Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but it seems to me that what was once considered old age is no longer old. It’s not just that people are looking younger than past generations have at their age, from what I’m observing, they’re also acting younger.

A motivating factor for going on this cruise was a belief that I’ve moved into a decade of life that is classified as “old,” and should go while I’m still physically able to enjoy traveling. But meeting so many people who are several years older than I am is rapidly changing my belief about age-imposed limits.

One of the cruise ship’s doctors was seated at my dinner table last week and mentioned that the average age of passengers onboard is 83. I knew that the oldest passenger is 98, but I didn’t realize that the average age was over 80. I look around me and I observe people who clearly aren’t young, but who don’t act old – or at least aren’t behaving in a way we once believed appropriate for a person over a certain age.

Of course, cruising does attract an older demographic because it is less physically demanding than other forms of travel, but it still requires a lot of walking to get to different areas of the ship and go on tours when we are in port. When we’re at sea I average walking two miles a day just going from place to place onboard in addition to the two miles I walk around the ship as daily exercise. And then there’s all the dancing on the ship. Someone’s always dancing somewhere. There are dance lessons during the day and dancing in two locations every night. I look at the people who are dancing and they aren’t young, but they’re still walking and dancing on a ship that is often rolling from side to side or up and down.

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Author's Bio: 

Rita Burgett-Martell is the author of two books: Change Ready! How to Turn Change Resistance into Change Readiness and Defining Moments: Seizing the Power of Second Chances to Create the Life You Want.

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