Where to next?

When Riverina Gums resident Valerie Clarke retired, seeing more of Australia was at the top of her to-do list.

RetireAustralia Ross Plant

She and husband Barry sold their dairy farm, bought a cheap caravan and set out to tour the country.

Waterfalls, gorges and gullies were a stunning change of scenery, Valerie said.

She’s not the only RetireAustralia resident with wanderlust.

Ross and Roslyn Plant from Boambee Gardens have joined the growing number of older Australians drawn to the ease and freedom of travel.

Retirement has allowed them to pursue their favourite hobby with no restrictions.

“We both worked in the public service and would get six weeks off every year, so we’d drive as far as we could in that amount of time,” Ross said.

“Now that we’re retired, we’re doing it again slowly and going back to all those same places.”

At the time of their interview, Ross and Ros were camped on the beach at Streaky Bay, South Australia—the latest stop in a four-month trip from their Sawtell home to Uluru and Western Australia.

Upon their return, they plan to spend about four months at Boambee Gardens before hitting the road again.

“We’ve just about covered all of Australia, but we’ll keep going and going.”

Without the responsibilities of work or family, it’s simply a matter of choosing where to go next.

Drayton Villas‘ Clare Forbes recently cruised to Canada, America, the Caribbean, Cuba, Russia, Scandinavia and Japan, and still has India and Italy in her sights.

“All my travelling has been in retirement—I think it’s a good idea to do it before I get too old and can’t manage,” she said.

Valerie, whose husband passed away about three years after the couple moved into Riverina Gums, said living in a retirement village has opened the door to further travels.

“I can leave without any worries because I know they’re keeping an eye on the place.”

Since moving to the village, she has ridden The Ghan, cruised on the Queen Victoria and, most recently, taken a nostalgic Norwegian holiday to revisit her late husband’s favourite spots.

Now, having checked both Australia and Europe off the list, Valerie is settling in to enjoy the benefits of village life.

“Travelling is wonderful, but there’s nothing quite like coming home to Riverina Gums.”

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