A pair of best friends from Texas are proving that adventure doesn’t have an age limit – even when you’re 81.
Ellie Hamby, a documentary photographer, and Sandy Hazelip, a physician and lecturer, toured the world in 80 days, adventuring from the beaches of Bali to the deserts of Egypt.
The octogenarian grandmothers started their ambitious adventure on January 11, according to the blog the two have used to document their travels.
Their first stop was a location that eludes even many seasoned travelers: Antarctica.
Getting to the southernmost continent first required crossing the Drake Passage, the notoriously rough waters between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica’s South Shetland Islands.
“For almost two days, we were a rocking and rolling and a slipping and sliding through the Drake Passage and we were holding on for dear life,” Hamby said in an interview with CNN. “It was just wild…when we stepped foot on the ground on the Antarctic, you forgot all of that,” she recalled. “The beauty of the Antarctic is just unbelievable to see the penguins and the icebergs and the glaciers – just, this was amazing.”
Since that first venture, the pair have visited 18 countries across all seven continents, often while clad in matching T-shirts. They’ve also accrued a loving social media following who track the “traveling grannies” on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
Hazelip described 81 as “the perfect age” to embark on their trip.
“Getting older does give you a little bit of wisdom of making decisions,” she said. “And so that’s the fun part. I think at this age I appreciate so much [of] the beauty and I can really just soak it in. And for me, this was the perfect age to go. I’m so thankful.”