Everyday life is enough to fight for but I also have been clawing my way back to health and wellness for a very special trip. One that was supposed to happen about when I had my third surgery a year ago. We are going to Greece and Italy, and for three glorious weeks.
This is a trip of a lifetime.
Although we have been to Greece before it is what I'm most excited for. It is such a beautiful country with such wonderful people. I know we will enjoy Italy immensely as well. It feels so good to be well enough to do this.
We are lucky to be joined by my sister and brother in law who have the same interests and pace as we do. That may seem like a casual choice but it isn't. There isn't just anyone we can travel with. My pace and needs and what I just cannot do are not always apparent on a day visit with friends or a weekend away, however day after day on a long holiday it is careful planning and what we omit as much as what we include that makes it successful for me. Thankfully we have travel partners who have been there every step of the way for my recovery and really get it and respect it.
That's not to say that everyone else can't go off and do their own thing I'm really okay with that too, but it is important going in that everyone is upfront about needs and wants.
1. Travelling in the Fall on a long trip is perfect for me at this stage. It has given me all spring and summer to get outside and walk and to get my legs strong enough to be able to endure such a long trip which includes so much walking. The Spring is lovely in Europe and one day we may explore that option but I'm not there yet.
2. Acclimation to the heat is another consideration for me. I've had all summer to to do that and boy, have we had a hot summer.
3. Understanding and accepting limits is a big one as well. I know what I can push myself to do and what is absolutely too much. I cannot go to the Vatican. We have read and researched enough to know that is is too much waiting standing and line ups. As much as I want to see the inside that exterior will have to do, and I'm okay with that.
4. Shoes, shoes, shoes. Yes some woman as obsessed with shoes. I am too but not for the same reasons. With neuropathy in both feet, needing a knee replacement and my spinal cord issue, I have some challenges when it comes to footwear. Just come with me when I attempt to buy shoes. The sales people must have a love hate relationship with me. I can try on every shoe and not buy a thing or buy three at a time. When it works, it works. There is a shoe cemetery at my house however. I buy what feels good in the store wear them for awhile and then something will really hurt, and don't get me started about orthotics!
5. I've packed creams and rubs and medication, whatever it takes to get me though the day. It's important to have all the tools you have at home on the trip with you because the pain doesn't stay at home.
6. That said, there is the fact that you're not doing laundry, cooking meals and everyday activities so most times holidays are an easier time if moderation is exercised.
7. Remembering the recovery days is important. When you have a big day don't plan lots for the next day.
8. Use water as a form of therapy. If you are staying near the ocean, have a pool or hot tub, use it. Get in and move around at the end of each day. It makes so much difference to recovery.
9. Be okay with leaving things out. It's important to enjoy the time you have so let some things fall off your list without regret. Better to have a holiday leaving you wanting more than to wish you had not gone at all.
10. Enjoy the down time. Go go go may work for some. but when you're dealing with health issues a coffee on the Terrence taking in all that surrounds you, is a glorious as any tour.
And so I'm off to Eat, Pray,Love; first I know we will love everything about Greece, we will eat absolutely everything in Italy and finally we will pray I make in home in one piece! Bongiorno!