Our recent Facebook Live chat with Barbara Weibel from Hole in the Donut Travels thoroughly opened our eyes to the silver linings of going through a chronic illness and coming out the other side stronger and more positive than ever.
If you ever doubt the things you can achieve, listen to our interview with Barbara about her life lessons.
Barbara shares her experience of travelling with a chronic illness, becoming a long-term traveller at the age of 54 (more than 10 years ago), and shares her tips for doing the same.
Her story starts when she got sick with Lyme disease and decided to leave behind a comfortable but unfulfilling life to finally do all the things that she enjoys: photography, writing and travel.
During our conversation, Barbara reveals how her life-changing experience with Lyme disease helped her rediscover her dreams, and advocates adopting a new mindset of gratitude for all life experiences; after all, it’s these experiences that make us who we are today. It comes down to accepting – and making the most of – the way you can travel now. Do this, and you’ll discover a whole new bunch of benefits.
As you get older, you evolve into a different – better – version of yourself. Learn to inhabit it wholly and you’ll find ways to do pretty much everything you want to do.
5 ways to adapt your travels as you grow older and wiser:
1. Adapt your attitude to one of acceptance
Have a clear vision of what you’d like your life to be. If you can imagine this down to the smallest details, you can make it happen. Keep your faith!
Accept that you will have to change the way you travel. You will have to adapt your trip to your strengths and needs and there are silver linings in this.
If you ever get stuck on a pity path, look into the mirror and be grateful for all your experiences; they made you who you are today.
2. Don't be stuborn about transport options
If, like Barbara, you’ve prided yourself on taking public transport and carrying your own luggage in the past start to allow yourself the luxury of being picked up from the airport and allowing someone else to take care of the luggage. If you find stairs tricky, check in advance if the bus and train stations are accessible by lift and plan your day trips accordingly.
3. Look into more acceptable forms of accommodation
Make sure that your hotel has a lift and is well placed for easy access to the various places you would like to see. Is there a bus or train station in easy walking distance? Could you easily walk to the a nearby restaurant or café? Or are there pleasant places to sit and rest en route to the area’s attractions?
4. Travel at your own pace
If you can’t walk for hours at a time, find a café. Pausing to enjoy a drink can be a great way to meet local people, who can offer the sort of insights that you’re unlikely to get from guide books. It’s can be hard not to be able to do the things you like to do, but there are ways to adapt – and you might find you enjoy these news ways just as much, perhaps even more.
5. Be resourceful with practicalities
There are companies out there who will insure you. Be persistent. There are ways to deal with anything needs to be done at home.
If you found this useful, watch the recording of our Interview with Barbara about How a long-term illness put me on the road for long-term travel.
Have you found other ways to adapt your travels as you get older? Please share them with our community in the comments below.