Bob Baldwin has truly made the world his classroom. Since his retirement in 1994, Bob has attended 49 Road Scholar adventures. Last week, he ventured out on his 50th program, where he celebrated his 91st birthday!
Bob’s very first Road Scholar program was a sailing adventure to the San Juan Islands, which he was supposed to attend with his wife. Unfortunately, Bob’s wife suddenly became ill and passed away. Bob considered cancelling, but he decided to go on the program by himself in hopes of finding healing through the experience.
Bob’s first program was the start of a great deal of traveling and learning in his life, especially since Bob hadn’t done much traveling prior to retiring. The journey to 50 programs has been packed with some amazing adventures — since that first program, Bob has visited Alaska, gone on cycling adventures in Europe and has given his grandchildren and great-grandchildren priceless memories by traveling with them on Grandparent Adventures, including two trips overseas to the Netherlands and Greece.
Bob’s long history with Road Scholar is due in part to the people he meets on each of his learning adventures. Though Bob is usually a solo traveler, he likes to have Road Scholar match him up with a roommate. He has met roommates that he continues to travel with, and these connections have fostered extensive friendships.
During the pandemic, Bob continued his learning with Road Scholar through virtual lectures, but he was always looking forward to getting back on the road again. “I’ve been to Glacier several times, but I always wanted to get to Waterton Park in Canada,” he said of his plans for his 50th program. “I’m really looking forward to meeting new people from all over. The whole experience is something to look forward to. Not just sitting at home and doing the same mundane things. I like to be challenged, get out, and learn about things.”
As a well-traveled Road Scholar, Bob has his favorite adventures, which include memorable trips to Alaska. “On one of my visits to Alaska, we went to Scagway and learned about the Gold Rush,” Bob remembers. “They drove us around the trailhead at the Chilkoot Trail and told us all about the history. I thought to myself, ‘I’d sure love to hike that, but I probably never will.’ And I’ll be doggone if they didn’t offer that a few years later! At that time, I was 68, and I thought, ‘Boy I don’t know if I can make it, but I’m going to give it a shot and follow in those footsteps and learn that history.‘”
Almost 25 years later, Bob is still following the footsteps of history and visiting new places around the world. Join us in celebrating Bob as he marks his 91st birthday and 50th learning adventure!