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Unstoppable at 81: Best friends embark on epic 80-day adventure around the world

Two elderly friends proved they have the best friendship after they agreed to travel around the world together in 80 days.

Sandy Hazelip and Ellie Hamby are both 81 years old and have been friends for two decades. They met during work in Zambia and instantly formed a bond that developed for many years.

Hamby is a documentary photographer while Hazelip is a physician. Apart from being passionate about their jobs, there’s one more thing they have in common: they both love traveling.

Since their first meeting, Hazelip and Hamby have traveled together and knew that they were perfect traveling companions.

As a documentary photographer, Hamby has been to 107 countries and all the continents and her works have been featured in various magazines and brochures in Africa and the United States. Though they are both well-traveled, traveling as best friends is still more fun and fulfilling for the two women.

Five years ago, Hazelip told Hamby her idea of traveling around the world together for 80 days. “At first she kind of had big eyes like, ‘ahh! And then about 30 seconds later, ‘Yeah, that would be great!”

Finally, after five years, the two friends decided to travel around the world for 80 days in celebration of their 80th birthday but because they had to postpone it, they changed the name to “Around the World in 80 Days Aged 81.”

The plan was to visit 18 countries around the seven continents and so far, they have traveled for 50 days, seeing many glamorous places such as London, the North Pole, Zambia, and Argentina. They also took some of their best friendship photos.

Hazelip and Hamby did not travel first class nor use a travel agent for their trip. They planned everything by themselves and consider themselves budget travelers.

To them, value is more important to them than comfort. In fact, the average cost of their hotels is only $29 per night and they use public transport to go to different places.

They never see the language barrier as a problem when they travel and they also love interacting with the locals.

“When we smile at someone and they see these two old ladies I mean, everybody wants to talk to us and be friendly and help us and make sure that everything is great,” Hamby shared.

The two have enjoyed a lot of thrilling activities throughout their journeys such as trekking and sled riding, despite both having total knee replacements.

Their families didn’t have any problems with it as long as they are both having fun and enjoying their lives to the fullest.

“I could never imagine my mother sitting in a hospital bed and just wasting away,” says Hamby’s daughter, Sheryl Ramsey.

“If she’s gonna pass away or if she’s gonna leave this life let her do it on a camel or let her do it in a hot air balloon or going down the river. Whatever it is in her life, I feel like this was what makes her happy.”

Hazelip’s daughter, Barbara Lambert agrees and thinks their moms have the best friendship. “This is just a very cool opportunity for anyone, but especially for people who are older, and I’m so proud of her.”

For Hazelip and Hamby, their trip is not only about traveling as best friends but also showing the world that traveling around the world is possible for all ages and it’s never too late to pursue one’s passion and dreams.

Hamby did some reflection during their trip as they enjoyed a lot of beautiful things.

She said, “Just a greater appreciation of God’s world and the beauties of what He has given us. And the people in this world, no matter what culture they are.”

Watch this video to see more of their adventures:

If you want to explore the world with Hamby and Hazelip, please follow them their Blog, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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