Tripping ‘Round the World. Literally.

Written By: Jeanne Aufmuth - Jul• 05•16

iceland beachI have travel on the brain this summer. Most people do, as the summer months are an ideal time to step out of the daily routine and explore a great wide world that offers so much in the way of alternate vistas, unusual cultures and effortless relaxation.

But for my part travel is feeling more taxing than relaxing. As my peripheral vision narrows and my contrast dims, the planet’s glorious colors seem muted and relentless footprints are edged with fear not freedom.

Having just returned from two weeks in Sweden and Iceland I’m still basking in the glow of a truly unique adventure. Yet on this particular journey I took fresh note of the strain that a new environment puts on my eyes and consequently my psyche. Dark corners are perilous, every step is guesswork, and crowded airports are throbbing with tension rather than anticipation.

There’s a silver lining to the less sighted art of travel; improbable but true. Majestic rushing waterfalls are undeniably more profound to a traveler whose backup senses are intensified – where the pulsing pounding sound is equal to the thrill of the sight. I can sniff out a good fried fish shack at a hundred paces. And food even tastes brighter and more flavorful – lamb’s heart tartare anyone?

iceland signsThere were down days – there always are. I slammed into a cleaning cart in a mood-lit hallway, and tripped and slipped my way down a muddy, rain-soaked path at an ancient Icelandic hot springs. With each low I was reminded of a recent Facebook post from a wise RP friend. To wit – focus and thrive on what you CAN see and CAN do, knowing you may not always be able to do so. I strove to focus on my good fortune – the sheer physicality of travel, quality time with my beautiful family, and observing foreign customs through my own unique lens.

In conclusion? I won’t stop. None of us should stop. RP can rob of us our sight but we mustn’t let it dictate or obliterate our lifestyle nor the passions that are solely, inimitably us.

Let’s get out there and show the world just what were made of!

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8 Comments

  1. This was so beautiful and so inspiring! I agree – no matter what, if you want to travel, you should do it. It’s good for the soul, even when it has its challenges…and dangers. I’ve personally had my moments of fear and discomfort (to say the least) when I deal with IBS on the road, but I’m so grateful for all the journeys I’ve taken.

    I hope you do keep traveling – and sharing your impressions with readers – that description of how you feel about waterfalls alone was so stunning and really changed my perspective on things.

    All the best to you and wherever your next trip takes you, bon voyage!

    • Jeanne Aufmuth says:

      Alyssa – thanks so much for the support and for riding along on this journey! Power in numbers to be sure. J.

  2. Ashley says:

    I love this article! You are such an inspiration! And, I love how much the heart can feel the wonders of the world..even when we can’t always see them like we use to. In solidarity, ash

  3. Kristin M. says:

    Thank you so much for this post! My 11 yr old daughter and I are going on a cruise by ourselves, it is my first time driving to the port and going without my husband. (He and my son are traveling with the scouts.) My daughter is a great helper, and your philosophy was just what I needed to read!

    • Jeanne Aufmuth says:

      Kristin – Good for you for venturing out on your own – and with your special little helper! Sending best wishes for an exciting journey!

      • Kristin M. says:

        Thank you! We had a great time, and I am absolutely astonished and so thankful for how much my vision is improving with the natural things I have discovered this year. I wish I had known about these years ago. We did quite well, just the two of us, and even went parasailing! I only tripped over one room service tray in the hallway, that was a vast improvement from previous cruises 🙂 I still had some stumbles, but overall, I am just so thankful that there is hope! I truly took your post to hear, to appreciate what I can do, and take full advantage of it! Thank you!! Your blog has meant so much to me as I start on my journey to naturally improve my eyesight!

  4. Laura C.S. says:

    Hello fellow travelers. Seven years ago I discovered lightweight folding carbon fiber trekking poles. I went from walking only safe trails before to now hiking mountains. I had written a post about improved vision through herbs and acupuncture/pressure on your other page, but even before my improvements, the poles helped me travel everywhere. I use one pole when I’m in new cities, as it helps me to look forward and keep good posture. I use two when I’m trekking on trails. I’m in my early 60’s and last year walked about 1,000 remote rural miles with them (in Asia and Europe as well as home). They really help in airports which always seem to be gray (my worse color) with black suitcases to trip over. My ophthalmologist wrote me a prescription to present to airlines and I actually get treated nicer when I use them. It also alerts others that I have some vision difficulties (without being a “white” cane.) At one point I lost my Dr.’s letter and just folded the poles and stuck it in my backpack and it went through X-ray with no problem, being carbon fiber. These poles have saved me from so many potential face plants. They really gave me freedom. Hope this helps others.

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