Traveling Alone is Scary – Until You Get There: How One Man’s Solo Trek Around the World is Inspiring Single Gen-Xers and Boomers to Get Out There and Explore

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Sexagenarian Chris Hermann Tells ExpertFlyer How Suddenly Losing His Wife Helped Him Find the Strength and Courage to Backpack Three Continents, Make New Friends, and Learn to Live Again

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Chris Hermann, Galapagos Islands

Believe it or not, this year-long trip cost me no more than if I was living at home

In 1933, FDR famously stated, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Chris Hermann, author of “The Youthful Art of Midlife Travel,” concurs with FDR’s claim stating that when it comes to being fearful, many folks are their own worst enemy. After suddenly losing his wife to cancer, Hermann decided, at the ripe young age of 62, to step outside his comfort zone and embark on a 12-month backpacking adventure around the world. Mr. Hermann went One-on-One with to share his own fears and how he was able to overcome them, and how solo travel for mature singles can offer a new lease on life for far less than you may think.

“I was living the family dream, including seven grandchildren, but unfortunately, my wife of 40 years suddenly passed away,” recalls Chris Hermann, who shared the anxieties that nearly held him back from an amazing solo backpacking trip, during his podcast with ExpertFlyer. “I remember one person telling me, ‘Oh, you’ll be back in three months.’ That type of encouragement certainly didn’t make the decision to go for it, any easier.”

Hermann gained confidence after trekking through parts of Southeast Asia for a couple of weeks with just a backpack. That’s when he realized that most of his fears about solo travel were mostly psychological. For someone who had serious reservations about an adventure of this magnitude, Hermann admits that his preparation was nothing more than the decision to ‘wing it’ with the hope that the “purpose” of his trip would unfold with each destination and experience.

“In terms of planning, all I had were the three stopovers in Madrid, Panama, and Singapore and nothing planned, but I was aware that the places that I was going to had ex-pat populations,” Hermann explains. “There are a lot of Americans and Brits who live in parts of Central America and in Spain, so I knew that socially there would be a segue for me into the local community.”

Throughout the interview, Chris Hermann addressed several questions regarding lodging, overall cost of his adventure, and if he ever felt “alone” during his travels. “For lodging, staying in hostels was always my preferred accommodation. They were economical and despite misperceptions, very clean. Most importantly, however, they became a fantastic way to meet others from all over the world, many of whom remain friends today.

“Believe it or not, this year-long trip cost me no more than if I was living at home,” Hermann explained. “Of course, the trip can be as expensive and elaborate as you want but traveling on a lower budget will offer a much better cultural experience, which is what I was looking for.

“I never really felt alone, thanks to my Smartphone,” Hermann explains with a smile. “I would receive a message from my son, checking in on me and video chats with the grandkids, so in that respect, I had my core support team in the palm of my hand at all times. And I can’t stress enough how many wonderful people you meet along the way, so no, I couldn’t say that I was lonely or felt alone.”

Hermann’s book, “The Youthful Art of Midlife Travel” shares his travel experiences with others like him, while addressing similar fears and how he found inner strength to overcome those fears. Hermann is now developing an online course to show others how to become independent global travelers by empowering people with the confidence to simply “get out there and do it!”

To learn more about Chris Hermann’s excellent adventures, listen to ExpertFlyer’s podcast or visit his blog at

About Chris Hermann
When most people think about retiring, Chris Herrmann, from Perth in Western Australia, took a different course. With a corporate business background and grandfather of seven, he took a senior gap year. An adventurous journey around the world. Through 23 countries, sleeping in 123 different places,

His journey was triggered by the sudden death of his wife of forty years and the realization how suddenly life can change. He left with no purpose, other than to step out the door, travel and explore. He returned from his journey with one question. Our young generation are travelling the globe in their thousands. Confident and adventurous experience seeking travelers engaging first-hand with other cultures. Why is our generation missing out on all the fun? His mission is to change this. To inspire more people, particularly his age, to have the confidence to enjoy adventurous and culturally immersive travel experiences.

Each month, ExpertFlyer's One-on-One blog goes face-to-face with the travel industry's leading decision makers to discuss and address topics relevant to many of today's business and frequent travelers. was conceived and created by an eclectic team consisting of a veteran elite tier frequent flyer, an airline captain and corporate travel manager, and information technology professionals to deliver a 24/7 real time powerful air travel information service. The company provides its subscribers and corporate travel managers alike with a complete, concise and efficient way to access the ever-changing details of worldwide air travel information. For more information, please visit

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