I’ve always kind of thought of myself as a young traveler. Not anymore.
I was sitting in a Rotterdam dorm room — Europe is too expensive to get a private room on a journalist’s chit — talking to a couple of British girls about the usual shit you talk to people in dorm rooms about. They were young and rightfully seemed a little proud that they got jobs and saved up enough money to travel when all their other friends were languishing away in “uni.”
I mentioned that I began traveling young as well, that I began in 1999, in fact.
Usually, when I say things like this in dorm rooms I get ohhs and ahhhs. These girls looked at me kind of mortified, as if I’d just said something grotesque.
In a mere moment it became clear why.
“Uh…when were you born?” I stammered.
For the first time ever I realized that I am not a young person anymore.