Dear Amy: I love to travel. It's almost an obsession, and age (I'm over 80) has not dulled my desire. I had a good job and saved so that I could travel a lot in retirement. My husband, however, has lost a lot of his wanderlust, and will only go if I beg and plead.

To keep us both happy, I take one or two trips a year by myself. I have learned to enjoy being alone for a couple of weeks. I'm happy to get home at the end of each trip, because I do miss my husband after time away.

My problem is with girlfriends who keep asking to come with me. I like all of them or they wouldn't be my friends — but there are very few that I'd want to be with for a couple of weeks. Some are inclined to be negative, some talk all the time (I read in the evening), and many complain a lot about their health issues.

While on a recent trip, I invited one very easy-going lady, with whom I've been friends since the age of three, to join up for part of the time. I posted a picture on Facebook, and another friend was so upset that she hadn't been invited that she canceled a trip with her that we had been planning for a long time.

Should I just stop talking about upcoming travels?

Amy says: For starters, it's unwise to post about your travels while you are away. There are many practical reasons for this, the first being that you should not telegraph the fact that you are away from your home. Savvy people save their social media posts for after they've returned home, unpacked their bags and edited their photos.

As for your question, you should not let people guilt you into including them on your travels. (You also should not guilt your husband into joining you if he doesn't want to go.) You are not a tour guide. You are the travel agent of your own life.

You could tell people, "I'm firm about this, so I wish you'd stop asking." But you need to understand that people have the right to ask anything of you. You might have to say, "No, that wouldn't work for me," every single time.

You might suggest to these friends that they should consider booking a tour or a cruise and travel together. Road Scholar ( is a nonprofit organization organizing tours and experiences for elders. You might recommend this to your circle of eager travelers.

No thanks

Dear Amy: My older sister is very successful and kind. She has a habit that makes me feel very resentful, however.

Whenever she acquires a new piece of furniture, she pawns off her old stuff on me. Many of the things she has dropped off at my house were things that were pawned off on her back in the day.

I came home from work recently to be greeted by a 40-year-old floral Barcalounger that we all have hated and made fun of for decades. It was just sitting in my garage.

My sister behaves as if she is doing me a favor, but I have everything I want and need. What should I do?

Amy says: You could Photoshop the Barcalounger into a picture of a beach and text it to your sister with a note about how the chair is now living its best life — but not with you.

As for the chair, call a donation/resale site and ask them to put it on their pickup schedule. Someone else will be grateful to have it.

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