When most people think of backpacking, they picture a bunch of youths in their mid-20s eating street food, hiking to city sites and sleeping in dorms of 10 or more travelers. Australian nomad Keith Wright is breaking the stereotype, and at 95 years old, has planned a two-month backpacking tour of Europe for this summer.
Nicknamed the “world’s oldest backpacker,” Wright began backpacking when his wife passed away 10 years ago. Since the age of 85, the Aussie has been exploring the world solo, selling his home, staying in hostels, sipping brews with fellow travelers and trying as hard as he can to get off the beaten path.
“I have seen things most tourists haven’t seen, because I walk the back streets and take trains or buses to nearby towns for the day,” he told The Daily Mail.
Travel has become a large focus of Mr. Wright’s life, as he carefully budgets all year long for these special trips. Starting May 28, the backpacker will spend his summer visiting Madrid, San Sebastian, Paris, Munich, Vienna and London.
In a Top 10 of phone calls you probably don’t want to receive from an airport official: “Your grandmother was found in baggage claim.”
Eighty-year-old Nefissa Yesuf’s Sunday Atlanta to Dulles flight didn’t go quite as planned. CNN reports that airline and airport staff failed to notice that a Delta employee had allegedly given her someone else’s boarding pass by mistake. Yesuf, who is from Ethiopia and doesn’t speak English, instead ending up landing in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Yusef’s granddaughter, Melika Adem, says she received a call from the airport telling her Yusef had been found in baggage claim, crying. According to Adem, Delta gave her grandmother someone else’s ticket, and an airline employee then wheeled her through security, where no one caught the snafu. Adem also states that the name on Yusef’s boarding pass wasn’t even “close” to her grandmother’s. Fortunately, the two women were reunited Sunday evening.
The incident is under investigation by both Delta and the TSA. TSA officers are required to match boarding passes with a passenger’s driver’s license, passport, or other photo identification. Says TSA representative Greg Soule,”Every day TSA screens nearly two million passengers and utilizes many layers of security to keep our nation’s transportation systems secure,” he said. “Every passenger passes through multiple layers of security to include thorough screening at the checkpoint.”
A 65 year-old man who suffers from vertigo has climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest.
He is the famous English adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who adds this latest feat to a long string of successes such as crossing Antarctica unaided. In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Sir Ranulph says the key to avoiding vertigo is “not looking down” but he managed to take a peek when he reached the summit because “when you’re in that particular spot it would be a shame not to.”
The adventurer tried to scale the summit in 2005 but suffered a heart attack. Only a few months after his first heart attack in 2003, he ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, battling both exhaustion and jetlag. So it really wasn’t a great surprise that this guy made it up Everest eventually.
The BBC has also posted videos on the journey to get to the Everest base camp, which at 5,300 meters above sea level is a popular destination for hardy trekkers, and the journey to the summit via the South Col route. The summit stands at 8850 meters above sea level and is the highest point on Earth. The BBC, which always rises to the occasion when an Englishman truly rocks, has posted a detailed biography on Sir Ranulph.
The climb was done to raise money for the Marie Curie Cancer Care, a charity for which Sir Ranulph has raised huge sums of money in memory of his wife, who died from stomach cancer.
While Sir Ranulph has shown himself to be one of the world’s greatest living adventurers, he’s not the King of Everest. That honor goes to Apa Sherpa, who recently climbed Everest for the 19th time.