A Baby Boomer Crossing Over into A Millennial, iGen World and Loving It


I’m a  Baby Boomer (a person born between 1946-1964). I’m also a grandmother and after I visited my grandkids, I went shopping because that is what Boomers do. I live in a rural area so I decided to immerse myself in the big city life of Syracuse, NY.  I went to Barnes and Noble (my generation still loves to hold books in our hands), Trader Joe’s, Marshalls, and The Carousel Mall. Since I was 80 miles from home and it was  getting late, I decided to stay overnight in a motel.  I was headed to a  Best Western or Hampton Inn but I came upon something new.  It was sleek, modern and it was something called a Tru Hilton.  Probably too expensive, I thought, but  I decided to go in and find out.


I was greeted by colorful outdoor furniture and positive sayings on the entrance door.

I soon found out that the average price for rooms at the Tru was in the $90 to $100 range.  I was sold plus this place was interesting. The lobby was one big room with the reservation desk and “market”, as they called it, in the center. The market was open 24 hours a day and served snacks, soda and single serve beer and wine. A sign in the elevator invited guests to come down to the lobby at any time for “work, eats, or laughs.” There was free high speed internet throughout the hotel and free coffee and tea  24/7. Near the elevator  was an interactive dry erase board where guests and staff could list  local tourist attractions, music venues, restaurants, and places to shop.  Guests were invited pick up a marker and comment about their favorites.

Someone in the Hilton organization had put a lot of thought into the design and feel of this hotel. I looked up Tru Hilton online and found that their focus was “Millennials, those in their twenties and early thirties who tend to like modern design, public spaces where they can work and socialize, and advanced technology such as mobile check-in”.

With the individualist spirit of this younger generation in mind, the furniture offered all sorts of seating styles; swinging basket chairs, places to accommodate groups, and individual secluded nooks with computer tables. A trendy bright mural on one of the walls paid tribute to the Syracuse area.

I entered my room and was surprised to see it wasn’t carpeted. There were no pictures on the wall and instead of drapes the window was cover with rolling blinds.   A space  with hangers, everything needed to iron, and a raised platform  for a suitcase offered an efficient substitute for a closet. Pegs on an opposite wall  provided an additional  place to hang things. To me, the sparseness of this room was not unpleasant. With all the stories in the news about bed bugs, germs, and longer flu seasons,  I found this new style of lodging comforting. This was a room that could be easily and thoroughly cleaned by the housekeeping staff.


The bathroom had plenty of shelf space and a walk in shower.  Shampoo, lotion, body wash, and condition were in ample supply in squeeze bottles attached to the wall.

The next morning I went down to the lobby for coffee and breakfast and checked out


Because I’m a Baby Boomer, I needed to go to one more store, Pier I.  And since I love sociology, am a bit of a geek, and always have to know why things are the way they are, I drove to another Barnes and Noble a few miles down the road.  I was curious. The Hilton corporation had created a new hotel line to reach a younger generation. This made sense because Millennials are a very large demographic and”demographics are destiny”.  I wanted to know more.

I went over to the sociology section, took three books off the shelf, got yet another cup a coffee, found a comfy chair, and dug in.  I opened  iGen by Jean M. Twenge and  immediately learned that iGen (born between 1995-2012) were the generation after The Millennials  (1980-1994).

These two groups of young Americans were similar but  iGens  are more practical, career focused, and cautious. Bogged down by student loans, the ever changing job market, the threat of automation, and income insecurity, they are more logical than emotional about their choices.  They are nonconformist, less impressed by celebrities and fame, and would rather have experiences than things. Their money goes money for housing, food, education, and medical expenses.  If they do have extra money they spend it on travel, being with friends or a good meal in a nice restaurant.  Quality of life is more important to them than stuff.

The longer I live the more I see the consistency of charge. Younger people are and will change the trends and the world we live in.  But this Baby Boomer kind of likes some of the changes.  I crossed into a Millennium, iGen world at Tru Hilton, learned a lot, and left feeling good.  I’ll be going back.


Forest Bathing-Inexpensive/Free Travel Experience

Forest bathing fallsStudies show that most people spend 93% of their time indoors or in cars, averaging 12 hours a weeks outside. The Japanese have come up with a program called “Forest Bathing” in which individuals immerse themselves in natural environments. Sound, smells, the air and temperatures, colors and textures are observed and appreciated. The idea is to be totally in the present moment and hopefully at peace.

No goals are set and there is to be no digital distractions. Wandering and childlike discovery are encouraged.

A recent CBS report said that Forest Bathing increases cardiovascular healing, cognitive function, creativity, and concentration while reducing inflammation, depression, and anger. If done in solitude and silence, studies showed that the positive effects can last for up to a week.

If you are not fortunate enough to live in or near a forest just leave your cell phone behind and find a quiet place in the desert or a park or anyplace you can get away from the noise of the world and find those things in nature that are real. We all need more peace.

Forest bathing mushroom

Copyright 2018 @The Autonomous Traveler

A Nearby Journey, One Country Road

Road horses

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”   Marcel Proust


Every  weekday morning before I retired, I drove to school down the same country road. You won’t find my route in any guidebooks. It is just an ordinary rural asphalt passage through Northern New York State. But to me, it is very special.  It is the beginning of all my journeys.  It is the path that always welcomes me home.

Road red sunset


Over the years, I have come to appreciate the things I see on this road as much as I have been thrilled by the sights I have witnessed in Paris or The Rocky Mountains or any place I have traveled.

Road my tree

Road shadRoad Barn

Road winter


I have learned to observe and appreciate.  This practice has brought me great joy.

Road rock

Road Dew

These pictures  were all taken four miles from my home during various times of year. I invite all my readers to look and really see the interesting things just down the road. Take time to stop. You may discovery some pretty extraordinary things.


Rest in peace, Anthony Bourdain.  You gave us new eyes. You will be missed.