Travel – A Tool for Growing Old Gracefully

December 9, 2013  •  Food for Thought

10 driving carI do many things to ensure that as I age, I do it gracefully and don’t “feel old”. Some of those things aren’t so glamorous: I try to eat healthy foods and exercise on a regular basis, I try to maintain a reasonable weight, and get 8-9 hours of sleep each night. But you might be surprised to read why I think that travel is the ultimate tool to help us stay young as we get old.

1 romeWhen I travel, I go to places I adore like Rome, and I find that a certain sense of peace washes over me when I arrive there, and relieving stress is important as we age.2 fresco ceilingBeing on vacation allows you to admire the beauty around you, and you can do it at a relaxed pace. 14 hill towns of tuscany sunriseI try to get up early in the morning – not just because I might be lucky enough to see a sunrise like this and gain inspiration for the day, but because the quiet time in the morning allows me to plan my day.4 sunsetAnd I try to admire the sunset at night – it’s not only visually pleasing, but it forces me to sit still for a few minutes in an otherwise hectic day.5 parmigiano reggianoOne of the things that is important to me as I get older, since I have a mom with Alzheimer’s, is to continually challenge my brain to learn new things. That can be hard at home when I’m working under deadlines. But on vacation, I can take two hours to learn something new, like in this case how Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is made…8 painting…or learning how to paint landscapes.6 fat statueTravel often provides a chance to laugh – something any expert will tell you is important to our health as we age.7 walk in the tuscan hillsWhen you travel, exercise becomes a pleasure rather than one more thing to check off your busy list for the day. I mean, who wouldn’t want to enjoy an afternoon hike through the Tuscan hills with friends instead of spending 45 minutes on the treadmill?9 time with gregPerhaps the best part of travel is the chance to nurture relationships, which are perhaps one of the most important things to help us stay healthy as we get older. If you’re married, there is something about being on vacation that just rekindles the spark.11 friendsBut also spending time with friends is important and it’s great to do that while traveling together. My mom always says, “Growing old is not for sissies.” Yes, I’m a bit sick of hearing that over and over. But I also think she has motivated me to make sure I make the best of it.


  • Get Old is an initiative developed by Pfizer  to challenge people of all ages to rethink what it means to Get Old and take a more active role in their health and quality of life at every age.  Whether it’s through watching what you eat, physical exercise, spending time with family and friends or participating in an activity you’re passionate about — each of us has the power to decide for ourselves how we want to Get Old. It’s not just about living longer, but living better.



I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by Pfizer and Get Old. I received compensation for this post. All opinions stated are my own. 


4 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Joan Nova says:

    Very inspiring post with beautiful images.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. The Italian Dish says:

    Love this post, Michele!

  3. Emily says:

    Hi Michele. How timely is this post for me? I just spent Thanksgiving hosting my parents and their pets! And yes, we’re all getting older and it’s SO not for sissies.
    I think my parents pets are a boon to their well being!They are members of our family and very loved and give love in return, unconditionally. Yes, one is a golden.
    And my folks just started with the Luminosity site to exercise their brains! They seem to like it too.
    I don’t think they will ever get to Rome but… I’m so thankful that they are able to visit us and vise verse.
    Thanks for the post! And pet Ellie and Lucy for me!

  4. Susan Schneckner says:

    Great advice! (My mom just celebrated her 96th birthday on Sunday; she too has Alzheimers…….) Love your photos!
    Merry Christmas — look forward to more recipes and travel info from you in 2014!

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