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Being Old and Getting Older

Two days left of being 31. I’m feeling old.

If you’re younger than 31, it sounds old right?

And I’m guessing that anyone older is screaming, ‘but you’re still young!’ Like I do when I read those hipsters moaning about being 23 in the likes of Vice Magazine. But it’s all relative right?

Fact is, at 31, middle age is just a few birthday candles away.

Getting older

Being old and getting older

I can feel myself getting older. See it. In some photos I’m shocked by my face when I’m papped by others, not ready with the usual and oh so annoying ‘social media gasp’. I can’t help myself but do it. I’m just not a pouter.

It’s rare that you see your face in its normal state, you’re usually brushing your teeth, putting on make up or changing your natural expression for a photo. I’ve always found it weird that you never really know what you look like, even a camera changes it in some way. And when friends exclaim with reassurance that ‘you just look like you!’ when you express negativity about a particular photo, I’m always left thinking ‘yikes, do I?’ And feel the need to apologise to anyone who’s had to look at me for any amount of time.

I look in the mirror today and lines are appearing by my eyes, I have these weird silver hairs in my brows (quite fond of them though) and even my skin texture is changing. That foundation just doesn’t sit like it used to.

Growing old

Sometimes when I meet up with friends, I can’t help but notice how they’ve aged, seeing as it’s usually been a year or two, and possibly a baby or three, since I’ve seen them anyway. Their teeth have changed, their face, their profile – they look different – and I’ve no doubt they must be thinking the same about me.

But no one would ever be honest with you regarding how, would they? They might not even know. We just look, older.

I’m holding onto the fact that photographers have long known that it’s wrinkles that give a face character and reveal a life that’s been lived. Isn’t it a sad thought though, that most people don’t like their laughter lines? Wishing all those years of faces wrinkled with joy away, so that instead they could have the uneventful face of youth.

It’s not just the physical side of getting older that’s starting to show, but most worryingly for me is what it means to those I love too. My friends’ problems are bigger now – not just work and guys – but births, deaths, marriage, divorce and debt. My parents are in pain from various ailments, summed up by the simple ‘getting old’, while a few older friends’ parents are suffering, or have suffered, with MND, cancer, dementia or any one of the many other horrible illnesses ready to get us as the birthdays pass.

Women ageing in the media


At 31, almost 32, I’m all the more conscious that the media and advertising surrounds us with women younger than me, now. More successful, supposedly happier, thinner, prettier, practically perfect – well, thanks to the Photoshop – and very rarely older than 30. Men are allowed to get older gracefully in the media, their lines and greying hair are deemed attractive (‘silver fox’), while women disappear. The ones that do manage to stay in the public eye stay are reminded every day in some way that they’re getting older, and (inevitably) look older too. If they try to change it, with a new look or surgery to give in to the unwanted pressure, they’re ridiculed.

The prime example being Saturday night TV in the UK. Our most popular channels are currently showing Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor – where the men are allowed to age like a fine wine, while the women are either half their years or have a faceful of surgery.

Ageing as a travel blogger


I know I put myself out there online, ‘in the media’ and under the scrutiny, but getting older has actually made me all the more determined to. To not let the general female travel blogger profile be another 20-year-old looking beautiful, holding onto her hat for Instagram, somewhere around the world. You won’t find me editing wrinkles or chins out with apps, I don’t know how to and I wouldn’t want to deceive you anyway.

I went to a YouTube conference recently, where my 30ish-year-old friends and I were definitely in the oldest 10% in the building, if not 5. One of the YouTube staff up on stage told us that if we were over 24 then we were old on YouTube, and would have a lot of difficulty attracting an audience.

After the talk my friends and I joked how on The X Factor we’d be in that Overs category (over 28s apparently), pleading for our ‘last chance to make something of ourselves’. It was funny at the time, but it’s actually really sad. Why do humans have to have an expiry date now?

Just another marketing concept

Expiry dates were a concept thought up by Marks and Spencer’s in the 1970s to make people buy more food. If you’re only happy with something for a limited period, then it gives marketers and the media more chance to sell you something more when that time is up.

As humans, and there’s no doubt it applies more to women, are only ‘in date’ from around 18-25, and everyone else wants to be in that age group, then you can sell them the dream of being in that age group via beauty, fitness, fashion, food and everything else.

There are a lot more people waiting to get in, and being churned out the other side, than actually in it, creating a whole market of people desperate to be older, or younger, by any means possible.

So it makes sense, as marketers and the media, to make everyone else feel bad in themselves, so they need their product to feel better. Get it?

We need a revolt.

The future and getting even older


I’ve found myself looking around at people older than me and working out where I want to be in the next few years. Now that I apparently can’t be a YouTube sensation, or win a TV talent show, how do I want my life to pan out?

I know I live a very different life to most of my friends, the non-travel blogger ones anyway, and these last few weeks I’ve noticed it even more. My friends have grown up, they’ve got houses, marriages, babies, are moving up in their jobs, have dishwashers and cars and apple trees in their gardens and spare rooms and fully stocked fridges. It’s made me realise that at some point in the future I do want all that stuff, or some of it anyway.

I’m living a dream life but dreams shift. I need to lay the foundations now for the life I want to live when I’m older. As I look for inspiration from my parents and friends’ parents to see whose good fortune in health and finance I want to emulate – much of it seems to be up to luck, rather than a conscious choice of investment in lifestyle or assets. Of being in the right place at the right time.

