72 year old Geraldine Forster is proof that age really is nothing but a number, as she’s always in a constant state of transition from one adventure to the next. Forster has spent the last seven years backpacking around the world with nothing but her pension money, laptop, and camera. Now an official citizen of the world, Forster shared her thrilling story in a one-on-one interview with Louise Atkinson.
“While many women my age are pottering through retirement and keeping busy with the grandchildren, I have chosen a completely different path. At 72, I’m spending my twilight years traveling the world with nothing but a small backpack, laptop and camera,” Forster started.
“When I was 55, a relative kindly offered to help pay for me to go on a round-the-world trip. I was cautious in those days and booked an itinerary, flying to Bangkok, then overland to Malaysia and touring Australia before flying to Fiji, then the U.S. And I realized if I could do that on my own, I could do anything.”
“As soon as I got back, I started planning my next trip. By then, both my parents had passed away and my children were happy and independent. There really was nothing to stop me. I had a pension from all my years of work. It wasn’t a huge amount, but I soon discovered that you really don’t need much if you’re prepared to stay in dormitory rooms in hostels, get about by bus or train and eat like the locals.”
“My youngest son is 100 percent behind my nomadic lifestyle, but my eldest thinks I’m a little crazy and I suspect he thinks I should be a more conventional grandmother. However, I hope to inspire my grandchildren and, when they are old enough (they are three, nine, 14, and 15) I’ll happily take them with me. My advice to anyone who asks is to ignore what your family say and get out there! I have absolutely no plans to stop, or even soften up. I want this way of life to continue for ever.”
If you want to keep up with her travels or just get a few pro-tips you can follow Geraldine’s blog, which is backpackergranny.com.