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The 89-year-old woman who is still travelling the world solo

by Staff

For her 65th birthday, Fox made a special trip back to Scotland to explore the country where she was born but had left at three years old when her family relocated to England. During that three-week journey, Fox retraced a particularly meaningful route through the country – from her birthplace at the barracks of the Royal Scots in Edinburgh to the location where her family finally departed from Scotland.

“I laid those ghosts,” said Fox, reflecting back on that experience, which she said has become one of many treasured travel memories.

“Scotland is a favourite simply because I was born there. But I also had a moment in Scotland, it was dusk, and the piper came out and played The Lament…” her voice trailed off. “It’s moments like that I love.”

For her 84th birthday, Fox visited Norway, creating yet another unforgettable life experience: “Seeing the Northern Lights for my birthday was amazing,” she says.

Other travels took her to Australia, where Fox explored the Great Barrier Reef, despite the fact that she’s afraid of water. In New Zealand, she hired a car and explored the entire country and even went swimming with dolphins in the wild while there. It was an experience that required hanging off the back of a motorboat by her feet, while dolphins swam around her.

“I thought, I will never be able to do that, I’m terrified of water,” Fox explained. “But [the guide] said, ‘No, we’ve got you, you’ve paid to do this, so do it.’ So I did it and I’m so glad I did…I was screaming the whole time…with excitement.”

Dolphins swam and lept in the water around her so close Fox could nearly touch them. The woman who was terrified of water, says she thought to herself: “Oh my god, I am never going to do something better than this.”

Advice for other travellers 

Decades of solo travel have also taught Fox a great deal about how to navigate new parts of the world on her own. Most important, she says, is to get comfortable with your own company. She recommends taking time to prepare yourself for that first solo trip by exploring locally first.

“Go and eat out a few times, so that you’re used to eating out on your own when you go abroad,” she advised. “I like my own company, I’m happy as a solo person, but it’s important to get used to [it].”

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