Why I Slow Travel

So why do I do it?

I’m disabled, plain and simple.

I have low vision with exceptionally high myopia. To people who have relatively decent eyes, that probably sounds rather inoffensive. They (you?) probably also don’t have problems with depth perception due to affected 3D vision. And blurriness. And headaches.

This means I’m at risk for retinal detachment (due to high inner ocular pressure). I don’t take risks by flying. Using a plane could ‘pop’ something, and I really prefer SEEING my travel destination upon arrival, no matter how screwy my eyesight may currently be.

So I take freight ships, cruise boats, ferries and a whole lotta trains. I also walk quite a lot considering my secondary disability, which is spine related and causes tension, swelling, cramps, spikes etc. in the lower limbs. And yes, walking, sitting and standing exacerbate all that 🙂 Oh the joys of body troubles!

Glacier Bay, Alaska (“Big Blue”)

I also get very seasick.
My eyesight issues cause dizziness just walking on flat land, so imagine in typhoon winds on the North Pacific (yes, it happened – October 2016!).

The drawbacks of traveling with disabilities are numerous, but…

JUST DO IT. Just go!

Take your walker, your cane, your wheelchair, your trusty travel companion, your meds, and your documentation (such as travel health insurance, doctor’s notes about your issues – for example, pacemakers, cochlear implants and the like cannot pass through standard metal detectors)… and then. just. GO.

The benefit of doing things my way is that I get to see beautiful scenery that people with what I call travel privilege will never see. Some folks think that because I took a cruise to and from Asia this time, that I must be rich. No guys, it’s called No Other Choice. The cost of a non-luxury cruise is equivalent to taking a mid-range hotel accommodation plus meals for the length of your trip. A cruise allows for some additional scenery at no added cost.

Glacier Bay, Alaska

When I see things like this (from a cruise!), I’m not upset that I can’t fly.

Slow travel also encourages solo travel because there aren’t many people who can stand idling between destinations as much as I do. For them, the destination is the goal. For me, destination plays a part, but the process and the journey are far more rewarding.

Stop calling me brave and instead take my lead. Embrace your illnesses, your so-called downfalls and get traveling. Change the world around you instead of hoping it will change for you.

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