August 13, 2018

Elderly man decides to take a 'gap year' and travel the world

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Chris Herrmann, a 64-year-old grandfather from Perth, lost his wife two years ago. Realizing how fleeting life is, he decided to take a "gap year." 

Herrmann shared his adventures on his website, My Senior Gap Year, and also posted regular updates to his Facebook page. He has since written a book with the same title. 

In an interview with ABC News, Herrmann described her death as "quite suddenly." In an attempt to "find himself again," he visited 23 countries in a year.

Read more on our Twitter account, @amomama_usa, and scroll down to read more about Herrmann's world trip. 

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He sold most of his worldly possessions, including his car and apartment. The rest he locked up in storage before packing his backpack and buying a plane ticket. 

HE HAD DOUBTS

Herrmann came up "with a hundred different reasons" not to travel the world, and concerns about his health and age were at the forefront. 

His adult children also didn't think it was the best idea and tried to dissuade him at first. Nevertheless, he worked through the doubts. 

Herrmann admits that even during his trip, doubt would set in. He was determined to face each new obstacle and just pushed through. 

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THE TRIP

Instead of booking into fancy hotels, Herrmann relied on backpacker hostels and public transport. He was nervous at first, having to share rooms with youngsters. He said

"The rooms would be full of all these people younger than my own kids. They'd come away for a bit of freedom and here was this old man."

Instead of letting the fear win, he would engage them with them instead, and many of the travelers he met on the road told Herrmann he was "a legend" for realizing his dream. 

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HIS WORDS OF ADVICE

Herrmann wants his followers to know anybody can travel, regardless of age. He adds, "If travel is a passion or something you aspire to, just do it."

He admired the younger generation for the opportunities they have but said it's no reason for seniors to miss out on all the fun. 

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Throughout the year, he traveled to North Africa, Central America, South East Asia, and parts of Europe, too. 

Herrmann believes his wife would have supported him had she been alive, and her words would probably have been, "Look, just get on with life." 

He has since written a book about his travel adventures and hopes that other people would be inspired by his story and follow their dreams. He added:  

"There’s no such thing as too late."

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