The Joseph Group

Around The World in 80 Days

August 25, 2023

To Inspire:

Hamby and Hazelip on camels.Around the World at 80 / Facebook


“Ellie, why don’t we consider traveling around the world in 80 days when we’re 80?” said Sandy Hazelip to her dear friend Ellie Hamby. Ellie leaped at the idea.

While the pandemic delayed the trip, and the two were actually 81 years old during their adventures, they did visit all seven continents in exactly 80 days.

They left their homes in Dallas, Texas, heading first to Antarctica. From there they took in the northern lights of Lapland at the North Pole, the deserts of Africa and the beauty of Rome.

The two became friends more than 20 years ago while on a medical mission to Zambia. Both widows, Ellie said planning this trip with her dear friend made all the difference. And they planned everything with a lean budget. “We’re not wanting our comfort zone. We’re wanting an adventure,” Ellie said.

The two shared updates on social media, and enough people asked if they had a TikTok account that they started one. Within days, thousands of people were watching the adventures of the ‘TikTok Traveling Grannies’. Fans commented, tagging friends with hopes of doing a similar trip someday. They began to be recognized, and many people who approached them told them they were an inspiration.

“The thing that has excited both of us is how we’ve brought people joy as they followed us on this adventure,” Sandy said.

They went to India, Nepal, Bali, Japan, Rome, and London. They did the tango in Argentina, and rode camelback through Egypt. They even made the trip through Drake’s Passage – considered to be one of the most treacherous journeys for a ship.

They arrived back in the U.S. with three days left in their 80-day trip and decided to visit the Grand Canyon, “Standing there and seeing God’s creation in all its glory was fantastic. While it is majestic, it is still a peaceful place to visit.”

On April 1 they arrived back in Dallas to see the families they had been away from for so long. They said they will always remember the places and things they saw, but most of all will remember the people.

They hope they’ve inspired future generations to realize you’re never too old to take in all the world has to offer.

These two are such inspirations! As an avid traveler, I loved watching their journey earlier this year and I’m happy to report they are already planning their next adventure. Even if you can’t jaunt off on a trip around the world, the lesson is you can think about ways to push yourself to do some things out of your usual routine, and that the world has so very much to offer if we just open ourselves up to it. Read all about Ellie and Sandy’s adventures – and see lots of wonderful pictures –  on their blog Around the World at 80.





Written by Michelle O’Brien, Manager of Marketing & Communications



Source: Portee, Alex. Here’s what the 81-year-old best friends who traveled the world want to do next. Today.com, and Around the World at 80, blog.