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These Women Over 60 Are Solo Travel Rock Stars
Barbara Weibel

barbara weibel
(Bathing the elephants in the river at Mae Taeng Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand)

Name: Barbara Weibel

Age: 62

Home base: Home, you say? Afraid I can't relate. I've been traveling the world for nine years, the last six years with no home base. Home is wherever I am on any given day, and the only "base" I have is my suitcase.

Number of countries visited: To date, 65.

How I am traveling differently at 60+ than I travelled at 45: At 45 I was still immersed in the corporate world, working 70+ hours a week and taking trips for two or three weeks at a time. Like most Americans, I chose destinations close to home and scheduled every minute in order to see as much as possible. Since leaving that world behind to pursue travel writing and photography, my travels take a much different form. I purchase a one-way ticket to a continent and spend the next few months wandering with no fixed itinerary. When I have seen enough of a city or country, I move on to the next one, relying on advice from locals and intrepid travelers I meet along the way. I schedule very little in advance, in order to take advantage of opportunities that arise along the way.

The destination I would go back to in a minute: Unquestionably, Nepal. On my first visit in 2010, I had intended to stay about three weeks; five months later I was still there. Nepal's genuinely warn people and stunning scenery have a way of getting under your skin, and I try to go back each year to get my annual "fix."

I met this unforgettable person while traveling: In rural northern Thailand I was standing at a dusty intersection when a British man named Ron Wilcox rolled up on a motorbike and asked if I was lost. Our conversation led to an invitation to meet his wife and have tea at his house. I learned that Ron had been helping this remote community for years, and we stayed in touch for several years until he passed away. During his final months, his indomitable spirit, the grace with which he accepted his struggle with cancer, and his words of wisdom via email were an inspiration to me.

My funniest or most unusual travel experience: In a shop in Urique, a tiny settlement deep within Mexico's Copper Canyon, I asked, "Es queso de vaca or de cabron?" Is it cow or goat cheese? Too late, I realized what I had really said. The word for goat is cabra. The word cabron is slang for a man whose wife is unfaithful. The clerk fought back laughter as I stammered an apology. Later that evening I was munching contentedly on tacos when a local man I had never met walked into the hostel's common kitchen. "Are you enjoying your queso de cabron?" he asked politely.

My two bits of wisdom for other travellers: (1) When I first set out on my travels, a very wise friend gave me one piece of advice: "Stay in the present moment." I took that advice to heart and have been forever grateful. When I travel, I don't obsess about the past or fret about the future. I put all my focus on what I am experiencing in the present moment. (2) It may sound trite, but never sweat the small stuff. If reservations go awry or activities get cancelled, approach it as an adventure rather that a tragedy. Almost every time this has happened to me, the result has been a very rewarding experience that would not have happened had everything gone as planned.

My website: holeinthedonut.com


Women's words on being 60 Plus ...

hand with quillPositive aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.
(Writer, Betty Friedan)

I didn't want to let women down. One of the stereotypes I see breaking is the idea of aging and older women not being beautiful.
(Photographer, Annie Leibovitz)

Getting older has a wonderful beauty and we need to have respect for that.
(Singer, Eartha Kitt)

Knowing how to age and not being afraid of getting older is very healthy.
(CEO, Evelyn Lauder)

There's no such thing as aging. I see it as maturing and gaining knowledge. I call that beauty.
(Singer, Celine Dion)

Women older than ourselves will always be our mentors. We gain from their wisdom and experiences. They are our super heroines.
(Travel writer, Evelyn Hannon)

(With some help from brainyquote.com)


Join travelling women from 18 - 80+ at Journeyman.com

i heart women's travel tips!Our mandate at Journeyman.com is (1) to inspire women of all ages and at all stages of their lives to travel safely and well and (2) to connect them with the greater female travel community around the world. Our monthly newsletter is chock full of tips sent to us by female travelers around the globe. Our job is simply to compile this information and to send it out via e-newsletter to our virtual community of 73,500 readers to the north, south, east and west of Planet Earth. Here are some excerpts from readers for our 'Letters to the Editor.'

Before we leave I always read your Journeyman website for any information about the area we are to visit, especially for Paris. We went to places that some locals didn't know of! The tips for accommodation are the best. Thanks for sharing and letting us dream while we make beds and hang the wash.
Maria, New Zealand

From your newsletter, I just saved for reference a tip on an apartment in Rome submitted by one of your readers, and have passed it along to a friend as well.
Linda, Vancouver, Canada

I love Journeywoman! I'm 33. I've been a faithful reader for several years and the newsletters, website, and Evelyn Hannon's story are what inspired me to start traveling around the world three years ago. Since then, I've been to France, England, Ireland, Japan, Hawaii, New York City, Seattle, Las Vegas, and more!
Erica, Fort Collins, USA

When I found this website YEARS ago, I considered it a go-to source for my travels. I am 73 years old, still traveling AND still consider it invaluable advice from those who have "been there, done that". Since my husband and I travel together, this newsletter is NOT only for women.
Shirley, Virginia, USA

I personally have purchased items from the Journeyman advertisers through the years, knowing that there is a great degree of reliability in the items advertised. I also have considered Travel Companies reviewed in the newsletter and using the cultural tips offered is always the first place I go once I have selected a destination.
Margery, Connecticut, USA

Your most recent article about flying business class with Turkish Airlines - the article is absolutely accurate. We travelled business class with Turkish Airlines in 2012.spectacular - excellent...
Diana, Toronto, Canada

When I was single I found inspiration from the Journeywoman website to go out, be brave and travel on my own. Specifically, I found some good tips about India when I was planning a trip there. Your newsletters give me something to dream about.
Angela, Oslo, Norway


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