Here’s What Those 81-Year-Old Best Friends Hope To Accomplish

Ellie Hamby, 81, jumped at Sandy Hazelip’s proposal to go on a whirlwind trip for her milestone birthday.

In a recent interview with NBC Dallas-Fort Worth, Hamby recalled, “Ellie, why don’t we consider traveling around the world in 80 days when we’re 80?”

They put off their plans until after they turned 80 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they eventually traveled together. After disembarking from their Dallas, Texas homes on January 11, 2023, the pair began their journey. The first stop is Antarctica.

In only 80 days, the two women went on a global adventure that included seeing the northern lights in Lapland, Africa’s deserts, and Rome’s ancient structures. They met 23 years ago on a medical mission in Zambia and spoke to about their trip. The friends kept to a tight budget of $29 per person per night for their hotels, which helped them maintain the adventurous spirit of their journey.

Hamby, speaking on a Zoom call, said that they were seeking adventure rather than comfort, so they opted to spend less on luxury hotels and more on travel. She suggested that staying in local places such as people’s homes or small establishments can be more enjoyable and cost-effective than big chain hotels, especially in other countries.

The two grandmothers had an adventurous journey, riding a husky-pulled sleigh in Finland, flying in a hot air balloon in Egypt, and searching for wallabies in Australia. They explored Bali and endured a rocky two-day ship ride across the Drake Passage with 20-foot waves. Hamby playfully recalled the experience, singing with her friend during the Zoom interview about their “rockin’ and rollin'” boat ride.

During their journey across all continents, the two octogenarians gained popularity on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. They noticed their fan base growing as they continued their circumnavigation.

Hamby and Hazelip have another trip planned for when they are 82 in 2024, which they will reveal in about a week. Although they haven’t come up with a good rhyme yet, they have some ideas about where they will go and what they will do. They urged their fans to stay tuned for their next adventure.