Julia Albu, the lively 80-year-old who travelled across Africa in her 1997 Toyota Conquest, has died. She was 84.

Albu’s children confirmed the inspirational woman’s passing on Monday morning. They spoke fondly of their mom, describing the vivacious lady as an inspiration to so many.

They also confirmed the death was not Covid-19-related. “It is with great sadness that we have to write this post, one that is far too soon for all of us. Our darling mother, Julia, an inspiration to so many, died early this morning. We are thankful that she went without pain, at home, at her time and that she wasn’t taken by Covid. To all of her loyal followers, thank you so much: you brought her so much joy & I know she would want all of you to follow your dreams & travel your best journeys. Rest in precious peace. From her childrenxxx ,” they captioned the post in part.

Albu became a social media sensation when she started her Cape-to-Cairo quest in June 2017.

She came back to Cape Town in February 2018, TimesLIVE reports. Opening up about the reasons for her journey, Albu shared that the death of her partner had taught her a deeper appreciation for life and inspired her travels. “It was an exhausting process, and after all that I thought, ‘My goodness, there really isn’t much of life left’. I feel like I’m 36 from the shoulders up and 146 from the shoulders down, and I wanted the younger me to win for once,” she told BBC News. Fans of Albu took to the comments section sharing messages of condolences with the family. Many reflected on the positive influence the 80-year-od had on their own lives.

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