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10 Essential Places To Travel In Your 40s

It's often said that your 40's are the most stressful years of your life, simultaneously trying to balance your ever-increasing pressure on your new, higher paid position at work and the ever-increasing teenage tantrums of your kids. And yeah, these wise prophets who say these things are probably right. That said, to dispel these stresses, more often than not it's the detachment of travel that provides the essential break you need from your hectic lifestyle. AND more often than not you have a lot more money to play with than you did in your 20's and 30's. So why not make it the trip of a lifetime? These 10 destinations are perfect for both those who are looking to embark on an adventure without the kids or alternatively looking for the best family holiday you can think of. So lets go. Here are the 10 essential places to travel in your 40s:

1. Follow in the footsteps of the Incas in Peru

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is the most iconic landmark of the pre-columbian ruins. Photo by Pedro Szekely.

Ok, lets get one thing straight. Peru is, and always has been, a paradise for every type of traveler that ever existed. It's a must on everyone's travel bucket list and if it's not on yours by the time you've read this then perhaps you shouldn't call yourself a traveler. Ok, that was harsh, but in all seriousness, GO THERE! From strolling through the beautiful Plaza de Armas, Cuzco's (the capital of the Incan Empire) main square, to following the Inca trail to the iconic Incan settlement of Machu Picchu, Peru tours will fulfill all of your adventure yearnings. Why travel to Peru in your 40's? It would be stupid to limit Peru just for your 40's but it's the recommended age due to a culmination of intrigue, the amount of information you can absorb / want to absorb and the flexibility of your financial situation which can allow you to take any Peru tour you want to go on.

2. Stroll the charming streets of Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

Japan's ancient capital charms with its abundance of majestic temples.

What current capital Tokyo has in contemporary high-rises and futuristic gadgets, Japan's old capital Kyoto has in hilltop temples and fascinating ancient alleyways. To stroll this network of old-world Japan will ease any pre-existing tension or stress in your life; The 1000+ Buddhist temples will alleviate all problems! Add the excellent range of local cuisine, the most pristine gardens and the spectrum of colors that Kyoto so exquisitely displays and you have the perfect meditative, relaxing holiday (with the fundamental addition of being somewhere extremely cultural). For an enriching take on Kyoto, Pico Iyer conveys his thoughts beautifully in this BBC article. Why visit Kyoto in your 40's? To re-ignite that inner Zen mind you have. To find peace and relaxation at a time when you need it most and most importantly to absorb the cultural riches that Japan has to offer.

3. Take on the glitz and glamour of New York City, U.S.A

New York City skyline

Where else but downtown Manhattan. Concrete jungle, innovative landscape. Photo by Gregg Knapp.

Ah, New York City - the Big Apple, the City That Never Sleeps... What hasn't been said about the city where dreams are made or shattered in the bat of an eyelid? One thing's for sure: New York is a place like no other. Its identity is preserved in its rapid rise in history, its charismatic people and its beating heart, the iconic Central Park, surrounded by the concrete jungle that so definitively makes up this powerful melting pot. While it may not be the capital of the United States, many consider this iconic city to be the capital of the world and, thanks to its cultural ubiquity in our society and the importance it holds in the modern era, it's hard to argue otherwise. The city itself rattles and moves with a relentless energy; smoke rising up through the manholes while the inhabitants struggle for space on the pavement. Respite exists in Central Park, but you won't want to stay there too long thanks to the seemingly endless array of things to do that are on offer. Why visit New York in your 40's? Because you can enjoy the fine wining and dining but still have the energy to rock those dive clubs until the early morning. This is the city that never sleeps, after all, so therefore why should you?

Stand on top of the world in Nepal

Mt Everest Nepal

Mt Everest is the highest mountain in the world and Nepal's most iconic tourist attraction.

It's not only trekking Mt Everest that draws people to Nepal. It's also the countless other trekking routes and mountain peaks, several beautiful cities and the warmer climate of the south that capture the imagination of those in need of a diverse country saturated with immaculate landscapes. While the capital Kathmandu is energetic and loud, the city of Pokhara offers a beautiful serenity around a tranquil Lake Phewa. Those looking for a safari on the other hand have to head into the Nepalese jungle in the south and go to the popular option of Chitwan National Park. There are many great treks to take in Nepal but perhaps among the best are the Annapurna Circuit, the Everest Circuit, the Langtang trek and the Poonhill trek. I did the Langtang trek for 8 days and enjoyed the vast range of climates, terrain and vegetation on the route. Highly recommended! Why go trekking in Nepal in your 40's? Nepal is perfect for someone in their 40's. I have personally just turned 40 and have recently got the urge to travel Nepal and Bhutan together. Getting out there, feeling insignificant between the monstrous valleys and breathing the fresh mountain air. You're 20's and 30's are filled with partying and big cities but when you turn 40 you also turn your back on that lifestyle and seek somewhere with little to no civilization.

5. Go wine tasting in Bordeaux, France

Saint Emilion wine

Vineyards of Saint Emilion, Bordeaux wine region, France.

