My parents were elderhostlers and shared their love of travel with their grandchildren

My parents were elderhostlers and shared their love of travel with their grandchildren


scan0001

Elderhostel is a not-for-profit organization established in 1975 which offers senior citizens travel and educational programs in the U.S.  and around the world. Its 8,000 programs are offered in all 50 U.S. states, as well as in 150 other countries. More than 5,000,000 people have signed up for trips.  My parents and in particular, my dad, were big advocates for this program.  They traveled together on these adventures as well as bringing along grandchildren when the grandkids were old enough to travel.  My girls have special memories of time with Grandpa on these trips usually in the summer and often they traveled with another cousin – a cousin they only saw at holiday time or special occasions so this was a chance to bring the extended family together in an educational and entertaining way. The story I hear is that Grandpa was quite the flirt on these trips as the retired women outnumbered the retired men almost every time.  My special memory is the trip my Mom was able to travel with my Dad to Costa Rica and they counted monkeys for a research project while delivering school supplies to children living in the jungle.  After my father died, I found a little yellow piece of paper in his wallet that listed all the Elderhostel trips and dates he took in his lifetime.  I guess he kept it to remind himself of the experience and for quick access if he needed to remember a certain date or trip.

Below is the list from the slip of paper (front).  From 1991 to 2006 included over 45 trips to learn about a topic, explore a region, and enjoy time with each other and family.  I come from a long line of pastors, educators, and volunteers as well as parents with the travel bug.  My children have inherited it too, most probably from these early adventures with their grandparents.  C1 has traveled to the Middle East including several months living in Oman.  C2 has visited Swaziland in Africa.  C3 has Italy and Germany in the bag.  Here are the dates and place they traveled in their retirement after working many years as school and social work administrators.  I hope that I can too travel extensively and continue their legacy of life long learning.

1. October 91 – Thibodaux

2. December 91 – Chicago

3. February 92 – Winter Park

4. March 92 – Gulf Shores

5. October 92 – West Virginia

6. December 92 – Lees Ferry, Arizona

7.  February 93 – Brownsville

8. February 93 – Stillwater

9.  October 92 – Overland Park, Kansas

10.  December 93 – Belize

11.  February 94 – Phoenix

12.  February 94 – Carlsbad

13.  April 94 – Minneapolis

14.  June 94 – Grand Junction

15.  October 94 – Vermont

16.  October 94 – Gettysburg

17.  March 95 – Oklahoma State University

18.  May 95 – N. Illinois

19.  September 95 – Topeka

20.  June 96 – Tampico

21. October 96 – Ashland, Oregon

21.  July 97 – Kentucky

22.  August 97 – Michigan

23. November 97 – Lafayette, Louisiana

24.  February 98 – Georgia Coast

25.  March 98 – Central America

26.  September 98 – Washington

27.  March 99 – St. Vincent Islands

28.  April 99 – Santa Fe

29.  June 99 – Corpus Christie

30.  June 99 – La Paz, Mexico

31.  June 99 – West Texas

32.  December 99 – Key West

33.  February 2000 – Flagstaff

34.  July 2000 – Prospect, Arizona

35.  August 2000 – Rex, Idaho

36.  March 2001 – Las Vegas

37.  March 2001 – Hot Springs, AR

38.  July 2002 – Virginia

39.  February 2002 – Costa Rica

40.  July 20002 – Rochester

41.  July 2003 – N. Arizona

42.  August 2004 – Great Lakes

43.  July 2005 – Oregon

44. August 2005 – Bermuda

45. April 2006 – Belize

46. July 2006 – Baltimore

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s