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‘Life Starts At 60’: 5 Senior Citizens Travelling The World After Retirement

These senior citizens show that retirement is just a new beginning. From scaling Mount Kilimanjaro and travelling the world in a car, to bungee jumping and riding across the country, they will inspire you to do it all.

‘Life Starts At 60’: 5 Senior Citizens Travelling The World After Retirement

70 is the new 60 and 60 is the new 40. The kind of energy we see in people above 60, be it our parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, neighbours is infectious. We wish that we could be as active as them at half their ages.

For senior citizens today, life really starts after retirement. After spending more than 30 years of their lives immersed in responsibilities, this is the time that they really start living for themselves. They are fulfilling their dreams, be it singing, dancing, starting a venture and travelling the world.

They are proving that retirement is, in fact, a new beginning. It’s a time to rediscover and follow your passion.

Here are five senior citizens who are travelling the world after 60:

  1. Mala Honnatti, 70
Mala Honnatti at Annapurna base camp
Mala Honnatti at Annapurna Base Camp

The mountaineer and marathoner has scaled several peaks in her life; many as a senior citizen. The retired banker, well-versed in managing financial health, decided to focus on her physical health in her 30s. 

She started with some low-altitude Himalayan treks in 1984. When she wanted to step it up, she joined the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling, in 1986 and has climbed over a dozen mountains in India. She has summited Mt Stok Kangri, Mt Ladakhi, Mt Sitidhar, and Mt Kilimanjaro. She continues running marathons and going on difficult expeditions. 

In 2016, she started her own mountain expedition trips under ‘Maho Adventures’. This single woman lives life on her own terms and asserts, “This is my life and I will do what I want to do.”

  1. Yogeshwar & Sushma Bhalla, 73 & 69
Travel
The couple travels across the world on their bike

This couple’s journey began, quite literally in 1976. They began their married life on a bike to Srinagar for their honeymoon. Their first ride still remains unforgettable for the duo, as it gave them time to understand each other in an arranged marriage. 

47 years later, the couple from Delhi travelled the world together and covered long distances on their Royal Enfield Bullet. Yogeshwar calls his wife his navigator and motivator.

He retired early, at 58, to travel. They rode through Bhutan, Nepal, Leh and Ladakh. 

“That trip did wonders for our dwindling confidence. It pushed us to explore more,” he adds. 

They’ve visited over 22 countries, including Belgium, Bhutan, Dubai, France, Qatar, Rome, Singapore, England, Scotland, Turkey and Venice. 

Despite a knee replacement surgery in 2021, when doctors advised Yogeshwar to stop travelling, he worked on his physical fitness to continue what he loves. 

They are raring to go on several more adventures together and document their adventures on Facebook.

  1. Molly Joy, 62
Grocery store owner and world traveller Molly Joy
The Golden Gate Bridge in California is one of Molly’s favourite destinations.

Molly runs a grocery store in Kerala to save for her trips across the globe. This Ernakulam resident dreamed of travelling the world as a child but unfortunately, she was unable to even go on school trips due to financial constraints.

Post marriage, she would travel across South India with her husband Joy and dream of international destinations she saw in magazines that she sold in their shop. After her husband’s death in 2004, she had more responsibilities as her children were studying and travelling took a backseat.

After they grew up, she started travelling again with her friends. When an opportunity for a Euro trip presented itself, Molly used her savings and travelled across Italy, France, Vatican, Switzerland and Germany. 

Since then, she has saved over Rs 10 lakh and travelled across 11 countries in the past decade. “Even though I still don’t have a great income, I spend what I earn for something that makes me the happiest,” she says.

After every trip, she comes back and works doubly hard at her store and starts planning and saving for her next trip.

“Travel gives me an amazing sense of freedom, courage and exposure. After every trip, instead of feeling exhausted, I feel reborn,” Molly says joyfully.

  1. Amarjeet Singh Chawla, 64
Amarjeet has travelled the world in his car
Amarjeet has travelled the world in his car.

He was bitten by the travel bug in 1979 when he met a backpacking couple from Holland. It was, however, only 40 years later that he was able to fulfil it, when he didn’t need his parents’ permission and was free of other responsibilities.

In July 2018, he set out on his Toyota Fortuner SUV from Delhi and went on 

an epic road trip, covering nearly 40,000 km across 33 countries. 

He also surprised his Holland friends on the trip and spent three to four months planning it. Since then, he has travelled across 87 countries by car and runs a Youtube and Instagram page called ‘The Turban Traveller’ where he documents his journeys.

He is an international road traveller, influencer, YouTuber & Road Trip Consultant today.

He says that ‘life starts after 60’.

  1. Ravi Kishore Mallapragada & Sowdamini Mallapragada, 62 and 58
The couple in Egypt
The adventurous couple in Egypt.

Ravi climbed a hill as a 6-year-old boy and has been chasing that high ever since. After moving to Saudi Arabia for work, weekends for the couple entailed travelling around the dunes and adventure sports. 

When the mathematics professor was thinking about what to do post retirement, he saw a YouTube video where a person shared his experience climbing Mount Everest. This was the cue for the 62-year-old. The couple took trekking classes and chose to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, which they heard was tougher than Everest. 

In August 2022, they climbed Gilman’s Point in Kilimanjaro, the highest single free-standing mountain above sea level in the world. Ravi credits his wife for this accomplishment. “Her willpower took me to the top,” says the proud husband.

They have visited more than 10 countries including Jordan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Japan, UAE, Egypt, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia, and participated in adventure sports like skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba diving, paragliding, hot air balloon ride and submarine ride. Zip lining and bungee jumping in Nepal are next on their list.

His advice to youngsters busy running the rat race is, “Spare some time for your interests which will reward you with nothing but happiness. We all live for that feeling, right?” 

Edited by Padmashree Pande

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