#AgeNoBar with Shanaz Gomes

                                                  “At 63, I’ve finally planned my first ever solo trip…all the way to Australia!”

All her life she wore multiple hats, juggled through work and raised her kids. Post-retirement, she reconnected with her colleagues and formed a group and planned a trip with them. Since then, they’ve not stopped! They’ve gone on to take safaris and cruises and have gathered the best memories of their lives. The best part is, they’re all women! So far they’ve been to 20 countries, the last one being Vietnam, and that’s where she got her ‘Traveller’s Hat’ - the hat that fits her best.

Her story: “I’ve always enjoyed keeping myself busy. All through my life, I’ve worked hard and juggled multiple roles.  I was a Psychology major but took extensive German language courses. Then I decided to take up a job in Air India as a traffic assistant but moved up the ranks to becoming a Deputy General Manager. I met my husband at work, fell in love, got married and had 2 beautiful children. After 36 years of service, I decided to retire from a full-time job, but I quickly realized that I wasn’t ready to not do anything, and took up the role of an English teacher for the next 4 years, after which I retired properly 2 years ago. I was satisfied with how I had led my life — my husband and I had juggled work so that one of us could always be there for the kids, we had worked hard and in honesty and created a beautiful life for ourselves.  I always wondered, however, why ‘retirement’ was synonymous with being idle. As I had more time, I began to reconnect with all my colleagues across multiple airlines who I’d met through the years. We formed a sort of ‘aviation - interest’ group and began to meet post-retirement 2-3 times a month. I realized that all our lives, our jobs had taken us to some of the most beautiful spots in the world, but we hadn’t really ‘explored’ and enjoyed ourselves. I began to put together an itinerary for about 10 of us girls to take a trip together and we had such a blast that it’s now become our biggest passion. We’ve taken cruises, gone on safaris and explored like children! The best part is, we’re all women — we never take our husbands along — so you’ll find us all laughing hysterically in our bathing suits, either sunbathing or enjoying a cocktail in a jacuzzi on some remote island! So far we’ve been to 20 countries, the last one being Vietnam, where I got this hat from — I absolutely love it! And guess what? At 63, I’ve finally planned my first ever solo trip…all the way to Australia! I’m so excited, I feel like a teenager all over again!”   

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