When this letter reached our inbox at BoomerCafé, we loved what we read. Because it wasn’t from a baby boomer extolling the spirit of our generation; it was from a Millennial, the marketing coordinator for a guided tour company, who recently traveled with a group of Boomer women to Peru’s Machu Picchu. The letter, from New York City’s Kristine Clancy, was a gracious and grateful note of thanks to Boomers … from a Millennial.
When I first stepped through to the ruins, my heart stopped. Machu Picchu, the incredible Lost Sanctuary of the Incas, was stunning. Our tour took us to the Temple of the Sun where our guide said we had a few minutes to look around. I immediately spied a set of stairs and thought of the photo opportunities from a higher vantage point, and I wasn’t alone. One of you was right beside me, ready to go. We climbed to the top, took some photos, and were ready to go back when we were stopped by several officials. Apparently we took a one-way path.
Luckily, you weren’t one to panic. While my heart raced as I imagined being left behind in the ruins forever, you hustled down the pathway, pausing every so often to look around and check to see if we were headed in the right direction (and to make sure that I’d kept up). I don’t think I’ve ever flown down a set of steps so quickly in my life.
The next morning, we returned to the ancient Inca capital Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu, by train. All of you shared stories and insights that were both entertaining and inspiring. You had an appreciation of the world, and weren’t intimidated by exaggerated headlines about global issues that might discourage many others from traveling. You were clearly determined to reach all the destinations on your bucket lists, and to take the grandkids on some of your adventures. For you, travel is a necessity, not a luxury. And to think at the beginning of this trip I thought I was the fearless world traveler.
You ladies have inspired me. When the opportunity to travel to Egypt presented itself last March, I thought of you and jumped at the opportunity. It was an amazing experience and I’m so glad I didn’t let my fear stop me from another trip of a lifetime. My next destination? The United Arab Emirates! I’m just itching to take a 4-wheeler into the vast sand dunes that have been home to the Bedouin people for centuries. To be safe, I’ll travel with an escorted group, and send my family my itinerary, but I’m still ready to pack my bags!
All of us think that we’re the best travelers in the world, but on the trip to Machu Picchu I found that the best travelers were the baby boomers right alongside me. I’m so thankful to you for sharing your sense of adventure which motivates me to keep traveling to the places I want to see most. I might never have had the courage without you. Let’s hope I continue to live my life with your sense of adventure, and maybe one day soon I’ll have stories to share with someone else who needs a little inspiration.