A new start after 60: ‘I pitied women who travelled alone – then I tried it and found true joy’

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Paula Cocozza

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As a child, Charlotte Simpson and her family were excluded from many hotels in the deep south. Now she has visited more than 80 countries

The Christmas after her husband died, Charlotte Simpson went on holiday with her daughter. In their tour group to Morocco were two women who travelled alone. “I felt sorry for them,” Simpson says, laughing. “It seemed preposterous. I would ask them from time to time how they felt and they just loved it. Both ladies said: ‘Seeing you here on the trip, I think you’d really enjoy it.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know what makes anybody think I’d like to be by myself on a trip!’”

On her next holiday, Simpson went to China with her sister-in-law. There, they met a woman who was celebrating her 80th. “And she was alone. She had a real spirit of adventure. A very cool lady.”

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