I would say she was in her third age, prodded and poked by an offsprings well intended observations. 'Do something for yourself mum, get away, live, forget, ENJOY yourself' Easily swayed she caught that plane to that pretty place and waited for quality of life to fall back at her feet. 

I didn't think her overly intellectual. She was a woman of past monotonous duties. A typic. Her rites of passage all predictable along with the development of thought that went with them. Motherhood the most profound. I watched her for awhile in that smokers lounge at that nice hotel. Alone, she perhaps pondered why the initial excitement of a seemingly revelatory idea was now dissipating with the exhale of her cigarette.