Seniors Visit A Buddhist Monastery

When in India, Tibet or Nepal, seniors, how about a visit to a Buddhist Monastery? When thinking of religion in India, Hinduism readily comes to mind.

However, Tibetan Buddhism is also thriving, especially in the mountains of northern India close to the Tibetan border. These historic monasteries are known as gompas.

Here is a list of ten well known monasteries for you to choose from. The idea of traveling to develop spiritually is increasingly popular for some seniors. Monasteries in Canada also offer accommodation and retreats for those who want to get away from it all and there is even an entire publication (Overnight or Short Stays at Religious Houses around the world) dedicated to helping travelers find their way.

Make A Senior Pilgrimage

Bodh Gaya is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage place in the world. Located in the state of Bihar, it’s here that Buddha became enlightened during intense meditation under a Bodhi tree. Tibet is loaded with Buddhist Monasteries.

Monks and nuns associated with Buddhism are recognized to spread their knowledge through teaching, and monasteries supply the perfect place.

If senior travelers want to specifically search out the most well known in the entire world, Spirit Tourism provides their listing of the top five and each is held in great reverence.

 Senior travelers don’t have to go overseas. Shasta Abbey, located on 16 forested acres near Mount Shasta in Northern California. It is a training monastery for Buddhist monks and a place of practice for lay Buddhists and interested visitors. It is said that many Westerners interested in Buddhism avoid temples and dharma centers because they are uncomfortable with the rituals.

Monasteries In The Himalayans

Tengboche Gomba is one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Himalaya, Nepal. Just north of the ancient Buddhist town of Boudhanath is the monastery of international importance. With 260 Nepali and Tibetan monks, and a place of study for the 150 nuns this is a spiritual oasis for hundreds of visitors yearly from around the world.

There are many monasteries in Nepal, most of them are tibetan-buddhist. The nuns and monks – many of them children – live and study Buddha’s teachings.

Their days are meticulously structured, starting with an early morning puja (ceremony in tibetan language), meals and many, many lessons, ending with an evening puja and late self-study time.

Most Buddhist Monasteries are open to anyone, however it is a cloistered environment and visitors are asked to respect the monastic training schedule. Learn how to step inside respectfully prior to a visit. Wear loose-fitting clothing, dark or muted in color so as not to distract others. Dress modestly and do not wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, short skirts, tank tops or any perfumes or fragrances.

Enjoy your experience. By the way, I’m neither Buddist, nor am I pushing the Buddish religion but I would certainly visit a monastery if I were near one…jeb


Seniors Raise the Pflag in Pflugerville

Pflugerville (yes, seniors, that is really a name of a city) was highlighted by Money Magazine as a great place to live and ranked in the top 50 in the nation. The city, a suburb of Austin, is in both Travis and Williamson counties and the population runs right at 50,000.

Pflugerville was founded in 1860 when William Bohls established a general store and post office in his residence. He named the town in honor of Henry Pfluger who first arrived in the area in 1849, leaving his German homeland to escape the Prussian War, and thus the name Pflugerville.

Some of the principal attractions in town include the Cinemark Movie Theater, Austin’s Park and Lake Pflugerville. While many Pflugerville residents make the 30-minute commute to Austin during the week, on weekends they enjoy relaxing at Lake Pflugerville, a man-made 180-acre reservoir that has a three-mile trail, a beach, and fun water activities like kite surfing.

The Lake is a 180-acre reservoir built to provide the citizens of Pflugerville with drinking water and has become the city’s most popular family playground.

Thanks to sound finances, Pflugerville has been able to make a commitment to sustainability, breaking ground on what will be one of the largest solar farms in the country.

 Seniors Enjoy Historical Destinations

The State of Texas is loaded with historical events and sites and Pflugerville is no exception. Select the About Pflugerville button as well as each of the others. And senior visitors will find even more history at the Historical Association.

Many senior visitors find the historic association to be a destination itself.  From 1980 through 1988, new development in Pflugerville made it the fastest growing community in the state.

After a slight slowdown during the recession of the late 1980’s, the tremendous growth resumed again during the 1990′s, as the population nearly quadrupled in size from 4,444 residents in 1990 to 16,335 in 2000, 49,000 in 2010 and in 2012, 51,894.

It’s on the rise.  So enjoy your visit to Pflugerville, a Best Town in America, and take in some of the attractions.  One special treat in town for my wife and me would be eating at the Taste Of Ethiopia and senior visitors will enjoy foods that chef Woinee’s relatives in Ethiopia would prepare. 

