These 81-year-old best friends traveled the world in 80 days


A pair of very best pals from Texas are proving that journey doesn’t have an age restrict – even when you’re 81.

Ellie Hamby, a documentary photographer, and Sandy Hazelip, a doctor and lecturer, toured the entire world in 80 days, adventuring from the seashores of Bali to the deserts of Egypt.

The octogenarian grandmothers started off their formidable journey on January 11, in accordance to the site the two have utilised to doc their travels.

Their to start with quit was a locale that eludes even lots of seasoned tourists: Antarctica.

Finding to the southernmost continent very first required crossing the Drake Passage, the notoriously tough waters among the southern tip of South The us and Antarctica’s South Shetland Islands.

“For virtually two days, we were being a rocking and rolling and a slipping and sliding by the Drake Passage and we were keeping on for dear lifestyle,” Hamby said in an job interview with CNN. “It was just wild.”

“But when we stepped foot on the floor on the Antarctic, you forgot all of that,” she recalled. “The attractiveness of the Antarctic is just unbelievable to see the penguins and the icebergs and the glaciers – just, this was incredible.”

Because that initial venture, the pair have frequented 18 countries across all seven continents, often even though clad in matching T-shirts. They’ve also accrued a loving social media adhering to who keep track of the “traveling grannies” on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.

Hazelip informed CNN that she achieved Hamby soon after her spouse died in 1999. Ahead of his loss of life, he “planted the seed in my heart that we need to start off getting our grandsons on mission excursions in the summertime,” she mentioned. This led her to the Zambia Medical Mission, a undertaking operate by Hamby and her spouse in southern Africa.

The two bonded about their shared fascination in journey and determination to prioritizing exceptional ordeals in excess of comfort and ease and facilities when overseas. The two grew to become closer as widows right after Hamby’s partner died in 2005.

Hazelip claims the concept for their vacation originated a couple of yrs before they had been every set to flip 80.

“I just bought the plan due to the fact we had traveled formerly alongside one another internationally,” she claimed. “And so about four years prior to we were going to transform 80, I talked about to her a single day, ‘Ellie, wouldn’t it be enjoyment to go about the earth in 80 days at age 80?’”

The first step of Hamby and Hazelip's trip was Antarctica.

On their site, Hamby and Hazelip say they devoted the excursion to their late husbands, Kelly and Don. “We pass up you and wish you ended up becoming a member of our experience,” they write.

Initially, the two prepared to disembark in 2022 when they were being 80 years old. “And COVID shut these plans down,” Hazelip went on. “But COVID did not shut us down. So we went this year, and our concept was, ‘At 81 and continue to on the operate.’”

More than the earlier three months, the pair have ridden camels in Egypt, met elephants in Bali, danced in Nepal, and noticed the Northern Lights in Finland.

And in spite of the problems intercontinental vacation provides, the most effective mates say they finished their vacation without any arguments.

“We’re equally unbiased, quite stubborn. But we seem to be to let each individual other to give room,” stated Hamby. “We just recognize each individual other and we know this is a good matter we’re doing and we kind of respect every other’s inner thoughts.”

For Hamby, the highlight of the journey was the folks they met alongside the way.

“We enjoy all the sights that we observed, but the matters that we bear in mind the most are the persons that we met,” she mentioned. “We satisfied some of the most superb, kindest, friendliest people in the world. We just have friends now all about the planet that we appreciate dearly.”

“We usually say when we begun this, we did not system a trip,” she extra. “We planned an journey. And each and every one working day was an journey.”

Despite the fact that Hamby and Hazelip have completed their worldly quest and returned residence to Texas, the two are now planning for their future trip, they explained to CNN.

And they shared a important piece of tips for any vacationers worried about the language barrier on their possess adventures.

“You know, folks talk to us typically about the language, how we deal with it,” claimed Hamby. “We say with Sandy and Ellie, there’s one language and that’s a smile. And we observed that labored miracles mainly because we were typically mindful that there was not English spoken. But a smile addresses all languages.”

They also inspired other more mature travelers to not allow age hold them again. Aside from some tiny concessions – like choosing not to experience a motorcycle in Bali due to the fact of fears about slipping – they reported their age didn’t affect their itinerary overseas. They claimed felt self-assured that if they ended up injured on their vacation, their youngsters “would have been at peace knowing that we had been executing what we totally preferred,” claimed Hazelip.

Hazelip described 81 as “the perfect age” to embark on their trip.

“Getting older does give you a tiny bit of knowledge of generating conclusions,” she reported. “And so that’s the fun portion. I imagine at this age I recognize so a lot [of] the beauty and I can definitely just soak it in. And for me, this was the excellent age to go. I’m so grateful.”

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