Discover the Freedom to Travel!
Dick and Joanne Hartung – Thoburn Village
Looking out across the water Dick and Joanne were in awe as they approached the shoreline. This was the trip of a lifetime. They had always dreamed of experiencing the untouched beauty of the Galapagos Islands. Now, with careful planning, they are realizing their dreams. They have a long list of destinations and experiences that they hope to accomplish in the years ahead so when it came time to retire they searched diligently for a lifestyle choice where they had the freedom to just pick up and go. Since moving to Wesbury in 2003, they have begun to realize these dreams and have been to various places including trips to Australia, New Zealand and through the Panama Canal.
Everyone dreams about what they will do in retirement when they are able to shift their focus, from growing in a career or raising a family. It’s no surprise that seniors are the fastest growing demographic in the travel industry. The Meadville area offers many adventures for senior traveling such as trips sponsored by Wesbury, Active Aging, and even local television stations. While most are bus trips, some, like Wesbury’s previous adventures to Ireland, Nova Scotia and Alaska, require taking planes, trains or ships.
The Hartung’s schedule many of their trips through the not for profit trip provider, Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel). According to Dick, “They (Road Scholar) take you on excursions deep into an area so you may really experience the culture and destination. They avoid tourist traps and do not consider “going shopping” to be part of a travel package. Most trips are rated for difficulty so travelers can gauge what trip is best for them.” Group tours provide safety in numbers, prearranged excursions, trip insurance, baggage handling and prepaid gratuities. Leaving the details to the tour provider allows one to focus on the total enjoyment of the adventures chosen. The Hartung’s love the truly authentic experiences these trips offer and cherish the memories they create.
For many people, leaving their home unattended for an extended period of time can cause worry and inhibit their experience. Unfortunately some choose not to go away as they don’t feel secure without someone trusted to check on their home and pick up the mail. Others are deterred by the added cost if they must pay someone to take care of these things. “Living in a retirement community like Wesbury has many advantages for seniors who enjoy travel.” notes Dick, “Wesbury has security on campus every night; we relax knowing our home is safe, home maintenance chores are being done in our absence, mail is secure and someone is checking for any problems that may arise. If you forget to do something before you leave or have a concern while away, simply call and it’s taken care of.” Wesbury residents agree that these included benefits help to contribute to a truly, stress-free vacation. “We love that we can just pick up and go,” says Joanne, “this is exactly what we planned for.”