Bon Appétit mes amis.  jeb


Seniors Find the ‘Great American West’ In  Elko

When senior citizens discover Elko, population 34,000, you quickly see why this truly is the “Great American West”.  Elko, in northeast Nevada, was crowned the title “The Best Small Town in America” in an issue of Time Magazine.

It had its birth in 1868 during the building of the First Intercontinental Railroad. Legend has it that a rail superintendent fond of animals added an “o” to Elk to give the town its name. The city of Elko sits at an elevation of 5,060 feet.

This high desert community on Hwy Interstate 80 experiences four mild annual seasons. Fall is spectacular, heralding in warm days and cool evenings. Winter months bring average high temperatures between 37-43 degrees with lows averaging between 25-31 degrees.

Spring months bring warmer temperatures accompanied by cool nights. During the warm summer months the average high falls between 80-90 degrees. After this past winter season, senior citizens will enjoy Elko.

Seniors Enjoy Unspoiled West

The city was founded as a stop on the transcontinental railroad. In 1869, it became the seat of the newly-created Elko County and soon became an important center of commerce for surrounding mines and ranches. Elko is probably best known as the Headquarters for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Elko County abounds in beauty. The raw majesty of Elko County’s Ruby Mountains and the rugged canyon streams will let you discover the unspoiled drama of the West.

Elko’s scenic landscape and recreational opportunities are matched by its excellent quality of life. Health care services are the best in the region, education is highly prized, and job growth is consistently positive.

The diverse economy includes gold mining and cattle ranching, and the newer thriving tourism and service industries. The arts and culture scene also finds plenty of supporters in Elko. The Cowboy Poetry Gathering draws the finest examples of the art from throughout the West and as far away as Ireland and Australia.

The Rubies, the Crown Jewel

The highlight of visiting Elko comes with the opportunity to explore some of the wildest and most beautiful country in the entire state.

The crown jewel of Nevada are the Ruby Mountains. The Rubies, as they are called, bear over 40 year-round streams and host more than a dozen mountain tarns in a mountain range that has been nicknamed, “The Nevada Alps” and “The Sierra Nevada of the Great Basin.”

For horse lovers, The J.M. Capriola Saddle Company, is based in downtown Elko, and is one of the oldest saddle-making companies in America. You will find many fun things to see and do in and around Elko.

Today, Elko is living on gold, supported by the massive Getchell Mine, the largest gold producing operation in the United States. Set your sights on Elko the on your next trip to Nevada.  jeb


Seniors Explore Wisconsin’s Largest Village

Menomonee Falls occupies a scenic 33 square mile setting in Waukesha County, inviting senior visitors to enjoy their small town charm and modern convenient lifestyle. The town motto reads “More Than A Village.”  And that’s one of the reasons Money Magazine selected the city of 36,000 as a Best Small Town in the USA.

Located just a few miles northwest of Milwaukee, Menomonee Falls takes its name from the Menomonee River, which courses diagonally through the northeast corner of the Village. The Menominis were members of a North American Indian people formerly living between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.

The Village Centre of Menomonee Falls welcomes senior visitors. The Centre is an area of historic properties and residences in the heart of Menomonee Falls.  Senior citizens will discover lots to see and do as you explore the unique beauty of the Village with Leper Dam, Lime Kilns, Bugline Trail, beautiful parks and an Historic Walking tour.

One of the earliest settlers of Menomonee Falls, Frederick Nehs journeyed from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin in 1884.  A year later, Mr. Nehs harnessed the power of the falls with a limestone kiln and quarry. These quarries were operated in the late 19th century, and the area is a reminder of the early commerce of the Village of Menomonee Falls.

The Lime Kiln park area has the “original” falls of the Menomonee River situated in the park which is flanked by the remnants of historic lime kilns on the west and the original limestone quarry on the east. With the Menomonee River flowing through its center, Lime Kiln Natural Area is a charming wooded park and derives its name from the two historic lime kilns that date from the 1840′s and are in the National Register of Historic Places.

Living History Museum Interests Seniors

 Senior visitors will be welcomed at Old Falls Village that is nestled on the grounds of a beautiful 17-acre park.  You will step back in time and glimpse life as it was from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s.

Featuring a variety of historic homes and buildings, this living history museum includes a log home, school house, barn, railroad depot, log cabin, and dairy. One of the major attractions in town and the centerpiece of Old Falls Village is the 1858 Miller-Davidson House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The Falls,” as residents refer to their Village, takes pride in not only its status as being the largest Village in Wisconsin, but in its independence and its ability to successfully maintain a quiet character and high quality of life. Downtown Menomonee Falls is one of 20 communities around the state chosen to participate in a state-sponsored revitalization project.

