I miss traveling. Because of sarcoidosis, sleep difficulties, equilibrium challenges, pain, and constant fatigue must be considered. Other types of travel are no longer feasible, so I mostly stick with driving short distances by car. As I mentioned in a previous column, even visiting family during the holidays requires careful preparation and maneuvering.
For the most part, I’ve made peace with losing travel. But I still yearn to visit new places. I love experiencing different cultures and enjoying other cuisines.
During the Christmas season, I stumbled upon a television special that covered Christmas celebrations in different countries, including Germany, Switzerland, England, and Norway. From folklore surrounding Santa Claus and holiday foods to special shopping markets and unique gift-giving experiences, the program encompassed Christmas in its entirety. In a sense, I felt immersed in these different cultures, if only for a short time.
Travel, specifically by air or boat, is out of the question for now. Maybe that will change someday. But the program encouraged me to discover ways to explore other regions of the world from the comfort of my home.
Years ago, I read “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes and watched the movie. “Under the Tuscan Sun” immersed me in the sights, sounds, food, and traditions of Italy. A few books by the late author Peter Mayle, including “A Year in Provence” and “Toujours Provence,” are full of delicious details about life in that area, too.
England enthralls me. When I was younger, I envisioned visiting someday, enjoying the lush countryside and all it has to offer. I regularly peruse Victoria magazine to enjoy a taste of this faraway delight without leaving home. Friends have suggested I watch “Downton Abbey” for more of the same.
As a freelance writer, I can bid on projects that let me research and study different regions of the world. A recent assignment on the indigenous arts and crafts market of Costa Rica was fun, enlightening, and informative. It was a fantastic way to incorporate my passion for creativity into a productive writing exercise while exploring the culture of Costa Rica.
My late paternal grandmother used to say that life is an ongoing series of adjustments. Our lives depend on how we handle these adjustments, and what we make of our new circumstances.
I consciously choose to “travel” with sarcoidosis in this altered manner. Even though I’m not exploring the world in typical fashion, I will focus on the richness these experiences bring to my life.
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