Friends have often asked why I–a klutz with zero athletic aptitude, a stroke survivor on blood thinners–travel to places they see as perilous: the jungles of Thailand or Borneo or Papua New Guinea, for example. Or, more recently Syria, Jordan, or the always chaotic India.
I answered that question in the essay “Why I Still Travel to the Wild,” which was published in October, 2011, in the anthology Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Happiness, available at bookstores and on-line. I hope you’ll check it out.
In that essay, I explain my love for adventure travel.
I also talk about my fears, traveling to wild places where medical care is thin; “where the water is often unsafe and the food chancy; places with infectious diseases, malarial mosquitoes, venomous snakes and the wildest of animals.
“To prevent another stroke, my doctors told me, I’d have to take dangerously high levels of blood thinner for the rest of my life. Any travel remote from medical help would be risky. An infected finger, a slip on a damp temple step, even a minor traffic smash-up would no longer be mere annoyances–they could be life threatening. Not to mention autoimmune flares, overreaction to heat, or a jet-lagged mistake taking more or less of those hazardous blooding thinning pills.”
So why go?
This month, JunglePants features some of the sights that keep me headed back out on the road and asks the question: