This trip was an early graduation present from my mom, and the last hurrah before I graduate from college and move away from home. Our trip was booked with a travel agency out of Middleton, WI called Middleton Travel, and our specific group was a Girls Get Away trip. Girls Get Away is pretty much what it sounds like: Only for women; roughly 50 years and older. On a wintery day in February, a 22-year-old college student traveled halfway across the world with a group of rowdy, hilarious, and adventurous women 40 years my senior… Here is what I learned:
1. Age is just a number: With the oldest in the group being 86, there was never a moment when someone’s age kept them from exploring or seeing what Barcelona had to offer. I learned that although I may be young now, traveling and experiencing new cultures doesn’t come with an age limit. These gals ran around the city and kept our travel guides on their toes the entire trip!
2. Spend more time with your mom: My mom and I have always been close, but this experience really brought us together in ways I never thought we would; and we learned a lot about each other, too. For instance, I learned my mom has zero sense of direction and she retained some Spanish from the four years I took in high school. Besides learning more about each other, this adventure really put us outside our comfort zone and let us create memories that will last a lifetime.
3. Friendship can last a lifetime: Most of the women in the group were either traveling alone or in pairs, but one group stood out: Lynn, Sue, and Terry were all college roommates and continued to stay in contact and travel with each other. The three gals had been great friends for more than 30 years and had traveled all around the world together.
4. Adventure is out there; What’s holding you back: From talking with these ladies over the course of a week I really took away that although we are busy with school, careers, and families, it is important to take some time to see the world. Many of the women including Joyce, Mary Dan, and Ardith all were traveling alone, and they seemed to prefer it that way. I remember Mary Dan saying, “My husband doesn’t like to travel, and I do, so here I am!” These women wanted to see the world and it didn’t matter if they traveled by themselves, they went out and made their dreams a reality.
5. Fill your life with memories, not things: Many of these women, including Sue a retired University of Wisconsin police officer had been on close to twenty trips. She was able to recall all her trips and all the people she had met along the way, during the nightly lobby take over that happened in the hotel bar. These women gathered every night after a long day of exploring the city to share their experiences, memories, and connect with each other over a glass (or two) of wine. It was clear that these women did not continue to go on these trips for the souvenirs but the memories and experiences they encountered along the way.
I am grateful I had the opportunity to explore and learn from this wonderful group of women in beautiful Barcelona.
Written by Shelby Smith 68 | 8.5
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