Although not every parent will necessarily agree, it may not prove quite so easy when the Empty Nester syndrome hits your home. Hard at first perhaps, but many positives can help fill the void that hits us all as our kids fly the coop. Imagine the possibilities that travel opens up instead of wondering about how you are going to intervene in sibling rivalry – or plan a menu to suit everyone in the household. All it needs is a spirit of adventure, some spare cash and a willingness to expand the mind and forget about stereotypes. Here are seven vacation suggestions to help you break free.
1. Lima, Peru
If you feel it is not too late to get on your surfboard and into the water, then Lima has some of the best waves the Pacific serves up. Moreover, this cosmopolitan city down South America way has culture in abundance both on and away from the beach. Add in enticing shops, an amazing array of restaurants and more historical attractions than you will have time for, and you are well set up to visit soon.
2. Tikal National Park, Guatemala
Tikal, once the site of one of the kingdoms of the ancient Maya is a national park of note. All that remains are spectacular ruins overrun by the jungle surrounding them. The mind runs riot as you explore more than 220 square miles (366 sq.km) of stunning lakes, volcanoes and dense rainforests in this most intriguing landscape.
3. Stockholm, Sweden
If you love boats and beautiful waterways surrounded by lush vegetation, then Stockholm should be on your 7 Vacations For Empty Nesters list for sure. The Swedish capital rises from a series of waterways and islands, making it a haven for lovers of the great outdoors, particularly in summer with 19 hours of daylight. There are many notable attractions too.
4. Culver City, CA, USA
If you fancy yourself as a movie buff then Culver City should be on your travel itinerary. Dubbed “The Heart of Screenland” says it all, and it is mainly thanks to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayor Studios who first set up shop in the 1920s. It is no coincidence that Sony Pictures Entertainment, National Public Radio West and the NFL Network all have headquarters in the city too.
5. Pompeii, Italy
A visit to Pompeii near Naples is like taking a walk through a time warp and visiting a ghost town all in one. When Mount Vesuvius erupted so violently in AD79, it literally buried the inhabitants of Pompeii without warning. That said, it did leave a splendid time capsule to see how people lived – and died – so long ago!
6. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania
If mountaineering was something that has sat on your bucket list forever, imagine the view from atop Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. At 17,341 feet (5,895 metres), this snow-capped volcanic peak tops out as the world’s highest freestanding mountain. The good news is that experienced guides will take you up and bring you back. Are you up for the challenge?
7. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
After topping out on Kilimanjaro, why not stay on and see the mass migration of herds of Wildebeest and Buffalo. The crater is in the Arusha Region of Northern Tanzania and not far at all from the big mountain. Book into one of the many luxury tented camps and witness the annual stampede, quite unlike anything else on Earth.