As Robin Sharma said, you can't live a year 75 times and call it a life. This is a mantra Elena Mikhailovn is mastering. At 89-years-old, this Russian grandmother is living proof that you're never too old to realize your dreams and derive pleasure from traveling.
As they say, age is just a number, not a barrier. It should never come on the way of achieving things -especially when we talk about big things, such as the long life dream of traveling the world. Elena had little time to travel when she was young. When she reached 83 years old, she decided it was time to explore the world, packed her bags and started her big adventure, discovering new countries and cultures on solo trips. Meet Grandma Lena -NOT your average grandma.
From Vietnam to Israel, she has been enjoying life on the road for the past six years, and continues to share her incredible journey on her Instagram -operated by her grandson, among others.
The story of grandma lena, the 89-years-old globetrotter
Who said there's an expiration date for your dreams ? At the age of 83, Elena decided to make up for being unable to travel in her earlier years -work commitments and the falling of the Iron Curtain prevented her to do when she was younger. She lost both her parents when she was 3, then the WWII started when she was 14. She spent her early years in a miserable marriage, left her husband and kept working every since. Until one day she decided to travel the world by herself! "It was like I saw nothing and suddenly the whole world has opened up for me."
Elena receives a pension for serving as a home front worker during WWII, and sets aside 10,000 rubles ($155) per month to fund her travels. She also grows and sells flowers and takes sewing orders, plus her family helps her to make the trips.
She started her journey in Czech Republic, Poland and Germany. Then she took the adventure to the next level, flying to Southeast Asia, riding a moped in Vietnam and drinking cocktails in Thailand. In one of her recent trips, she even rode a camel in Israel. Even without speaking any English, she makes friends wherever she goes, with either tourists or locals.
"Travelling means a new life, people, meetings," says Baba Lena. "The biggest thing I have learned about life is there are a lot of great people in all countries! Nothing to be afraid of, because you can only die once and you'll die one day anyway."
The best thing is, her story became so popular on social medias, her fame has spread and tour operators are now starting to offer her cheap travels. So this is just the beginning of the adventure for Lena!
She loves her new lifestyle. And despite serious health problems, she prefers to see the world than to sit at home and 'be reasonable'.
"I feel like I’ve just started to live."
After her trip to Vietnam, the pensioner was amazed by the country and the people: "I was in Mũi Né. The nature is so beautiful there, the fruits so tasty and the people kind and very sociable. Though at the hotel, where I stayed, none of the staff spoke Russian, I somehow managed to get everything done."
With her 90th birthday coming, Grandma Lena intends to be in Dominican Republic in February. She ain't going to stop! That's what I call a true inspiration. Now tell me again, what's YOUR excuse not to realize your dreams RIGHT NOW?