By David Markham
I’m loathe to admit it, but I have a bit of an addiction. It started when I was a kid, and keeps building year after year, driving me to go further and further, and spend more and more money on my habit.
I’ve been bitten by the travel bug. There, I said it.
I think I first caught it when I was about seven, when my grandparents took me on a month-long tour of the west. I’m not even sure where all we went, but I remember seeing Mount Rushmore for my first time, visiting a huge rodeo in Wyoming, and chasing a marmot on top of a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was all about adventure and discovery, and I’ve been pursuing new fixes ever since.
JCPRD has definitely been an enabler to my habit. This gig has helped me fund my travels, and only since working here did I start venturing further abroad. In fact, one of our first overseas adventures took my wife and I on a tour of Eastern Europe on a trip offered through JCPRD’s 50 Plus Travel Department.
If you suffer from the same affliction, 50 Plus Travel has been offering travel opportunities since the 1970s, many in conjunction with Collette Tours. Nine to 11 extended tours are offered each year, plus for those who want to spend less money, and/or time, there are also social outings, and day trips.
In 2019, 50 Plus Travel had 95 participations on 13 international tours, which visited 20 different countries. During the same year, there were 761 participations on 21 day trips.
Coming up on Tuesday, Feb. 25, is one of three Travel Shows offered each year to highlight upcoming 50 Plus Travel opportunities. This free three-hour event will take beginning at 1 p.m. at the Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse, 9101 Nall Ave., Prairie Village. Typically, 90 to 120 people attend these events, which include slide shows about future travel opportunities, lots of travel brochures you can pick up, chances to win door prizes, and opportunities to have your questions answered. It’s fun, and there’s no obligation.
Upcoming trips to be highlighted at the February Travel Show include: Shades of Ireland, Spain and Morocco, Highlights of Norway, From the Outback to the Glaciers (Australia), Spotlight on New York City Holiday, and Tropical Costa Rica. There will also be brief previews of upcoming day trips for March, April, and this summer.
As someone who has traveled with 50 Plus, I can tell you one of the great things about their extended tours is that all the planning is done for you, and all you basically have to do is make sure your passport is up to date, pack your bags, and show up! The included hotels and meals are all first class as well.
If you’re looking for a new and relatively benign addiction or want to feed an old one, mark your calendar for Feb. 25!
“Once the travel bug bites, there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected for the rest of my life,” Michael Palin.