When you think of badass adventurers pushing their limits and inspiring others you probably won't think of ladies in their 70's or 80's. I know what you're picturing.....a big beast of a man wearing flannel (not hipster flannel, real man flannel), a full bearded weathered face and carrying a hatchet over his shoulder. Right? Well, get with the times my friends!!! Since I've been traveling I've met some of the most beastly of adventurers, who happen to be women and recently, of the mature.
One of those wisely seasoned women is Alice. She is a whirlwind of fire and full of zest for life. Alice and I become instant pals, despite our 30+ age gap. Through our exchange of stories of wild times exploring the world, I became hooked on this lady. So when she asked me to come visit her and her band of traveling sisters outside Austin, Texas for a week this December I couldn't pass it up!
Carol's Paint Brushes, Wise Women Book, Carol being a Cowgirl, Alice's Speed Demon Soapbox
What a week it was. I spent time meeting so many inspiring and loving people. It was crazy the amount of adventure that swirled around me. And community. Thanks to Alice's mad hosting & gathering skills, my friend Elsa (who cycled solo through south american using generosity as her only currency) and I spoke to the Sun City community about our travels and lifestyles. Afterwords, as I mingled through the vast sea of Alice's friends and neighbors, I heard their tales of far off lands, explorations and "Thelma & Louise" style road trips. I found myself soaking it all in like an eager junior adventurer in training.
I met Sister Mary Pat, who spoke to me about her love of community before getting to the goods, wild stories of traveling with Alice and Carol (an artist/adventurer/cowgirl) in Alice's RV. Some how, some way, they convinced some strangers that they were a traveling rock band! RAD.
Alice told me about the soapbox derby she competed in over the summer. Her friend designed & built her a custom speed machine, oh and he also happened to engineer the original Corvette!!! Alice is currently training to walk the Camino De Santiago this fall, hellz yeah Alice. You inspire me!!!
Oh, I can't forget to mention my new soul sista, Carol! The moment Carol death gripped my arm I KNEW we would be friends, if I didn't I was scared she would kick my butt!!! I like a feisty, doesn't take shit type of lady. Plus she's a cowgirl, yes, cowgirl. She told me stories of her riding horses that the bravest, strongest men wouldn't go near!!! I had the privilege of Carol giving me a tour of her house and artist studio. As we walked through her warming home, which was also a work of art, I felt a connection to Carol. But it wasn't until I explored her breathtaking studio that I saw myself in this uniquely amazing being. The walls were covered in quotes, photos of dear friends and memorabilia galore!!! Oh and I forgot to mention, Carol will be 86 in May, but like it really matters. Yep, I totally wanna be Carol when I grow up!!!!
Seeing these ladies together, seeing there thirst for going/seeing/doing helped open my naive eyes to a whole new world and thoughts on life.
After spending a week (which included Alice's festive birthday party and a reconnection with my dear friend generosity traveler Elsa) with such inspiring people it just proves that you are as good as the company you keep. I am honored to keep the company of people (women & men) who are kicking ass, taking names and LIVING life, no matter how old or young or punk ass they may be!!!
Sister Mary Pat & Alice shaking a tail feather ; Elsa, Me, Alice & Sandy having dinner in Georgetown