Generation X Couple Travelling the World: Let’s Go
We are Iain and Kat McLean, a Generation X couple travelling the world for a year (read middle-aged)! We decided travelling does not have to wait until you retire. You can just sell up, pack in your 9-5 lives, and go.
Hi, my name is Kat, travelling the world has been a pipe dream of mine for years. My career as a teacher of deaf children was going well, but then I found myself with an “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade” situation. At first,
I didn’t want to make lemonade. I wanted to throw all the lemons at someone’s head.
But, following deep reflection (and a few G & T’s), I concluded, perhaps this was the moment I could get out of this 9 to 5 for good. I approached Iain.
“I have an idea, let’s sell everything, give up our careers and go travelling around the world.”
Iain replied, “Let’s Go!”
Generation X Couples: Who are we?
We are the ones who observed our Generation Z children flying off on Gap Years around the world on the back of our hard-worked-for success. The Gen Zs, carefree and feeling entitled to experience the adventures they have seen throughout their media soaked lives.
We are the ones who waved goodbye to our Millennials while they took off on their exotic Career Breaks before settling down ready to line us up as future babysitting Grandparents.
We are the ones who watched our Baby-Boomer parents in awe, ticking off their Bucket Lists on wondrous world adventures.
Meanwhile, we remained in our faithful carved-out careers, our retirement age drifting further and further away from us, not closer.
But we are Generation X, independent, resourceful, self-managing, adaptable; so, we can change things up!
Do life your way
Why watch your children fly the nest abroad when you can fly ahead of them, Business Class, if you like?
Look, if you’ve earned the money, then you spend it!
Browse their latest Instagrammed budget hostel while sipping your sundowner with a hint of smug from your balcony overlooking the Savannah. Explore Africa, Asia, South America, with a private guide (it costs less than you imagine). How about re-claiming your right to rough it too? Do the backpacking you always longed to do. Take note cheaper Travel Tours for the 18-39’s; Generation X’ers are coming after your market.
A Couple Travelling the World: Generation X Style
While researching other couples travelling the world, I came across loved up, bronzed pairs, smiling to camera in exotic locations. Fabulous, for them, but anyone who knows us knows this is not us. We have survived 25 years together on a healthy diet of sarcasm, and the reciprocal Scottish behaviour of ensuring no-one is praised too much in case they get big-headed. Furthermore, Iain has one of those smiles that the camera might not realise is happening.
We are more the overweight, middle-aged variety than your toned millennial bloggers.
More deep-fried than golden-brown.
Generation X Couple Travelling the World: But what will we do for a year?!
While the prospect of being a middle-aged couple travelling the world for a year is exciting, it is also daunting. We decided we may also need to have our own focus. If we were throwing in our hard-slogged careers, we had to trade them for something we loved. Besides our mutual love of travelling, my passion is writing, and Iain’s is photography.
Everything appeared so obvious I don’t know why we hadn’t realised it before. I would explore the world of Travel Writing, and Iain would revisit his photography business.
Okay, so this may or may not work out. Perhaps we wouldn’t make it for a year, but what an adventure it would be trying.
Generation X Couple Travelling the World: The Photography
Although having a long and profitable career in computing, app making, stuff (I don’t know) Iain did once venture into the business of photography. He was talented at it too, until he awoke one day to discover he was blind. A bad day. Later, finding this was the onset of Multiple Sclerosis, he only recovered the sight in one eye. Consequently, he coined his appalling joke –
“I’m Iain with two I’s, except I only have one eye.”
As a result, believing you needed two eyes to take photographs, he didn’t pick up a camera again for years. Then, embracing the ‘life is too short to hang around’ philosophy, we started going on fantastic holidays to far-flung places, and took along his camera. It turned out he is pretty good at one eye photography too.
Follow Iain’s Photography Tips here on our blogs page.
Generation X Couple Travelling the World: The Writing
While I love writing and have been writing a book, no one has ever read my writing. I considered blogging but always imagined I would do it incognito, in case I was no good. But this whole venture is an all-or-nothing deal, so I completed an excellent course on UDEMY with Dave Fox on Travel Writing, reassuring me that this gig was for me. Then I bought some books; most noteworthy was the Lonely Planet Guide “How to be a Travel Writer”, and finally, set about learning all the social media, how to build website stuff.
Eat drink enjoy
When travelling, we like to appreciate the cuisine of a new country. Truly appreciate! I am suspicious of the stunning blogger in the photo with a plate of exquisite ethnic cuisine. Let’s be honest, that fork did not enter their mouth.
Our past posts to social media rather boast of the empty plate that once contained onion rings the size of your head and the kind of steak that would get your name on a brass plaque on the wall. We can also give an excellent appraisal of the many local beers in the world. I determined from my dad that the first mission on any world exploit is to seek an Irish Bar and try the local beer.
Couple Travelling Tales from Idyllic Locations…The Generation X Kind
We did once embark on an exotic adventure to a deserted island in the Maldives. This perhaps is where Generation X couple travelling differs. An excursion for two dropped off by boat with a basket of food, champagne, and a blanket.
Two hours into this romantic day-long venture, we were burnt, sweating, and exhausted. As a result, we had drunk all the alcohol (including our private stash) and eaten the day’s food. In conclusion, having considered that writing SOS in the sand may elicit an unnecessary global emergency, we decided, in the future, we should remember –
we are more ‘Love Boat’ than ‘Love Island.’
Following the Photographer
We hope you will enjoy travelling the world with us and sharing our adventures. We also aim to give practical advice on planning your own round the world trip in our Planning Section. See The Budget and watch out for our upcoming blog on how we chose the destinations. We will share some stunning shots of our travel photography in the Nomadicmacs Gallery. And deliver a world-class travel blog here in Kat’s Travel Blogs, cough, to give you an enthralling (!) insight into whatever we encounter. Bringing you the authentic story behind the picture-perfect photograph. Like this one taken by a 1000ft drop in the rain, I recall as the “If you fall off the edge of there and die, I WILL divorce you” shot. To read more about how to pack for a year around the world click link here!