Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lifelong Learning Thursday

Nancy Merz Nordstrom, author of Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret of Making the Most of Your After 50 Years will share the benefits of Lifelong Learning on Thursdays.

The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years.

Lifelong Learning in Your Later Years…
A Health Club for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit!

To continue my story from last Thursday…

My fellow travelers all seemed friendly as we introduced ourselves- a nice mix of couples and single women, with a few single men. There were several “50-somethings” in the group, the rest in their 60s and 70s. I was promptly christened “the baby” since I was only 51.

In my research on travel for older adults I had recently learned about Elderhostel, an even larger educational travel provider. Their minimum age at the time, however, was 55, and I did not want to wait four more years for this first travel experience.

So, five hours after leaving Boston we landed in Zurich. We regrouped, found our Munich-bound plane, and one-hour later were on the ground in Germany. We were then joined by an Austrian guide who spoke flawless English, and stayed with us throughout the entire program.

The two-hour private bus ride to Innsbruck, down the Autobahn through the wide-open farmlands of Southern Germany, was quite comfortable. Most of us were operating on very little sleep so some took the opportunity to nap. Never having been in this part of the world, however, I didn’t want to miss a thing. The red-orange tiled roofs of all the farm houses along the way were quite eye-catching, although the scent wafting through the air was less than wonderful. “Freshlander Air” was what the Germans called the after-effects of fertilizing the fields with processed sewage.

Check-in at the Studentenhaus (University of Innsbruck dorms) was quick and easy– pick up the key and go. No time-consuming forms to fill out. We each had our own room– spartan but utilitarian and very clean. The view from my window showcased the River Inn and old-world buildings on the opposite bank. I was awe-struck.

After a short settling in and orientation, we boarded the bus again for a trip to the nearby mountain village of Lanz, where our introductory dinner in an inn built in 1313, awaited us. 1313, imagine! It made me realize just how young the United States really is. I found myself paying more attention to the inn than to the dinner, although the food was excellent.

Leaving the inn after dinner, we were greeted by “Oom Pah Pah” music from across the street– a very nice surprise that set the tone for our entire program. We were driven back to Innsbruck through picture-perfect mountain villages that looked like they belonged on postcards. What a wonderful beginning, I hoped, to a great adventure.

Next Week…The program really begins


Moslih Eddin Saadi, the Persian Poet said, “A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” Throughout my trip, I tried to drink in every new thing I saw, to observe as much as possible and permanently implant it into my brain. It was an exciting way to learn.

For more information on Learning Later, Living Greater visit You can purchase Learning Later, Living Greater at

Till Next Time…

Nancy Merz Nordstrom is Director of the Lifelong Learning Department at Computer School for Seniors (

1 comment:

Sage said...

Love to learn and love to travel;they go very well together.