine if there is life after death, how thrilled she is that I caught her travel bug.

Health issues (mine and others) and adversities have been significant motivators for me (it doesn’t have to be for you). No matter what your situation today, there will come a day when you become limited by something. Don’t wait for that day and then wish you had taken more risks or seen the world. Today is the day to live your adventure!!

 

If you are looking for reassurances that you are not the only Gen Xer traveling or are looking for ways to work travel into your life, I suggest you sign up for my email newsletter. I promise not to flood your inbox with a bunch of “junk” or sell your information. 

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