These small creatures are covered with long sharp spines that are intended to protect them from predators, which I was not. The spines lodged deep in my foot. The pain subsided somewhat after the usual treatment (an application of urine), and I was able to walk without a limp after a day or two. You won't be surprised to learn that I had been warned to watch out for sea urchins before I entered the water.
See Also: Renewing Friendships on the Road
I have since read on another of those advice-for-elderly-travelers sites that "protective footwear should be used on the sand and in the water." I'm not sure the site had sea urchins in mind, but I sure wish I'd been wearing some kind of footwear that day.
Travel advice for old folks makes greater or less sense depending upon your particular physical and mental circumstances. Here are some sensible ideas on the subject:
- Take along a letter from your doctor listing your medical conditions and medications.
- Get up and walk around every 30 minutes or so while waiting for a flight. (Airports specialize in long delays these days.) Do this during airline flights, as well. Too much sitting can bring on swollen ankles and other circulation problems.
- Be careful of hot climates if you have low blood pressure.
- Build some rest breaks into your sightseeing schedule.
- Beware of cities with high pollution rates if you have asthma or other respiratory problems. And exercise as little as possible if you find yourself in such a city.
- Take extra time to plan your route and your day. You may be susceptible to greater anxiety in unexpected situations or strange environments.
The absolute best advice for older travelers, I suspect, goes something like this: Don't act your age, act your capacity. Take on the challenges your mind and body can handle. In other words, know thyself.
As for me, I'm still working at it.