For some of us retirement means a long-awaited chance to finally put our feet up, read the paper, slow down and happily stay put…but for others, it’s the complete opposite!
For a growing number of retirees, this chapter of life symbolises new-found freedom. At last you are released from responsibilities that may have kept you tied down to a place, a routine and duties that you are more than ready to bid farewell to.
Maybe you’ve always had that adventurous spirit. Or maybe it’s finally your time to challenge yourself to discover it.
It can be a heady combination of more time on your hands, a nest egg or capital from the sale of the family home and a growing realisation that time is precious – and now you get to spend all of these the way you want. So, whether you are a couple, newly on your own or a seasoned single, there’s no reason why adventure cannot await!
The phenomenon of the Grey Nomad has attained almost mythical status as increasing numbers of retirees take to the road. A longing for freedom, an opportunity to see and explore what lies beyond the front door, visiting far-flung family and friends, perhaps a desire to live more simply and reconnect with what is truly important – these drive thousands of people like you to hitch up the caravan, campervan or motorhome and hit the highway.
Some travel in pursuit of a passion – maybe in search of the perfect golf course or surf beach. Some long for wide open spaces or to go off-road in their trusty 4WD. Some plan every part of their journey to the most minute detail, while others are happy to see what each new day brings. But however you travel, you will find an abundance of online communities and forums offering advice and sharing tips and stories.
You just need to look at all the websites, podcasts and airtime devoted to this special tribe to realise how popular grey nomadism has become.
While some grey nomads travel for months or even years at a time, others prefer shorter stints away. The choice is yours. For many it is the security of knowing that home is always waiting that allows them the freedom and peace of mind to go adventuring, and this is where Oak Tree can come in.
Imagine being able to go away knowing that your villa is completely secure, as it is in a gated community and remains under the watchful eye of your trusted Village Manager. Lawns and maintenance will be taken care of in your absence, whether you’re gone for a day or two or for months. Your neighbours will know you’re away and will welcome you home again on your return. We call this “lock up and leave” because that’s exactly what you can do, stress- and worry-free.
And if you have a caravan or similar to store while you’re at home, talk to your Village Manager, as your village may even be able to accommodate you.
If being on the road isn’t your style, there are so many other options. Perhaps it’s time to investigate a cruise or other types of travel and touring. Many companies cater specifically for over 55s, at all price points and targeting every kind of special interest. For example, if you’re a garden lover, renowned Australian company Botanica World Discoveries offers all-inclusive expert-led tours of the great gardens of the world. You could take in cherry blossom time in Kyoto or the Chelsea Flower Show in full bloom.
Other companies may focus on music, galleries, festivals, walking, cycling, wine or food; meditation and well-being retreats are also increasingly popular. What about a week of yoga in Bali? Or sampling local produce in Tasmania? Maybe you’re just keen to see the sights and immerse yourself in a different culture. Travel of any kind broadens the mind, feeds the soul and reminds us of how lucky we are. You will find both local and international options for whatever you are interested in. Dream big, talk to friends and family, jump online and start exploring – the world can be your oyster.
One of the wonderful benefits that arises out of joining an Oak Tree community is finding and getting to know like-minded people. For many, these friends have become travel companions.
Stories abound of residents who have met, connected over shared interests and then decided to go travelling together. This seems to happen particularly frequently for women who are either single or with husbands or partners who don’t share their enthusiasm for travel adventures!
For instance, a lively group of ladies who met and connected as residents of Oak Tree Burpengary and another group from Toowoomba all recently booked cruises together. Judging by the photos they sent back, they all had the time of their lives! Some of the group stated that without the support of their companions, they would never have had this experience. Others said it reminded them of their carefree single days a few decades ago.
The freedom to enjoy a “lock up and leave” lifestyle, coupled with a ready-made community who may join you on your adventures make travel a very real possibility for many Oak Tree residents. So whether your plan is to lounge by the pool at home in your village, or clock up your frequent flyer points and see the world – or indeed anything in between, Oak Tree may just be your perfect base camp!