Welcome to The Backpacking Housewife Dotcom!
Hi, I’m Janice Horton. I’m also known as The Backpacking Housewife. My mission for this website is to provide you with lots of personal travel stories, in-depth destination guides, information, resources and tips, to inspire you to grab life and travel in the New Future when travel becomes possible again.
Because right now is the perfect time to plan and dream of the future!
Everyone who is interested in travel will be able to garner lots of information from this website.
But I’m particularly keen on providing travel inspiration and information to those whom, perhaps like myself and my backpacking husband, now find themselves with more time and fewer responsibilities than before and so are looking to travel meaningfully and extensively in midlife.
Or, perhaps you have an opportunity to work remotely now or take a work sabbatical or early retirement?
Maybe you’re looking longingly at your bucket list and all you want to achieve in this new chapter in your life?
I can promise you that it’s not too late to embrace your travel dreams!
According to research into population ageing: “one of the ways of achieving a better health profile and helping to adjust to retirement and improving one’s quality of life is through travel”.The Journal of Population Ageing
Are you still under the mistaken impression that world travel is for the younger generation?
National Geographic says: Life Begins at 50. “Empty-nesters are inspired by their children’s gap years. Young-at-heart empty nesters are increasingly looking to travel. What’s more, they’re heading further afield and for longer, preferring exotica and adventure over slippers and comfort zones.” And goes onto say. “A lot has changed within a generation, and the empty nesters don’t see why they should miss out on what didn’t exist when they were younger.”
By 2030 the number of people in the world aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 56%.
This means that there is a whole generation of older adults with more free time and access to capital in terms of money, education, skills, abilities, and better health profiles, will remain active, productive, and contributory for far longer than any other generation before them. This is great news!
Many more people are looking at using their empty-nest or retirement years to travel extensively!
Seven years ago, in January 2014, once our sons had finished their education and left home to make their own way in the world, my backpacking husband and I, both aged 54 at the time, decided to sell our empty nest in Scotland UK along with everything we owned and set off to travel around the world on the adventure of a lifetime.
“For the past seven fabulous nomadic years, we’ve taken planes, trains, boats, buses and tuk-tuks, to make our way across fifty-five countries and continents and oceans to end up wherever we happened to find ourselves next. We’ve lived in hotels and motels and hostels and homestays, city apartments and huts on beaches, and we didn’t ever want our halcyon days of travelling to end.”
We’ve seen the most amazing sights and had incredible experiences while travelling and along the way we’ve met the most wonderful people whom we’ve kept in touch with thanks to social media. But, of course, we could never have imagined that in early 2020 there would be the nightmare situation of a virus pandemic raging around the world and that all but essential travel would be banned.
In March this year, we were travelling back to the UK, intending to see friends and family for a few days before heading off to Central America via the USA, when we were told all US flights has all been suspended from Europe and we were sent into a terrible spin of uncertainty and confusion. The advice to ‘Stay Home’ was hard for us to contemplate when we actually had no place to stay and nowhere to call home.
Family and friends rallied to help and things worked out for us. We eventually found ourselves living back in Scotland in a rented cottage very close to where we’d lived for many years before we sold up everything to travel. And, to be honest, it feels a bit surreal to be back here after six years of wandering around the world.
“Life truly has come full circle!”
Right now, it’s very important that we all stay safe. And, having our travel plans disrupted this year isn’t really an issue, when people are falling sick and so many have lost their lives due to the Coronavirus pandemic. But, like many who have had their plans cancelled this year, I will admit to occasionally feeling frustrated and sad about our postponed trips in 2020.
While we’re in Scotland, we hope to venture out when we can at a social distance to explore more of Scotland than we’ve seen before and to have adventures closer to home. I’ll be keeping all my travel dreams alive virtually, by working on this website and through all my writing projects, while reminiscing about our past travel experiences and posting all my archived photos up on social media. I’ll also be trying to prepare for the ‘new normal’ – whatever that looks like – when we can all travel safely again to far-flung places around the world.
“I strongly believe, now more than ever, that those of us with wanderlust in our souls will still want to escape what we might now consider to be a captive lifestyle in favour of expanding our horizons.”
And, it’s in direct response to this belief and to all the messages I’ve received from those who read my escapist romantic adventure stories, as well as those of you who have requested aspiring travel stories and destination itineraries through my social media channels, that I have set up this travel website.
“I want to positively encourage and inspire all of you who dream of having travel adventures to start planning for that dream life right now and while we are all paused.”
So, whether you’re planning a road trip around Scotland, or looking to spend all next summer in Europe, or tentatively researching an exciting long-haul holiday or an extended trip – or perhaps you’ve started to suspect that your life wasn’t meant to be lived in one place all of the time and you’d like to start travelling more often or even living a location free nomadic lifestyle – then this is absolutely the website for you!
