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Round The World in 80 Days at 80 Years Old

When Sandy Hazelip proposed a whirlwind trip to her longtime friend Ellie Hamby for their milestone birthdays, she jumped at the chance.


81 year olds Hamby and Hazelip on camels
Hamby and Hazelip on camels | Around the World at 80 | Facebook

“She said, ‘Ellie, why don’t we consider traveling around the world in 80 days when we’re 80?’” Hamby recalled in a recent interview with NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.


Though the Covid-19 pandemic required the two friends to put off their plans for after they turned 80, the two eventually made their grand voyage. In January this year, at the age of 81 years old, the pair started their journey, from Texas. First stop: Antarctica.


From there, and in just 80 days, the two women packed in a ​​tour de force of the world, which included taking in the northern lights of Lapland at the North Pole, the deserts of Africa and the great ancient structures of Rome.


The friends, who met in Zambia 23 years ago while on a medical mission, said that a lean and well-thought-out budget pushed them to keep up with the spirit of a true excursion. The average cost of their hotels per night? $29 a person.


“We’re not wanting our comfort zone. We’re wanting an adventure,” Hamby explained.


The two grandmothers also rode a sleigh pulled by huskies in Finland, flew high in a hot air balloon in Egypt and spent time searching for wallabies in Australia. They explored Bali, and had to brace themselves during a rocky ship ride across the notoriously rough Drake Passage.


After returning home, and racking up a considerable legion of fans on social media, the dynamic duo say they are plotting their next adventure and will announce it to their fans in the next couple of weeks.

 

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