A pair of best friends from Texas are proving that accidents have no age limit – even when you’re 81.
Ellie Hamby, a documentary photographer, and Sandy Hazelip, a doctor and lecturer, traveled the world in 80 days, from the beaches of Bali to the deserts of Egypt.
The octogenarian grandmother began her ambitious journey on January 11. according to the blog They used to make two documents of their journey.
The first stop was a place that misleads even many seasoned travelers: Antarctica.
Getting to the southern continent first required crossing the Drake Passage, the notoriously rough waters between southern South America and the Antarctic Peninsula.
“For about two days we were rocking and rolling and sliding and sliding through Drake Passage and we were holding on for dear life,” Hamby said in an interview with CNN. “It was just wild.”
“But when we set foot on land in the Antarctic, you forgot about that,” she recalled. “Antarctica is incredible to see penguins and icebergs and mountains – just, it was amazing.”
Since that first venture, the pair have visited eighteen countries across seven continents, often wearing matching t-shirts. They’ve also gained a following of social media lovers who track down “grannies again.” ocean eyes instagramand Facebook
Hazelip told CNN that she met Hamby after her husband died in 1999. Before his death, he “put a seed in my heart to take our grandchildren on mission trips in the summer,” he said. Then she went to the Zambia Medical Mission, a project run by Hamby and her husband in southern Africa.
The two are united in a common passion for travel and a desire to prioritize unique experiences over comfort and amenities while abroad. And he became closer than the widow Hamby’s husband died in 2005.
Hazelip says the idea for their trip came about a few years before each group turned 80.
“I just got the idea because we walked internationally together before,” he said. “So four years before we turned 80, I mentioned to her one day, ‘Ellie, don’t you want to go around the world in 80 days at the age of 80?’
About their websiteHamby and Hazelip say them They dedicated the trip to their late husbands, Kelly and Don. “We miss you and would like you to join our adventures,” they write.
Originally the two planned to marry in 2022 when they were 80 years old. “And COVID shuts down those plans,” Hazelip continued. “But COVID has not shut us down. This year we have come this way, and the goal is, ‘At 81 and still running.’
And, despite the challenges international travel presented, the best friends say they ended their trip without any issues.
“We are both independent, very stubborn. But we seem to be giving each other space, Hamby said. “We just understand each other and we know that this is good to do and we have mutual feelings according to appearance.”
For Hamby was on the highway, and the people he met on the road.
“We love everything we saw, but the things we remember most are the people we met,” he said. “We’ve met some of the most wonderful, kindest, friendliest people in the world. We just have friends all over the world now that we love.”
“We always say that when we started this, we didn’t plan on retiring,” he added. “We thought it was good. And every day one was good.”
Although Hamby and Hazelip have finished their worldly search and returned home to Texas, the two are already thinking about their next trip, CNN reported.
And they took common advice for all travelers concerned about language barriers on their own adventures.
“You know, people often ask us about language, how we use it,” Hamby said. “We say with Sandy and Ellie, one tongue and one smile.” And we found that it worked wonders because we often did not know what the English had not said. But laughter covers all languages.
He also encouraged other older travelers not to let age stop them. Apart from some small concessions – like deciding not to ride a motorbike in Bali because of concerns about falling – they said their age does not affect their travel abroad. They said they were confident that if they were injured on the trip, their children “would be at peace knowing we were doing what we absolutely wanted,” Hazelip said.
Hazelip describes 81 as “the perfect age” to embark on his journey.
“The older one gives you a little wisdom to make a decision,” he said. And so it’s fun. I think in this age so well [of] I can really soak in the beauty. And it was the perfect age for me. I’m so grateful.’