The Falls is a great place for a visit any time you are in Wisconsin. jeb



Seniors Head North to Calgary

Senior travelers, Calgary, Canada is called A Winter Wonderland. Calgary was recently recognized as one of the top travel hotspots in the world to visit by The New York Times, the United Kingdom’s The Guardian and, one of Canada’s leading online travel resources.

Calgary is Alberta’s largest city and is situated where the prairies end and the foothills begin. To many Canadians it is referred to as “Cow Town” or the “Stampede City”. Let’s see why.

Seniors Investigate the Stampede

The city, often referred to as the “heart of the new West” is traditionally recognized for the Calgary Stampede and its proximity to the Rocky Mountains. Each July the Stampede is the highlight of Calgary’s summer with the famous rodeo including all kinds of cowboy style entertainment.

This vibrant city is gaining recognition as a cultural, cosmopolitan and culinary destination. Calgary is an energetic city scattered with stimulating cultural attractions, mouth watering dining, breath taking parks and pathways, wallet hungry shops, and top notch night spots.

The best 54 places to go in 2014 includes Calgary.  Some pretty neat shots huh? Note that the beautiful scenery of Banff National Park not far from Calgary. Senior visitors will find the city jumping with excitement with the Bow River along side and the Rocky Mountains all around. For first time senior visitors, here is a site just for you.

Seniors Enjoy Canada’s Living Museum

Hub Pages focuses on ten sites you will not want to miss. Heritage Park Historical Village has been recreated into Canada’s largest living museum, complete with costumed townsfolk who are keen to bring history to life. The Park consists of more than 100 old historical buildings.

Take in Calgary’s old west with a visit to Fort Calgary; birthplace to the city. Senior visitors can’t miss the Calgary Tower, a 191 meter free standing observation tower in Downtown Calgary.

Other major attractions include Spruce Meadows, the Glenbow Museum, Bowness Park, the Zoo, the Calgary Philharmonic, Canada Olympic Park (COP) and the Eau Claire Market.

This city is a booming oil town where people come from all over Canada to take advantage of its scenery, outdoor life and just plain fun.  You will find a nice variety of tours of Calgary and this is the first thing I would take in to explore a new city.

It is often said that “Calgary is the big city, with a small town atmosphere”.  Certainly when it comes to recreation, there is no shortage of places to see and things to do in Calgary.   Hope you see you at the Stampede among the 700,000 guests. Look for me. I’ll be wearing my PHX Suns Orange baseball cap. jeb


CNN And Seniors Like Farmington

Farmington, Utah was selected as a “BEST PLACE” by CNN Money last year. It ranked 14th out of the 50 chosen.  Must be something good going on there, senior travelers.

Originally known as North Cottonwood, Farmington was permanently settled in 1847 by Mormon pioneers. Prior to that, Native Americans inhabited the area. There is a lot of history associated with Farmington going back to the Utah Territory.

Today senior visitors will find a one-stoplight town squeezed between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake just off Interstate Highway 15. Farmington has a quaint, quiet downtown with a few shops and homes that come in all shapes and sizes, from bungalows to ramblers to tri-levels and modern farmhouses.

Many residents commute south regularly to Salt Lake City, while others travel north to Hill Air Force Base, Utah’s sixth largest employer. Around 12,000 folks call Farmington home and many enjoy the 115 miles of bike and hiking trails that surround the town.

Seniors Delight In the Great Setting

Farmington is in Davis County. One of Davis County’s biggest visitor attractions is Antelope Island State Park, home to big horn sheep, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, coyote, and a free roaming herd of more than 600 bison, as well as over 250 species of birds.

The largest island in the Great Salt Lake is popular for wildlife and birding, hiking and biking, and water sports. Farmington is only few miles away from the eastern coast of the Great Salt Lake.

Farmington is considered part of the Salt Lake City-Ogden metropolitan area. Farmington’s many colorful parks include Mountain View Park, Moon Park, Heritage Park, Woodland Park and Shepard Park.

Senior visitors seek out the Pioneer Village, the Museum of Church History and Art, the Children’s Museum of Utah, the Ogden Union Station Museums and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. I’ve always wondered where Weber State was located…now I know, it’s in Farmington.

Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, an 18,000 acre wildlife refuge, conserves critical duck and waterbird habitat. Birding is highly popular in and around Farmington.

 A world class water show is a major attraction in Farmington. Station Park is the region’s major shopping district and features a park, an outdoor skating rink and is where you will find the neat bubbling fountain.

The Lagoon Amusement Park (dating back to 1986) is located just 20 minutes north of Salt Lake and is the state’s oldest and largest amusement park featuring over 40 different rides.