Maybe your perspective on life has shifted of late due to the pandemic or perhaps the kids have left home and you have an empty nest? It could be you’re simply in need of ticking everything off your bucket list sooner rather than later and before something else gets in the way of you heading off into the great unknown on the adventure of a lifetime.
“Whatever your reason for reading this today – I’m here to take you by the hand and to inspire you take that leap of faith – and to travel as near or as far and as quickly or as slowly as it suits you.”
Because, of course, unlike us, you might not need or want to go to the extreme of selling everything – your home, car, business, and all your belongings – to fund your travels. You might have other ways to do it.
If your planning a short trip, you might want to get housesitters in to care for your home and any beloved pets while you are away. If you’re thinking of an extended trip, and you own your own home, then you might simply want to rent it out to help fund your travels, instead of selling up as we did.
And, if you’re renting somewhere right now, maybe you’ll decide you’re going to give your landlord notice and move on, putting your stuff in storage, and rent your accommodation in another country for a change of scenery.
Or, you might have finally reached the age of full retirement and you’re looking to see how it might be possible for you to achieve your long-held travel dreams and personal ambitions at last?
Maybe, like my backpacking husband, you now have the opportunity to take a private pension early.
Or you have savings and so can afford to take time out from your work on a sabbatical? Maybe you want to volunteer or work abroad? Maybe you want to retrain for a new career somewhere else in the world?
The backpacking husband, who loves to scuba dive, worked to achieve his life-long dream of becoming a PADI IDC Staff Instructor over the first three years that we were travelling. He trained as a Divemaster in the Caribbean and he did his Instructor Development Course in Thailand.
As a writer, also while we’ve been travelling, I’ve managed to achieve my dream of being published by a top publishing house, when I signed a book deal with HarperCollins to write my series of Backpacking Housewife novels.
“All this proves that you’re never too old and it’s never too late to achieve your dreams!”
Are there any skills or vocations or hobbies or pastimes that you’ve always wanted to pursue?
What are your personal ambitions? Can travel help you to achieve them in the same way that it helped us?
I’m sure the extended lockdown has affected us all in different ways.
How has it affected you?
Has it changed your perspective of the world and your thoughts about world travel?
Has the world news and being socially distant made you more wary of future travel?
Or, has this scary but life-affirming pandemic had you re-assessing your ‘bucket list’?
As you’re on this website… perhaps you are already considering a new future?
One that embraces travel and adventure and exciting experiences in far flung places!
Perhaps you’ve reached the time of life when you’re ready to be inspired by grown-up travel adventures?
Do please stay safe and stick with me while we are all paused. I’ll be posting new and unique travel stories and destination guides on The Backpacking Housewife Dotcom. My posts are aimed at the young at heart – the ageless adventurer of any gender – who is dreaming or planning to travel the world solo or accompanied.
“I’m looking to provide you with inspirational articles and travel posts, destination guides, and exciting travel itineraries.”
I’ll be looking at all travel budgets. I’ll be showing you how it’s possible to travel long haul and long term without compromising your own budget. I’ll be showing you how we can often mix economy travel and ‘real world’ experiences with a bit of upgraded luxury using tried and tested travel hacks and tips that are derived from our own personal experiences over six years of travel.
I’ll be addressing all the practical and emotional obstacles in the planning process of your great escape as well as acknowledging your understandable fears about travelling in this new age. Because not everything goes to plan you know!
Check out the occasional mishaps and mayhem of being a travelling world nomad.
I’ll also be reminding you of the amazing pinch-me kind of fabulous moments that you can hope to experience while travelling in your new reality and while adventuring.
“I’m often asked if I have a favourite place in the world – and I do – but I recently realised that it’s not actually the physical location I love best but the experiences I’ve had there and the people I’ve met.”
“It really is all about the love.”
So, if you love travel as much as I do – or you are just curious about exploring the practicalities of long-term slow travel – then do bookmark this page and come back soon. Why not also consider subscribing to my mailing list? I’m hoping to inspire you and promise I’ll never spam you. You’ll hopefully see the pop-up sign up box before you leave or there’s a link at the bottom of this post and in the sidebar.
I love social media so you can always find me on Facebook and on Twitter. I’m getting to grips with Instagram and Pinterest too so if one or more of these is your thing then please do connect with me. I’d love to hear from you anytime so feel free to leave me a comment or a message at the end of a post or a note on social media or simply use the Contact Me button at the very top of the site. I’ll reply just as soon as I can from here or there or from wherever I am in the world in the new future!