Riddle of the peripatetic fiftysomething

February 12, 1999

Luke Desforges, a lecturer in the institute of geography and earth sciences at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, has been trying to understand what possesses people in their fifties to venture for the first time to destinations such as Peru, Yemen and Nepal.

He says that many of these older travellers are at a junction in their lives, either facing retirement or seeing their children leave home, and are looking for new identities. "If people are looking for new ways of seeing themselves, travel can often provide the answers," said Dr Desforges.

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