Travel Pains: They’re like growing pains. But not.

In my short 26 years of residing on this planet of ours, I’ve participated in what is possibly the greatest of all opportunities in life: TRAVEL. I cannot express just how much I am in love with it and how important I think it is for every person to embrace and experience it at some point in their fleeting existence. I’m of the opinion that you’re less of a person if you have no desire to travel and explore the world beyond your front door because you’re missing out on the most exciting parts of well, everything! Not to sound extremist but there might possibly be something fundamentally wrong with you if you don’t want to travel. Seriously. Look it up. Alas I’m getting off point. As I said, I’ve had amazing adventures in different countries all over the world but it seems that no matter where I go, I run into trouble.

I begin my story in the beautiful alpine snow town of Chamonix, France. Just close your eyes and imagine snow-capped mountains, snowboarding down the silky smooth runs, French food, French wine (more importantly) and a warm bed at night for a glorious week over Christmas. Sounds tre magnifique. Sounds amazing. Right? Well try doing all of that wearing a 2-inch thick foam neck brace. It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when my parents offered to shout my two siblings and I a Christmas holiday in the French Alps but it’s a good story nonetheless.

So there I was on my first night in this beautiful town, minding my own business attempting to watch some French TV in the safety of our lovely apartment when out of nowhere, the supposedly secure cabinet (approximately 2 meters long and 0.5 of a meter in depth) looming above my unsuspecting head came loose and crashed down on top of me. The pure shock of it was almost enough to give me a heart attack but instead it sliced open my poor, innocent thumb and gave me what the doctor originally thought was a fractured vertebrae but, in the end, it turned out to be a severely compressed spine. There were doctors visits, x-rays taken, pain killers and a neck brace prescribed and all the while my siblings were off having fun in the snow without me. Jerks. Lucky or unlucky. I wasn’t sure at the time but I can look back now and say lucky. Well that was at least until I moved to Fernie, Canada. Let’s just say that there was -30 degree weather, a wind chill of -40 degrees, a subsequent bout of mild pneumonia, a lot of coughing and a cracked rib involved. Oh and I was working at a child care at the same time so I think you get the picture. At the end of all this I thought surely, it must be over. Surely I can’t be cursed but alas, I was wrong. I’ll just say four words: allergic reaction to bedbugs. Yeah. Think about it.

But wait! There’s more! That same year, I was living in Revelstoke, Canada and the ski hill had just opened for the season. We were all up bright and early to get first tracks and what glorious tracks they were. I was cruising down a steep slope when I thought I’d better stop and wait for my sister (she was just learning to snowboard) and as I turned and dropped to me knees, I failed to notice the jagged rock that was concealed just below the surface of the snow. The pain was ridiculous but nothing compared to having to ride back down the mountain and constantly falling over with a bung knee. Never again I say. I still have nerve damage in my knee.

Now these stories are just some of the highlights. There have been cases of food poisoning, more mishaps and more illnesses but despite all of them, I don’t regret a single one. Besides, they’re great stories to tell around the dinner table. I mean what can I say? I try to look on the bright side of life. I’m not at all dubious about my impending trip to the U.S in June/July 2014. What could possibly go wrong in a national park or in New York and Vegas?

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