Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wishing you a Happy New Year and peppy travel experiences

The year started out with a bang and ended on an upswing! On New Year's Eve last year, I was slammed into emergency surgery when my foot stopped working. We had to make some camper modifications to accommodate my new reality. Hubby had to drive me around until the end of May. 

Did those pesky little details stop me from traveling? Heck no! Do you want good news? Health challenges may not make you stay at home either. Travel with a disability may look different than you had planned. 

With careful planning, Hubby and I went to:
  • Whitestone Inn in Kingston, Tennessee
  • Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg
  • Philadelphia, Mississippi
  • Natchez Trace
  • Tupelo, Mississippi
  • Gulf Shores, Alabama
  • Russel Cave National Monument 
  • Great Smoky Mountains (Gotta love Cades Cove and the Roaring Fork!)
Sand Island Lighthouse, Gulf Coast
Colleagues and I went to Meridian, Mississippi and down to the coast. We stopped in Dauphin Island, Alabama before swinging northward again.

The trick to getting there is to plan, plan, plan. I do not undertake travel alone anymore (unless on a bus surrounded by people). We keep cell phones charged and pick where we go carefully.

My body doesn't regulate heat well. We make sure that I always have a cool spot to go to on hot days. Drinks are in a cooler in the car. Another drink is in my bag or Hubby's backpack. Time outside is limited and is better during the day or evening.

Because of my foot, we try to pick places that are easy to get to by car. Count me out on most hiking trails! I can walk onto them a little but long hikes are out.

Cades Cove in the Smokies
If I fall on level ground, can you imagine what it would be to tumble down a hillside? Not for me anymore but I can still enjoy being out by taking it slowly. My cane is always in the car. Our cell phones are in our pocket and we may get a SPOT GPS. (It has a panic button and tracker so help can find us.)

Is travel different now? Yes. 
Am I always happy about the changes? Nope.
Do I think that traveling is better than staying at home? You betcha. 

Despite health challenges, the idea of staying home while life passes by makes me sad. Travel experiences that are within my capabilities still make me happy. You've heard that the glass is either half full or half empty. 

Why settle for half of anything? Fill the glass with zest for travel and go experience it. Whether around the block or around the country, only the sky is the limit. 

Zoom. Zoom.

Here's to a Happy New Year and peppy travel experiences!