Life is beginning for them

Life is beginning for them

Though many worry about life after retirement, there are some Bangaloreans who are having a good time post retirement. And their vacations are not spent going to pilgrimage spots alone. These senior citizens are spending their time fruitfully by getting together with friends and travelling.

Sudhakar Karnad, a senior citizen, is an avid traveller and brings together people like him. “While we were working, we were always bound by constraints. Sometimes, we did not get leave and at other times, we couldn’t travel as the children were young. Now, we have the time and resources. And our children have grown up.” Pointing out that there are several concessions available for seniors, Sudhakar says, “We are a large group of friends. The first thing we do is zero in on a place, which is of interest to all of us.”

Right from Bangkok, Dubai, Nepal and Singapore, Sudhakar, who has recently returned from Ladakh, will be heading to Rajasthan, where he is looking forward for the Ranthambore safari. But the planning process is far from simple.

“It’s tedious to make so many arrangements, which include planning, preparing an itinerary and distributing it to the whole group. Since it is a group of elderly members, there are many who are particular about food. We also ensure that the food is healthy, lest we fall sick. The co-ordination involved is unimaginable,” he says.

Shakuntala Haldipur, a retired LIC officer who has gone on several pilgrimages, says that she’s now choosing places just for the fun of it. “Of course, I have travelled to places like Benares, Badrinath, and other places of religious importance. But along with that, I’ve also been to Thailand and Rajasthan for purely tourism purposes,” she explains.

   “When I was in service, getting leave was such a problem. Now, going on a 15-day-vacation is quite convenient. We have a group here consisting of other retired individuals. We get together and plan out a 10 to 15 day trip to different states in India. Last December, we had been to Rajasthan and this time, it’s Madhya Pradesh,” she says.

“It is good to go with people of the same age group since we have similar tastes. What I like most about the trips is that we get to explore different cultures, get to meet people from diverse geographies and backgrounds apart from getting to know the way of life of people elsewhere. Sight-seeing is the icing on the cake,” she adds.

Ravi Nair, who recently went along with a group of friends to Sri Lanka, says, “All of us stay in the same area and plan our trips together. We’re all in the age group of 63 to 71 years. And we’re quite a diverse group.” While they sometimes plan their own trips, they approach travel agents too. “It’s more organised when it’s a conducted tour, but it depends on where we’re going,” he says. “All of us meet on a regular basis. We usually plan a vacation of this sort once a year,” he says.

Anthony Raj, who runs Travel Zone, points out that there has been an increase in the number of senior citizens vacationing. “Most of them enjoy travelling through Asia, which is quite economical. What we find is that retired people are forming their own groups rather than opting for conducted tours,” he says.  

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