Travel is an elixir of life says Ingrid Jones as she shares the tale of her last trip out of the country and the effect it has had on her life.
The last time I travelled out of the country was to Mauritius, where my husband suffered a severe stroke on the night before we were supposed to come back to South Africa.
He is still hospitalised, and because of the severity of the stroke on the left side of his brain, he is paralysed on the right side, and he has no speech.
The New Normal
Now our lives are governed by The Stroke, and we have to settle into our new normal. There is no use getting angry, because you can’t direct your anger at this silent assassin.
The only reasonable thing is to start jogging your memory about the things that brought you joy.
The one thing that brought us joy, and I am not exactly sure why I am referring to our lives in the past tense, was the time spent with friends and family.
We would travel with our daughter, and never had the heart to travel in a group or with people we know. We still want to remain friends, because travelling with friends or family is something that can test any good relationship.
A Moroccan Daydream
Earlier this year, we were tempted to say yes to an overseas vacation with our best friends, a circle of five couples, to Morocco. We made mood boards, took a picture of ourselves standing on a massive map of Africa, with our feet all gathered on Morocco.
We were going to go on a camel ride through the desert, belly dance under the stars, gorge ourselves on Moroccan food, stay in a tent in the desert, hire an air-conditioned minibus to take us from Marrakesh to Casablanca, to the blue city and beyond.
A real Aladdin’s carpet ride in the country of spices, brilliant mosaics, and exotic experiences. And then, poof… the genie didn’t come out of the lantern, however hard we tried to rub it to reverse the stroke.
Travel: The Elixir of Life
But we have pictures and fun-filled videos that we now share with my husband to will him to start walking so that we can get on the plane for our next adventure. And when we show it to him, he smiles and gets excited.
Travel is definitely an elixir of life. Not only does it afford you the opportunity to expand the horizons of your mind; it most importantly allows you a glimpse into the heart of humanity.
It allows you to dream, to fly in your mind. We are going to kick The Stroke to the kerb and spend a night under the Moroccan stars.
Stronger Than We Think
The most important lesson The Stroke is teaching me is that, “Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ mbokodo” (when you strike a woman, you strike a rock). I am stronger than I thought I was.
9 August marks Women’s Day in South Africa, a day on which we reflect on where women are, and how far we still have to go. We are stronger than we think.
Till next time