‘It helps to have a little grey hair’



Kira McCormick - Adema
The Neepawa Banner

Pat Gawaziuk and her husband Ernie Gawaziuk went on a three and a half month trip in 2012 to 13 countries in Europe and Eurasia.  At 64 and 71 years young, Pat and Ernie set off on their journey on April 11, 2012 and returned home July 24, 2012.

The couple planned the trip for six to eight months before they left, they wanted to be able to backpack through their entire journey with little to no formal tours, only what they had planned themselves. Their trip is in outlined is a book Pat recently wrote called Post Menopause but Pre Depends; A backpacking travelogue for seniors.

Gawaziuk decided to write her book because she wanted to keep her trip documented and to preserve the memory of her adventure with her husband. She also wanted to share the experience with others. Gawaziuk explained that the book is not written to be grammatically correct, instead it is written as conversations and her perspective.

A reason they decided to go on this trip is to show people you don’t have to be young to go on adventures like this. Gawaziuk said, “Perhaps, we didn’t get to see things that you see on a tour, however, we saw things you wouldn’t get to see on a tour.” She added that her husband is the stable element of the trip and she wouldn’t have made it through without him.

“All of the places we visited were our favourites because they were all firsts for me and my husband” states Gawaziuk. Though she added that one of the highlights was getting to see her paternal great-grandfather’s village in Dzeinachka, Ukraine. “We were surprised at all of the kindness all over the world, it helps to have a little grey hair,” Pat giggles.  Overall, it was a memorable experience for Gawaziuk and her husband, if they had the chance they would go to Germany and Austria again with a tour.

Pat’s book is available at Arts Forward, The Neepawa Banner office, Margaret Lawrence Home, Poor Michaels in Onanole and from Pat herself.