But as a 31 year old in 2016 we know more now. We shouldn’t smoke, shouldn’t drink, should eat salmon, quinoa, blueberries and use moisturiser twice daily. We need to invest in property, focus on experiences not possessions, think about pensions and put away for the future. We need to work hard now to reap the benefits in the future

Obviously I’ve got the ‘focus on experiences’ thing down, but if I want to work on all the other things I’ve listed I’m going to have to change my life over the next few months, and I’m ready for it.

Growing old is a privilege


Growing old is a privilege, I absolutely believe that. It’s a privilege that’s been denied to too many of my friends. You only have to catch a snippet of the news to hear about more people, most heartbreakingly, innocent children, who will never know what it feels like to be a day older. To moan about aching bones, tired muscles or ‘things not being like they used to be’.

So it’s down to us, us 30+ year olds, to have the perspective and gratitude that I think is the key to a happy life. To accept that we are going to change, physically and mentally, and that those around us are going to change too. To show that as long as we all accept getting older together and support each other, getting older doesn’t have to be thwart with all the worries about ‘where you’ve reached in your career’, ‘in your love life’, ‘with your friends’. We don’t have to fear it.

I had a lot of fun in my twenties, but I’m done. I wouldn’t go back.

The media can try to make us 30+ lot feel bad, all those ‘things to do before your 30 lists’ can freak you out, ticking the next age box on any form is scary, and you and your mates might’ve put on a few pounds, but if we stick together, with our shared knowledge that a Saturday night in with a G+T is much more fun than shouting over music in the club it will make us a lot happier.

The 20 somethings can have their Snapchat, their crop tops, their millennial branding and all their insecurities, I’ll take my new interest in house prices and the laughter lines around my eyes, and a big fat slice of my 32nd birthday cake instead.

Is getting older something that bothers you? Any thoughts?

Clifford Rothband

Thursday 2nd of September 2021

77 is old. IBS is debilitating. Double vision is terrible. Can't drive or walk much anymore. Lost my balance and hearing. Led a full life..Need a better mindset now. What's left?


Friday 3rd of September 2021

Hello Clifford, that sounds tough, I'm sorry you're going through so many ailments. I was talking about this blog post the other day and how I felt silly that I'd written it, and that it was on my blog. I was in my early 30s at the time which I now realise is no age! Now I'm 36 and I definitely don't have the answers or any help as I can't imagine how hard it is when your health starts to go. I think you're right, it's all in the mindset as it's the only thing you can control now. I hope you find some answers and help. I wish you all the best.


Thursday 18th of May 2017

Trust me Vicki, as someone who recently left 30s for the 40s, the quality of life only gets better! My partner is 37, I'm 42, and neither of us have any intention of slowing down our travels. I've found that I'm enjoying following the older blogger set a lot more recently; the quality of the writing is better, there are better insights to a place, and there are generally far fewer click-bait articles and listicles. You're doing just fine!


Monday 12th of June 2017

Ah thanks Henry. Yeah, I think with some bloggers it's all about looking pretty in pretty places, while others try to give actual advice and insight into destinations. Guess it depends on what you're looking for to decide who you want to spend your time following. I just want to help people travel more and enjoy their festivals as much as possible!

Alice Teacake

Wednesday 26th of October 2016

32 year old solo female travel blogger right here! I recently was asked to write an article on how travelling has changed in my 30s. My answer was 'not at all!'. I love what I'm doing and don't want my age to dictate what I should be.

It certainly does annoy me that men being silver foxes whilst women have to continually look 20 is very real in this world. Age really is just a number. Here's to embracing our age, our changes and to continue keep on rocking!


Wednesday 2nd of November 2016

Hey Alice,

I think in the months leading up to this I was getting a bit angsty and sensitive about it being my birthday. Ever since I wrote it I’ve barely thought about being 32. In fact, I think that’s the first time I’ve written it. It’s all the same really isn’t it? Whether you’re having the time of your life at 31, 32, or 61, as long as you’re enjoying yourself!



Tuesday 18th of October 2016

Really enjoyed this one Vicky! I'm coming up on 30 next year and I've definitely noticed a big shift in myself--a propensity for the responsible, stable choices my younger self would have scoffed at. A strong desire to take care of my health and mental well-being. And a lot fewer fucks given about the silly shit I used to give fucks about. Aging is a privilege, indeed, thank you for that reminder today <3


Wednesday 2nd of November 2016

Hey Leah,

Totally agree. I didn’t mention it in the article, but yes, I’m definitely feeling that need to look after myself more too. I’ve also noticed that I’m more cautious about things though – I feel like a bit of a health and safety officer lately. And I don’t recognise myself in the fact that I’ve skydived – what was I *doing*?!

Erin Glass

Saturday 15th of October 2016

Great post Vicky! I just turned 40 and I was really struggling with it for a while. What I finally realized is that I am at a great place in my life. I have the maturity of life experience, but I'm still young enough to be able to try new things and evolve even more. I just got married right before I turned 40 and now I have decided to quit my job and work on starting a location independent business as a blogger. I feel more hopeful about the future than I ever have in the past. Best of luck to you as you contemplate what you want your own future to look like. Love your blog!


Wednesday 2nd of November 2016

Thanks Erin! I think getting older is one of those things that is much worse to think about than it actually is in practice. I was all angsty on the run up but now I've actually reached the grand old age of 32 I haven't thought about it at all. I don't feel it or act it and even if I did, so what. I was feeling old, but now I couldn't care less! We have an awesome life – woohooo!