Duo of 81-year-old women plan to see the world — in 80 days
▶ Watch Video: Two 81-year-old women are whizzing around the world in 80 days
Two longtime friends are proving it’s never too late to get out and see the world.
Eighty-one year olds Sandy Hazelip and Ellie Hamby, inspired by Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days,” are on a mission to see all seven continents, nine Wonders of the World and visit 18 countries in just over two and a half months.
So far, they’re making good progress: Hamby and Hazelip have set foot in Antarctica, and told CBS News that on Mar. 4, they saw the world from a plane flying over Mount Everest.
Their trip was meant to start two years ago, Hazelip said.
“I said ‘Ellie, don’t you think it would be fun for us to go around the world in 80 days at age 80?'” Hazelip, a physician, recalled.
“I thought ‘What are you talking about, Sandy? Are you sure?'” Hamby, a documentary photographer who runs a medical mission, added.
“And then (Hamby) said ‘Well, yeah!'” Hazelip said. With that, a plan was born. The coronavirus pandemic and its restrictions forced them to delay their trip, but in 2023, the two finally got underway, packing light and traveling cheaply to see as much as possible.
“We don’t travel first class. And so when we have other ladies, especially who say, ‘Oh, I would love to travel with you two,’ the first thing I always do is look at their hands. If they are well-manicured, they do not want to travel with us,” Hazelip said.
Hamby said their families are supportive of their big dreams.
“My daughter is not too concerned,” Hamby said. “She just says ‘Well, if Mom falls out of a hot air balloon in Egypt or off of the mountain … That’s fine. She’s living the life she wanted to live, and I’m happy for her.'”
While the two are on the adventure of a lifetime, it isn’t their first trip. The two actually met while traveling nearly two decades ago, finding each other on a trip in Zambia, where they just clicked.
Now, even with total knee replacements, they’re seeing everything from China to Argentina. Hazelip said she hopes their story can inspire people of all ages.
“Don’t sit in that chair and waste away,” Hazelip said. “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”