This 91-Year-Old Russian Grandma Traveled The World Because Why Not


We all know that one person that keeps claiming they’ll travel the world some day. We hear them say it every year, and we think to ourselves “oh sure you will, you keep telling yourself that”. And I guess for about 90 years or so, Elena Erkhova – known as Baba Lena – was probably one of those people.

Where no one expected her to ever travel the world, she suddenly decided to go for it when she was 91 years old. This of course leads to some wonderful pictures of this old lady finally getting to see the world outside of her native Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.

Naturally, this was all done pre-COVID. Traveling isn’t really allowed now, and Baba Lena passed away in 2019 shortly after finishing her travels. Let’s take a look at some of the places she’s visited, and get some inspiration for our first post-COVID trip.

The natural question to ask is why Elena never traveled before reaching an old age. In fact, that’s a completely wrong assumption as Lena was always an avid traveler, she was simply limited by the politics of her time.

 It wasn’t until the 1970s, when Lena was already in her 40s, that the Soviet Union allowed travel to countries like East Germany, Prague and Poland. Countries where no communist regime was in place, were simply not allowed as travel destinations.

Another reason why traveling wasn’t as easy back then, was money. We all know traveling isn’t really cheap, and it wasn’t until Lena had the ripe age of 83 that she finally had the time and money to travel the world. After a few friends asked her why she hadn’t traveled so far before, she figured there was no time like the present and decided to see the world.

There’s no denying how absolutely happy she looks during her travels. She had saved up money from her pension and from selling flowers and knitted goods, as grandmothers do. And not only did she finally go on that trip, she made it a trip worth being proud of. She visited countries like Germany, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Vietnam and several areas of Russia she hadn’t been to before. 

While she was traveling the world, she did all sorts of activities she had never done before like riding a camel, rafting, riding a motorcycle and joining in all sorts of local cultural activities. And while Lena is no longer with us, her grandson documented her travels on her Facebook account so we can enjoy Lena’s biggest journey for all eternity.