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These Women Over 60 Are Solo Travel Rock Stars
Ursula Maxwell-Lewis

Ursula Maxwell-Lewis
(Stonehenge, England: Two ancient relics. Both of us still standing, and proud of it!)

Name: Ursula Maxwell-Lewis

Age: 73 (doesn't feel like it!)

Home base: Cloverdale, British Columbia, Canada

Number of countries visited: 30 (Maybe more. Lost track. Loved 'em all!)

How I am traveling differently at 60+ than I travelled at 45: I don't think I do! If opportunity knocks, I go! Of course, now my kids pay their own way, and go without me.

The destination I would go back to in a minute: Borneo (Sabah - Sarawak). Exotic river lodges. Dramatic history. Marvellous locals. Brilliant wildlife. Orangutans swinging from branch to branch. Hornbills. Proboscis monkeys at sunrise. Mating fireflies creating a living Christmas tree in inky blackness on a milk chocolate river. What's not to love?

I met this unforgettable person while traveling: In Pfaffenhoffen, Alsace:-"Ursula, we will go on a journey," announced my courtly octogenarian watchmaker host. Adjourning to his well-stocked library, we discussed politics, religion, history, geography. He had never travelled, but was better informed than most people. Fluent in five languages, he was studying Italian - to enable him to converse with a newly arrived Italian watchmaker.

My funniest or most unusual travel experience: Regressing - and redressing - as a 16th century 'lady' for the Quebec City New France Festival. Securely laced into a revealing silver-green and grey period gown, I board a horse-drawn carriage procession through Old Quebec City for the Lord's and Ladies' Ball hosted by King Louis XIV. A gala soirée, indeed! On the Saturday, again costumed, we stroll through the old city basking in the ambiance and attentions of admiring tourists who enjoy our courtly interactions with fellow nobles as much as we do. All I lack is a lady's maid to help me escape from those darned stays!

My two bits of wisdom for other travellers: Talk to people - the news vendor, your fellow train traveller, your aircraft seat-mate. Normally the information, and the person, are priceless. These folks are the essence of my adventures. Truly unique, they give me faith in the future. Last year, ex- Prague, an Albanian passenger earnestly entreated me to immigrate to Albania. "You could be a queen!" he exclaimed. I'm still considering it...

My website: www.travellingtimes.net and www.CloverdaleReporter (Lifestyles)


Gaelyn Olmsted

Gaelyn Olmsted

Name: Gaelyn Olmsted

Age: 62

Home base: Home is where I park my RV, currently southern Utah. I've been living in RV Wheel-Estate for over 20 years, and on the road for even longer.

Number of countries visited: 4 - All but three USA states, some of Canada and Mexico, and South Africa three times visiting 16 of their National Parks. During summers I work as a seasonal National Park Ranger, for the last eight at Grand Canyon.

How I am traveling differently at 60+ than I travelled at 45: My RVs have gotten bigger but I still tent camp. Unfortunately arthritic shoulders limits backpacking anymore. I am happiest when connecting to nature, hiking at my own lollygag pace, stopping frequently to absorb the surroundings, and photographing the now for future memories of the past.

The destination I would go back to in a minute: Definitely South Africa. It's an easy country to travel in, once you learn to drive on the left side of the road, the people are a cultural mix of friendly, it's affordable and I've made special friends. Plus I'm hooked on safaris in their National Parks.

I met this unforgettable person while traveling: Joan is the reason I went to South Africa, besides everything already mentioned. Over two years we became virtual friends, after three visits I call her sister. We share a love of nature and she has taught me so much.

My funniest or most unusual travel experience: While driving in Kruger National Park Joan and I were chased by a young bull elephant who might have smelled the over ripe bananas in the back of the truck. Back in camp we noticed a trunk print on the dusty tailgate.

My two bits of wisdom for other travellers: (1) Don't let fear hold you back. In fact don't be fearful just be aware and listen to your intuition. (2) Solo travelers tend to interact more with the locals and other travelers; these people are part of the journey and destination.

My website: geogypsytraveler.com


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