News

Travel adventure inspires seniors

Bundamba resident Judy Driscoll (left) with author of a new book Backpacking to Freedom, Maggie Counihan, at the Ipswich Library.
Bundamba resident Judy Driscoll (left) with author of a new book Backpacking to Freedom, Maggie Counihan, at the Ipswich Library. Sarah Harvey

PACKING your bags on a whim to begin a worldwide adventure is a daunting prospect for anyone - let alone being 60 years old.

This is exactly what Maggie Counihan did, and after a decade of living on the road, she proved age is no restriction to the backpacker life.

The Sunshine Coast resident recalled some of her fondest and challenging memories from trips across India and south-east Asia in her book Backpacking to Freedom: Solo at Sixty.

She spoke to Ipswich senior citizens on Friday, giving them an insight on what to expect in their own travel adventures.

Ms Counihan learnt some tough lessons while travelling, including fending off an attacker during her time in Thailand.

"I had a man in my room and I woke up and I realised I hadn't shut the windows. Then I quickly felt something touch my arm," she said.

"I came to and screamed 'what are you doing!' and I ran and chased him out. If you ever get in any trouble use your voice."

Ms Counihan managed to avoid any serious illness while travelling, but understood getting sick is a major concern of most seniors who want to travel.

"I say keep it positive. I don't expect to get sick but I look after myself. I eat the right thing and do exercises. We have to be extra fit when you travel."

Her story has inspired many senior citizens to fulfil their own travel ambitions.

"They write to me and they have heard me talk and know they are going to do their own thing. It's changed their life in their own way," she said.

The book details how Ms Counihan survived a six-day train trip from Beijing to Moscow, worked as a masseuse in Cambodia, ran a summer school in China and was robbed in Mexico.

Along the way Ms Counihan discovers humour, self-reliance and courage are essential and the ability to sleep standing up goes a long way.

She describes travelling solo as one of the most liberating experiences a person can ever have.

Ms Counihan's book is available for purchase at www.maggie-rollo.com.

 

SENIORS WEEK

Seniors Week Variety Day, today from 10am to 1pm at Ipswich Showgrounds.

Seniors free cinema day this Friday at Event Cinemas, Ipswich Mall.

Cyber Surfing for Seniors, Humanities Building on August 30.

Topics:  seniors, seniors week, travel, travelling


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

No ‘silver bullet’ for region’s shark issue says researcher

A picture of a shark at Broken Head, taken by professional drone pilot Saul Goodwin last year. Photo: saul@psphoto.com.au

Govt’s own study shows aerial shark patrols only work 15% of time.

Thirsty Merc shifting gears as they are back to tour grind

SHIFTING GEARS: The name of Thirsty Merc’s new album.

Thirsty Merc are back, touring their latest album Shifting Gears

DA rejection wins council praise from residents

LOCAL ANGER: Protesters at last year’s rally against development out on Ewingsdale Road Byron Bay.

EWINGSDALE residents have welcomed Byron Shire Council decision

Latest deals and offers

LETTER: Council letting policies are part of the homeless problem in Byron shire.

BSN reader says Byron Shire Council has to acknowledge that their house letting policies are part of the homelessness problem.

No ‘silver bullet’ for region’s shark issue says researcher

A picture of a shark at Broken Head, taken by professional drone pilot Saul Goodwin last year. Photo: saul@psphoto.com.au

Govt’s own study shows aerial shark patrols only work 15% of time.

Thirsty Merc shifting gears as they are back to tour grind

SHIFTING GEARS: The name of Thirsty Merc’s new album.

Thirsty Merc are back, touring their latest album Shifting Gears

DA rejection wins council praise from residents

LOCAL ANGER: Protesters at last year’s rally against development out on Ewingsdale Road Byron Bay.

EWINGSDALE residents have welcomed Byron Shire Council decision

Only-child study seeking subjects for HSC work

ONLY CHILD: Mullumbimby High School student Kaitlyn McMurtry.

Share joys and challenges fo being only child

Get a move on: Entries still open for Byron’s triathlon

Alstonville triathlete Clayton Fettell after winning the Byron Bay Triathlon in 2014.

Entries are still being taken for Byron Bay Triathlon.

Hurry! Reserved seating selling fast for Pro Bull Riding

Luke Nichols riding Rap Dancer at the PBR Bullriding Rural Weekly Live Series held at the Grafton Showgrounds. Photo:Bruce Thomas / Daily Examiner March 28, 2015

Numbered seats still available for PBR Live Series finale

Federal Police Defuse Dance Bomb

Australian Federal Police respond to "threat" in Canberra.

Australian Federal Police respond to "threat" in Canberra.

NSW Police join Dance Challenge

NSW Police show their moves at Manly Wharf.

Manly Wharf is the backdrop to NSW Police running-man dance entry.

Scotland Police accept Dance Challenge

NZ Police doing the running man dance.

Australian Federal Police say watch this space but NT Police feel ignored.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances