Internet sensation Grandma Joy, 94, takes on new travel challenge

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Viral sensation Joy Ryan, 94, conquered the internet last year when she completed her goal of visiting every single national park (63 in total) with her grandson. But “Grandma Joy” isn’t slowing down. Now the near-centenarian is taking her grandson on yet another epic adventure.

“I don’t have many years left, [so] you hop to it,” Ryan told CNN Travel. “If you slow down, you don’t get anything done.” The oldest person to ever visit all 63 U.S. national parks is now determined to visit every continent.

Currently resting up in Ohio, Ryan and her grandson plan to first visit Australia later this year. Then it will be a quick “hop over to Asia,” a visit to India’s national parks and possibly a trip to Borneo “to see the orangutans.”

The journey will likely end in Antarctica, the duo’s biggest challenge.

“Antarctica is the one that’s like the wildcard,” her grandson Brad Ryan told CNN Travel. “We would love that, but getting there is challenging.

“I’d like to end big, and I think Antarctica would be the cherry on top of this adventure,” he added.

“Grandma Joy” and her grandson have been sharing their adventures on Instagram, where they have earned internet fame — as well as a handful of travel sponsors.

“Every once in a while someone somebody says, ‘Don’t you think you should wrap this up? You’re putting her in compromising positions,’” Brad said. “And there’s no regret that comes from going out and remembering that your life is still happening right now.”

“I just take one step at a time, one day at a time, and thank the Lord every morning for giving me one more day,” she said. “I try to be an optimist. The glass is half full, not half empty. And the people that you meet along the way lift your spirits.

“You see people in worse shape than you, and I just think ‘I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.’ Not everybody’s lucky enough to have a grandson that’s willing to drag them around.”