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he internet has brought a change in the very concept of travel as a process of taking one away from the familiar and into the unknown,” wrote trailblazing travel writer Dervla Murphy, who owns neither a computer nor cell phone. “Now the familiar is not left behind, and the unknown has become familiar before one leaves home.” For many women over the age of 40, they remember fumbling with cameras and paper maps during their travels, and making trips to the local post office—wherever you happened to be that week—to receive letters or postcards from family back home. Here, a few women share their stories of grit, ecstasy, fear, and freedom in the decades before rideshare apps and Google maps.

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