Come on, admit it, you've always wanted to take a wine tour of the countless wine regions scattered around the Bordeaux region. Doesn't everybody? Oh, the delight to hop from one side of the gracious Dordogne to the other, sweeping by sleepy villages to taste the full-bodied wines that have been cultivating for many years, waiting for that mature pallet of yours to acknowledge the diligence and years that have gone into the process in-between grape and heaven. Sound pretentious? Then perhaps Bordeaux isn't for you. But isn't that what it's for? 40 something adults to show off their intellect and ultimately get pissed and then talk about how pretentious one comment or the other sounds. Why visit Bordeaux in your 40's? France is pricey, quality wine is pricey and nothing quite shouts accomplished 40 year old like a week long trip of the Bordeaux wine region. All pretentious mocking aside, the wine is amazing and the scenery, old villages and climate adds to the overall allure of Southern France. You can even take the kids on a camping trip? ... or not.

6. Climb Africa's highest peak: Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mt Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the most popular climbs in the world.

Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest mountain and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. It's unique in the fact that it's peak is a magnificent volcano crater that last erupted over 150,000 years ago and the 6 most famous routes that lead up to the peak are all varied and equally impressive. From the famous Marangu Route ("Coca Cola Route") to the longer Lemosho Route, Kilimanjaro offers a route for those with no experience at all to those with bags of experience. Check out our ultimate guide to trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro for more details. Why trek Kilimanjaro in your 40's? With the flights and the trek together, plus any extra days in Tanzania ad further payments, this trip will accumulate to a lot of money and, although it's an impressive feat to climb Kilimanjaro at any age, it ultimately is a more secure option for someone in their 40's, looking for a new challenge and old and wise enough to go through the proper preparation and packing process.

7. Explore the magical bio-diversity of Madagascar

Madagascar Baobab tree

Madagascar's supremely diverse ecosystem is a major draw for nature enthusiasts.

Madagascar appeals not only to the ultra keen adventure traveler but also to everyone in the world. Why? No, not the movie, silly. The Ring-tailed lemur, hailed by many as the cutest animal on the planet. But aside of that magnificent little ball of furry fun, Madagascar bewilders with its extreme bio-diversity and magical ecosystem. Nowhere else in the world do you find such rare animals and plants that coexist quite like in Madagascar. Take your intrigue in nature to the limits and traverse the array of terrains and ecosystems in this adventure-packed, wildlife filled, lemur-lovin' trip of a lifetime. Why visit Madagascar in your 40's? Again, sorry to bring up the whole money thing once more but it certainly costs an arm and a leg to fund your dream tour of Madagascar. It's also because certain areas of Madagascar are quite challenging to the inexperienced traveler and so by 40 you should have the wisdom and experience behind you to cope with these difficulties. Madagascar is also an island not quite geared up for youngsters, either. There isn't a big backpacking or hostel culture and the transport system is a world away from getting around in Southeast Asia for example. There's no public transport and everything has to be booked and prepared in advance with either a tour guide or your hotel. Very 40's.
Ring-tailed Lemur

A ring-tailed Lemur, native to Madagascar, just going about his business being cheeky as usual.

8. Travel through the jewels of Northern India

Taj Mahal, India

The majestic Taj Mahal attracts millions of visitors year round. Photo by Kevin Jones.

Travelling northern India is like going through the washing machine, being thrown about, clothes sticking to each other, constant noise and hardly any space to move. This exasperation is all part of the unique and incredible experience of traveling India and you, like the washing, will undeniably come out much better off than before you arrived in the whirlwind of havoc. From taking a tour of the palaces of Rajasthan to viewing the majestic Taj Mahal to shopping down the hectic bazaars of Dehli, Northern India is the quintessential traveling experience and simply cannot be missed. Why visit India in your 40's? Because you're still young enough to deal with the everyday aggravation of the over-population, pollution and climate, you're senses have developed into a much more mature and appreciative part of you and your general appreciation of Raj palaces and interest in Indian history are at an all-time high. A truly fascinating country and one I'm eager to get back to.

9. Traverse the glaciers of Patagonia, Argentina

Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia

Beautiful natural landscape with Mt Fitz Roy in Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina.

Patagonia is Argentina’s pièce de résistance when it comes to hiking and nature tours. The Argentinian side of the spectacular Andes mountains boast a vast expanse of rugged mountains, serene lakes and a range of deep colors, also perfect for those photographer wannabees. From horse riding through the mountainous forests in Bariloche to hiking the iconic Monte Fitz Roy, post-card perfect Patagonia is in equal parts romantic and exhilarating. Why travel Patagonia in your 40's? Expenses are one thing but the pure appreciation for nature and the great outdoors is suited perfectly for those past their 30's. The intense hiking and mountain climbing, however, needs to be done before you get that bit too old.

10. Spot the Big 5 on your African Safari adventure

Africa safari

An elegant giraffe in the Masai Mara, Kenya.

It's no secret that Africa has the best collection of game and wildlife on the planet and, wow, are there some safari options for you to take? East Africa has the highest concentration of safari National Parks and the 'Big 5' and it's particularly the sensational duo of the Serengeti National Park of Tanzania and the Masai Mara of Kenya, the location where the world-famous wildebeest migration annually takes place, that form one vast area of Savannah over the border of the two countries. In addition to these two safari hotspots, there are hundreds of mind-blowing African safaris to go on, among them gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda, Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Why go there in your 40's? An African safari makes for the perfect family holiday and when you're in your 40's you will more likely be able to afford it. The all action fun of a safari adventure is what family tours are made for. Or, on the other hand, they're just as thrilling as a nice couple getaway as you finish your action packed adventure under the stars of the African wilderness.   Wow, that list is filled with great adventures! Can you add anymore? Let us know what you think should be added in the comments below...