Take your pick on the many amenities in Farmington as well as the great state of Utah.  You will enjoy every one of them. jeb


Seniors Visit “The Star City of the South”

Roanoke is an independent city in the state of Virginia with a population of nearly 100,000. It is located in the Roanoke Valley where the first pioneers explored the region as early as the 17th century.

An exploration party’s report in 1671 told of the “blue mountains and a snug flat valley beside the upper Roanoke River.”

For the next seventy years, after this initial exploration, the region remained undisturbed by settlers. Today Virginia’s Roanoke, called “The Star City of the South”, is the recreational, cultural and business hub and lies in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.

The locals note that Roanoke’s close proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains makes it the ideal spot to view the magnificent fall turning of the leaves in the mountains, a colored quilt-like extravaganza that senior visitors come from all over the world to witness.

A top draw in Roanoke is the Link Museum. Then there is the O. Winston Museum that is dedicated to preserving, collecting and interpreting the photographic, audio and video works of photographer Winston Link.

With over 300 black and white and color images on exhibit, the Museum welcomes senior visitors to explore this vibrant but gone part of the local history.

Livability picked Roanoke as one of the Top 100 Places to Live: the Appalachian Trail, the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Smith Mountain Lake and the Jefferson National Forest are just a few of the reasons.

Culture, Art, And Natural Beauty Draw Senior Travelers

Views of the city and valley can be enjoyed from atop Mill Mountain, where the 100-foot Roanoke Star is located. Bordered by the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway, senior visitors do not have to travel long distances outside Roanoke to locate excellent camping, hiking, and other recreational activities.

Within the city, old-fashioned streets offer a unique atmosphere for enjoying many attractions such as the Roanoke City Farmer’s Market, which is also a popular lunchtime destination. Other featured attractions encircle the market.

And Downtown Roanoke, Wow!  Roanoke is home to the Center in the Square, a unique addition to the city that encourages culture and the arts. Senior visitors can get in touch with their artsy side at this downtown cultural center which features museums of art, history and science, plus live professional theater, dance and opera.

A  Roanoke vacation can be made even more fun by visiting the various other area attractions including the Virginia Museum of Transportation, the Harrison Museum of African American Culture and the Mill Mountain Zoo, just outside the city limits of Roanoke.

You’ll also want to visit the famous Roanoke Star that sits atop Mill Mountain, a beacon welcoming visitors and reminding them of how the Native Americans named the Shenandoah Valley “daughter of the stars.”

 It’s called the “Best Outdoor Town on the East Coast.” I think you will enjoy the city and all its amenities during your visit.  jeb


House Sitting Perfected: A Senior Adventure

I’m enjoying coffee with Angela this morning. Our guest contributor is the resident in house expert on the team of, the world’s largest house sitting organisation providing help and advice to both pet/home owners and house sitters, also a regular contributor with  RetireWow, Starts at Sixty and Boomeon, the online Baby Boomer Community.   Senior friends, enjoy her story.

Angela and John

“One of my favourite life quotes is from St Augustine: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

For 25 years John and I devoured a virtual library of travel with his job as a Petroleum Engineer. We traveled the world living the expat life not always in paradise, but I wouldn’t have missed a moment. It’s said there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. There is a third … retirement, it comes to us all, eventually.

We’d planned for it financially but definitely not emotionally. In truth, as much as our travels had given so they had taken away a sense of belonging, roots and connection with a community. We had become life long nomads, staying put wasn’t even remotely appealing.

Retirement had all the prospects of  a life “too normal”, plus John and I are two very independent individuals with much of our married life spent apart. This wasn’t going to be an easy fix. So began our “putting down roots” quest: we knew where we didn’t want to live, what we didn’t want to do.


We bought a home in France, stayed a year. Then a beautiful ocean-front home on Vancouver Island, a B&B, realizing a long held ambition of mine. Accompanying us on this journey was our beloved Springer, Holly: from Africa to India, Germany, France, England and Canada she was there for fourteen years.

I believe our smart and beautiful Holly guided us towards this amazing pet and house-sitting adventure knowing exactly what we needed in our lives ….. animals and travel!

Taking us across five continents, we get to live like a local.  Our travels have purpose, keeping pets safe and happy giving owners absolute peace of mind. We’re not simply on vacation. Making new friends, both two and four legged, is unavoidable!

view from our terrace in Spain

This travel lifestyle has enriched our retirement beyond measure and could not be financially possible any other way, we’ve saved thousands of $$$$.  If we had to pay for everything, our children would have shut us down long ago, we’d be spending their inheritance.

