87-year-old Philadelphia man embarks on backpacking adventure through SE Asia

PHL17 News
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PHILADELPHIA, PA –  87-year-old Robert “Rocky” Mellin of Philadelphia has traveled to more than 60 countries throughout his lifetime and on Wednesday he will embark on another journey.


Rocky will travel over the next three months to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand, using only his knowledge of traveling and a short guide book to get around.

He will only be bringing a small orange backpack with four shirts, two pairs of pants, one pair of shoes, a windbreaker, an umbrella, his medicine, and some painting supplies along with him.


Rocky’s apartment in Center City is filled with unique treasures from around the world. He says he’s traveled the globe since the time he was 40. “I caught the bug and then I met this Australian girl traveling around the world with a backpack and she started telling me her stories and my eyes and ears got all excited!” Rocky says that excitement created a somewhat insatiable desire to travel; and while age has slowed him down, Rocky says the desire to travel far and wide has never gone away.

“I did every country in Latin America. Every single country…I’d like to think I have many more trips left in me.


But at 87, traveling is getting harder, and more expensive. To help him with this latest more trip, Rocky’s grand-nephew, Tyler Melnicove, helped set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the journey. Rocky says he’ll be posting pictures and paintings from his journey to Facebook using his iPad.


He’s leaving Wednesday and plans to come back in about three months.


We plan on doing a follow up story with Rocky upon his return to Philadelphia in the Fall.


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