Sharon Elder

Power of Bicycles

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Hello there!

I'm Sharon,

Optimistic student of life...friend, mom, traveler, engineer, inspired BY nature, human spirit and grace.....inspired TO love, laugh, and leave a lasting legacy.

Travel and Activism have always been passions of mine, so as I start the next phase of my life I will celebrate and honor this around the world. Challenging  myself with slow travel and fundraising while I explore communities, cultures, and connect with many people along the way.

What is Slow Travel?  Slow travel is an approach to travel that emphasizes connection: to local people, cultures, food and music. It relies on the idea that a trip is meant to educate and have an emotional impact, in the present moment and for the future, while remaining sustainable for local communities and the environment.

Use transportation methods available before 1920: the year that Women got the vote in the USA.

Align with SDG Goal 5, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

Partner with  NGO’s aligned with my mission to fund raise during the journey.  

I’ve selected 3 partners: World Bicycle Relief for fundraising, International Volunteer HQ for in-person volunteering during the trip :, & All Hands and Hearts is a charity based close to my home which responds to disasters around the world :

I became aware of WBR last year when I participated in the J&J Pedal to Empower event. It was a way to reconnect with my J&J colleagues as we started coming back on campus post pandemic. I really liked how WBR aligned with my personal values of empowering women though sustainable ways of giving back. This year, as I started to plan my retirement project to slow travel around the world, WBR was a perfect match to my goals. As a bonus I will continue to get matching funds as a J&J retiree.

I still remember the freedom I felt as a girl the first time I rode my Schwinn bike beyond my immediate neighborhood. This project feels like I'm returning to my childhood enthusiasm with the benefit of some wisdom and the community I've built during my career. I'm so grateful to all my friends, family and colleagues who are supporting this cause, and following along on my journey.

If you feel the calling to join me for a portion of this journey please get in touch with your intentions and ideas. I’ll be providing more details as they come together. I’m allowing this experience to ebb and flow organically with some practical grounded work.

I’m also building a support team for the many practical things I’ll need to make this a reality. Get in touch if that interests you. Thanks to Christine and Lauren and Gena for being my incubator team! Join us!

RTW '23 Itinerary: 

•Travel for about a year, starting in the Fall 2023

•Transportation Methods:

•Cargo/Freighter Ship, Ferry

•Train, Prop. plane, Car

•Walk, Bike, Rickshaw, Horse

•Start in Portugal walking/biking the Camino from Porto to Bilbao, Spain.

•Sri Lanka – Rickshaw Run *TBD*

•Voyage on Picton-Castle  Trawler Ship *TBD*

•Tanzania:  visit CCBRT

More details as they unfold! 

My Achievements

Shared Page

Updated Profile Pic

Raised $165

Reached Goal

Self Donation

My Updates

International Women's Day

Wednesday 8th Mar

I first celebrated International Women’s Day in 2011 while living and working in China. All the female employees received a very nice set of towels. I appreciated the gift and it prompted me to better understand the history and impact of IWD. This year,  the day marks 6 months until I embark on my trip around the world to  raise awareness of Women’s issues and inspire empowerment. Join me in embracing equity. 


International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

#IWD2023 #EmbraceEquity


The aim of the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren't enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action. Read more about this here

Tuesday 14th Feb

Why am i doing this RTW’23 trip   (’round the world in 2023) 

I Love traveling and connecting/exploring new areas of the world,  cultures and people, especially women who have struggles like I did

Finding how we have more in common that we first appear on the surface brings me joy

I Love having an impact to be able to lift and elevate someone or a community in need

Why ?

Because I have had struggles in my life and people were there for me. I have a deep sense of empathy. I can feel what’s it like to be in someone’s shoes. I can see multiple perspectives. I can hold space for different points of view and be ok , actually curious,  to better understand how each of our life experiences can bring us to different conclusions/beliefs/biases  and its by finding a common purpose that we can meet and discover that we’re part of the same human family: oneness.

Why is it personal for me at this time in my life?

I’m in a sweet spot not having to care for family members, no aging parents, my son is an adult before kids , so many of my friends have both of these commitments – but I don’t  at this time.

I had a lot of tragedy in my 20’s-30’s-40’s, a life time of the really big passages most people deal with these hardships over their entire lifetime but mine were compressed into 25 years and now at 62 I want to honor that; hold all of these experiences  in reverence, travel the world, give back how and where I can , be an inspiration to others.

Life is precious and not guaranteed – making a difference and feeling that impact – whether it’s  a small encounter, crowd fundraising for a charity that is aligned with my mission, having a deep connection with friends, people i meet along the way , people who can travel along the way with me — all this feels like the culmination of honoring and celebrating my life so far.  Why wait , the time is now…..time is now to plan it so that it’s a rich , meaningful experience that honors my life experience, pays it forward —- there is hope  and joy and love in this world.

Thank you to my supporters




Allison S

All the best, Sharon!


Matching Funds


Matching Funds


Matching Funds