Since October 2013 we’ve been on assignment in Spain enjoying a lovely villa with views of the Mediterranean and the company of a dear and lovable Doberman named Bruno. Our BC home safe in our sitters care.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but many seniors can enjoy this lifestyle. For these retirees, travel simply doesn’t get any better. Angela


Seniors Discover Culpeper

Surrounded by historic landmarks, rolling hills, and sparkling rivers, lakes and streams, the Town of Culpeper naturally blends a rich history with a prosperous future.  With many Colonial and Victorian homes, thriving businesses, and quaint shops, galleries and restaurants, it’s easy for senior visitors to see why it’s been called “One of the 10 Best Small Towns in America.”

With approximately 16,000 residents, the Town enjoys proximity to Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, Charlottesville and Richmond. The locals say that there are “so many things to love” in this town. Culpeper is in a super location at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Skyline Drive.

Historic homes and Colonial era churches complement miles of scenic byways. Hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing, and horseback riding are great ways for senior travelers to enjoy the Culpeper countryside.

Since it was chartered in 1749, Culpeper County has been an important crossroads for business and it’s economy is multifaceted and changing with the times.

Seniors will find plenty of things to see and do in and around Culpeper. A top visitor choice is the Library of Congress National Audio Visual Conservation Center. If you are “into chocolate” like my wife, The Frenchman’s Corner will tempt your palate.

History and Hospitality Meet in Culpeper

The scenic surroundings aren’t just for senior hikers and cyclists. They are home to nationally ranked equestrian facilities, some of the best fishing in the Commonwealth of Virginia, beautiful family parks, and waterways perfect for paddling past historic lands.

Culpeper is where history and hospitality meet!  A stellar example of the Virginia Main Street program, the Town of Culpeper has revitalized its downtown with extraordinary shopping  and dining.  Downtown is filled with art and antiques, unique shops, and world class restaurants.

Just an hour from DC, Charlottesville, and Fredericksburg, and a short drive to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, Culpeper is the perfect base for your Virginia adventure.

Culpeper is home to many of Virginia’s antebellum plantation homes and thousands of acres of farmland, the rolling hills of the Piedmont region and the westernmost flats of the Northern Neck collide in rural Culpeper County.

Today’s Town of Culpeper offers a unique blend of Americana. From colonial to modern times, from thriving businesses to historic homes, the Town of Culpeper truly offers a real, not reproduced, Town Center. I think that you will find Culpeper unique, a one of a kind and full of exciting things to see and do.  Plan a visit today.  You will enjoy the thriving environment.  jeb




Seniors Discover Portugal’s Riviera

The Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean with a population of just over 450,000. Senior travelers, it is Portugal’s most popular holiday destination due to the clean golden beaches, the cool, unpolluted water, and the fact that it is relatively inexpensive, very safe and overall welcoming.

Faro is the main city on The Algarve. In winter, it is a beautiful, peaceful corner of Southern Europe with plenty of sun bleaching the white-washed town with Iberian and Moorish-influenced architecture. The people are more friendly than other parts of Europe. Many speak a bit of English, but are very appreciative of any attempts at Portuguese.

 Garden of Portugal Invites Seniors

With its robust fruit orchards basking in the warm Mediterranean climate, The Algarve lives up to its nickname, the Garden of Portugal.

The sunny region overflows with crops of oranges, carob, figs, pomegranates, and almonds. It also has a coastline teeming with fresh seafood.

Full of Moorish and Roman ruins, cubist houses, and other flavors left by past Phoenicians, Greeks, Visigoths, and Christians, this area’s more recent invaders include Northern European tourists and transplants who today have made the southwestern tip of Portugal one of the most popular vacation destinations in Europe.

And when traveling in one of The Algarve’s attractive towns, you can visit old Moorish monuments, eat at a fabulous seafood restaurant or simply stroll among the beauty of Portugal’s southern region. The 100 mile long coastline is blessed with sand dunes, cliffs and natural grottoes.

Senior visitors will find that the beaches are some of the most-loved in all of Portugal. The Algarve golf courses attract senior golfers like a magnet with over 30 courses dotting the region.

Seniors Enjoy Portugal’s Coastal Strip

Wherever you look on The Algarve, the colors of the mountains and sea are always with you, creating the impression of a water-color dotted with highlights of gold, green and blue.

The region is an extensive and pleasant one, with a Mediterranean climate, marked by the smell of the sea at low tide and the scent of wildflowers.

Senior travelers can also easily lose themselves in the vastness of the coastal strip. Interesting to me… it is referred to as THE Algarve.  Reminds me of when I was a grad student at THE Ohio State University.  Not OSU. jeb

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