'Grannies on Safari' at Black Women's Expo

Two Chicago women who travel the world together will be at the Black Women's Expo this weekend.
March 28, 2014 6:04:51 AM PDT
They travel the world together. Two Chicago grandmothers and best friends for decades, former airline executive Regina Fraser and retired art administrator Pat Johnson are known across the globe as ''Grannies on Safari.''

"I think you reach a certain age when you absorb a lot of what you see and experience and there's an inner need to share some of that with the world," Johnson said.

"It's not only just to see how beautiful the sights are and also to be able to be in a different place, it's to make connections with the people we," Fraser said.

The desire for global connection is something Fraser and Johnson share with fellow world traveler Glen Joffe. He owns the international gallery and marketplace Primitive on Jefferson in the West Loop. Their shared mission these days is to encourage Chicagoans to explore the planet? and enjoy its varied cultures and treasures.

"All the dreams, the aspirations, the desires. Our thoughts, our opinions, our beliefs, our attitudes, our choices, our decisions. All these things are common through-out the world," Joffe said.

It is a message the grannies will be bringing to the Black Women's Expo at McCormick Place on Sunday, March 30 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. By exploring other cultures, the grannies believe you can empower yourself and those new friends in foreign countries.

"Just by travelling, you can help those women. By going to that village and being able to purchase that piece of art, you are helping that village," Johnson said.

They hope to be globe-trotting role models.

"You can do this. It doesn't matter how old you are. It doesn't matter if you have an infirmity. We just muddle through!" Fraser said.

"They need to be adventurous. They need to explore and see the world and don't take 'no' for an answer or that you 'don't have enough money' for an answer. You need to go and just do it!" Johnson said.

Grannies on Safari has been on the air for 10 years now. Black Women's Expo
Meet Grannies on Safari
Sunday, 12pm to 1:30pm


130 N. Jefferson
Chicago, Il 60661