Happy 50ish!

This week, we’re focused on milestone birthdays, and celebrations. Happy 50ish!  I was going to title the post “turning 50,” but that felt too singular somehow. (Maybe it’s because I just turned 52 – my deck of cards year!)   But I’ve heard from at least 5 clients this week who are celebrating a 50th birthday this coming year, and heard from at least 3 others who are celebrating a 25th or 30th wedding anniversary; it seemed the time was right to celebrate either way. ‘And …Happy 50ish’ seems to cover it all (even if you’re turning 30 or 90 this year – you’re still in the ‘ish’).  Of course, a nod to the Broadway play of the same name, “Happy 50ish!”  See here
Do, you have a big milestone birthday coming up? Have some thoughts in mind for where you’d like to go? What would you like to do for your 50th (or 40th or 60th or 90th)?
Or maybe you have a 30th wedding anniversary coming up, and since that big romantic trip on your 25th anniversary didn’t materialize as you’d hoped (that would be me, anyway, since we were raising small kids at the time of our 25th- our 30th is coming later this year!).

One of the things we’ve all learned is  – EXPERIENCE MATTERS!
This is true in life. It is certainly true in travel.  You want to travel with companies that have been around, who deliver on their promises, and  who have the experience to know how to do things right (and also know what to do when things sometimes go wrong). You also don’t want to travel with someone who cuts corners to just get through this quarter on a wing and a prayer. Your family travel experiences are much too valuable to be entrusted to a fly-by-night company, or someone you found on the internet with the lowest possible price.  I can promise you, you will not remember how much you paid for a family vacation, but you will remember things going off the rails. And that’s not the kind of memory you want to carry with you for a lifetime.
Travel is the one experience you can count on to celebrate a milestone birthday or an anniversary up right.  It’s all about living a lush life, and building memories, right? Travel takes you out of your routine, away from work pressures and family commitments, and brings you together.  So, let’s consider some ideas.
Need some inspiration?
Here are some celebrities hitting the 50th birthday milestone this year. See here. And last year’s list here.
With a milestone birthday, or anniversary, we reflect over what we’ve accomplished, but also reach for what we still want to do.
Here are some neat articles
49 is the New 16
50 Things I’m Thinking After Turning 50
Think You’re Old in Your 50’s? Think again
How Turning 50 Can Save Your Life
Getting Older Does Not Suck
50 Great Things about Women over 50
50 Things to do on your 50 Birthday
Half a Century to Plan a Trip
And here are some cool travel partners of mine who are turning 50 this year…maybe a trip with one of them on your 50th might resonate with you.  At this point in your life, you know the value of sticking around, and still making it work – they do too!
1.) Lindblad Expeditions just celebrated their 50th birthday of expedition cruising (see the picture in Antarctica above – that was taken this week. See here). Do you know that in 50 years, they’ve never had a safety incident?! And they sail on some of the roughest seas of the world! Imagine, 50 years of crossing the Drake, and never hitting an iceberg or having to pull a ship into port. Onboard Lindblad, you get fantastic scientific and natural discovery for all (including family friendly adventures), and all with National Geographic photographers onboard each sailing. Plus, they have the best safety record in the industry (but they won’t tell you that). Their price point may appear higher than some competitors, but there’s a reason for that! They are simply the best at what they do!  And after 50 years, they know how to deliver exceptional experiences. They won Virtuoso’s “Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award” in 2013.
2.) Butterfield & Robinson are celebrating 50 years of slowing down. See here As their website says, “Before Butterfield & Robinson had 50 years under our belt, traversed six continents, had affairs with over 80 countries (sorry, Canada) and made more friends than we could count, it was a trio of university students: Toronto law student George Butterfield, his high school roommate Sidney Robinson, and his wife Martha Butterfield (Sidney’s sister, of course). Like all young Europhiles, they had a dogged determination to be abroad, a love for the food, languages and culture, a sense of adventure, and no money.”  I love working with Canadian companies who are at the top of their game. I love working with companies that put quality of experience above all else..
3.) Visit Hawaii – the 50th State : There’s never been a better time to visit Hawaii. Go to the 50th state on your 50th birthday. Why not check out the new Four Seasons Lanai http://www.fourseasons.com/lanai/  (The state celebrated their 50th anniversary a few years ago.)
Of course, if you’re turning 40, check out these great partners who are also 40. (So they also know what they are doing too!)
a.) Big Five Tours – and they won Virtuoso’s “Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award” in 2014.
a.) World Expeditions
b.) Exodus Travels
If you’re turning 35 (or wish you still were!), you might want to celebrate with a partner who’s also been in business that long. Canyon Ranch is a world leader in wellness and luxury spa vacations. They know how to encourage you in your quest for a healthy you, with their focus on wellness holidays. See here.  Want a week to focus in on starting anew, and maybe get some help with a weight-loss program that isn’t boot-camp driven, but is all about creating healthy habits and a new you? See weight-loss programs
A little younger in business experience, but still a company that is really quite exceptional at what they do, are some friends of mine who have just celebrated their 30th year in business. They offer amazing adventure trips – check out Natural Habitat,. They won Virtuoso’s “Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award” in 2015.
And these guys just turned 25 – but they do Tahiti up right! Paul Gauguin Cruises. (See Ottawa event details for Paul Gauguin presentation at Shepherd’s Fashions this coming Monday, January 25th Click here for tickets)
The elder stateroom in the room (but by no means old and tired, as they keep re-invigorating the experiences offered, backed up by 90+ years in travel) are some guys who know how to do things right, and that “how you see the world matters” trips. See Tauck Tours. How about a trip with famed documentary maker Ken Burns through America’s Canyonlands, and the Grand Canyon (see VAST trips below.)
Give me a call at 613-837-0699, or shoot me an email at sheila.gh@visiontravel.ca,  and we can strike a time to chat to ensure we can celebrate your birthday (or big anniversary) with partners of a simlar vintage. Because, as we all know – experience matters!
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