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Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

An 89-year-old woman from Dallas has visited 92 countries

By meerna Jun12,2024

Nancy Strong’s extensive travels include ostrich riding in Africa.
Courtesy of Nancy Strong

  • Nancy Strong (89) of Dallas has visited no less than 92 countries around the world.
  • He has been a travel agent for 50 years and claims that learning about other cultures enriches the soul.
  • This month, Strong, who will turn 90 in August, will fly to London for the 35th time in her life.

This essay, as said, is based on an interview with Nancy Strong. It has been edited for length and clarity.

When I did the math with my granddaughter Jennifer, I was surprised to learn that I had visited 92 countries.

I have been to five continents and dozens of capitals. On June 15, I fly to London from my home in Dallas for the 35th time.

I stayed in fancy hotels and camped in the boonies

My life has been a global adventure with too many memories to count. I took a donkey through the ancient ruins of Petra in Jordan, walked along the Great Wall of China, and ventured into the deepest jungles of Vietnam.

I stayed in the best hotels and camped in the most basic conditions. I have flown economy class, first class and everything in between, and I have met people living in remote villages in the Far East and even in European palaces.

Strong in Abu Dhabi.
Courtesy of Nancy Strong

My first visit abroad was to Canada with my parents at the age of 11. The next one was accompanying my financier husband on a business trip to Paris in 1966, at the age of 32.

But I didn’t catch the travel bug until I was working at a travel agency in Dallas in the fall of 1974. I delivered plane tickets to corporate offices by hand for $2 an hour. But after five months I was left alone after three of my bosses told me I had to make them coffee.

My travels combine service with pleasure

My agency – which is still in operation after almost 50 years – served top businessmen such as bankers and lawyers. I booked first class tickets and five star hotels. I didn’t want to recommend a place I hadn’t been to myself. I would meet the general managers who went above and beyond to please my guests.

The stamps in my passport took up all the pages. Over the years I have visited countries as large as Australia and as small as Lithuania. I swam on the Great Barrier Reef, visited the Taj Mahal in India, and visited the Berlin Wall.

Strong visited the Normandy landing sites in France.
Courtesy of Nancy Strong

One of my favorite continents is Africa. Once, on safari in Kenya, we got a flat tire. But here was a lion feeding its cubs right next to the vehicle. The driver got out and a man with a rifle stood guard to protect us all. I’ve never seen someone change a flat tire so quickly in my life.

I wish more people had the opportunity to travel

There were many moments that took my breath away. I saw wildebeests migrating and monks praying before the Buddha. I danced tango in Argentina and drank wine in Tuscany.

Traveling has taught me so much. It opened my mind and shaped my character. I visited churches, synagogues and temples. I saw people from different cultures and religions happily going about their lives. If everyone could travel and see how similar we are, there would be peace in the world.

Strong will visit London for the 35th time.
Courtesy of Nancy Strong

I will be 90 in August. My husband Asa – to whom I have been married for 70 years – is 94 years old. I don’t want to leave it too long, but it doesn’t slow me down. In May, I went to Paris to see Taylor Swift with her family and friends. Jennifer and I hope to catch another one of her concerts while we’re in London this month.

I always joked that I’ve been everywhere but Antarctica. But I just got invited on a cruise to see penguins. I don’t like cold weather. But I never say never.

Do you have an interesting travel story you’d like to share with Business Insider? Please send details to [email protected].

By meerna

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