Being able to travel

A philosophical piece today.

In these blog posts, it has mostly been about the nicer side of life. You know, the fascinating photos, stories and experiences being shared. This pre disposes the assumption that we have the physical capability to take ourselves where we dream of.

We are not talking about financial resources.

This article which we dug up from a few months back reminded us about how we seem to take for granted our able bodiedness and health as we go about our daily lives, planning for the next journey in a relentless quest to extend and expand our travel handprint. To us one of the points the author made is for one to not ignore disability but being prepared to embrace it. Perhaps when we are young we feel invincible, but even simply ageing on its own can punch a dose of reality into you.

Nowadays, Mel’s knees ache when he runs more than 5km or walk more than 10km. Back in the day running 5km under 30 minutes was no sweat! It used to be even faster. He used to be able to drive 500+km per stretch on our road trips. But these days he tires after 2-3 hours on the road.

While we are not saying traveling for those with physical disabilities is impossible, we have to acknowledge that most of the world is not geared up to faciliate such. The infrastructure that one might expect in say some parts of Europe, Japan or North America simply do not exist in many other countries. Thus the travel handprints of folks with physical impairment are more than likely limited. Perhaps that’s why we (Mel & Suan) have such an insatiable appetite to travel and see it all before we cannot.

But we take heart in that technological help is on the way.

From mechanical suits that support body movement (walking) to Virtual reality, a host of new horizons open up even for those of us who are physically inhibited.

Some day, a body suit that does not weigh a ton can be put on and connected to a person’s neural pathways. This person might regain the ability to walk or even jog! As trials (we’ve read of some in Japan) progress, we can expect developments leading to stronger, lighter and more compact physical aids.

Even for the visually impaired help is on the way. New goggles undergoing trials now in Europe could mean that the blind can see again. Though they only see shades and blobs of grey at this time, the technology is expected to improve rapidly. This way, being able to travel is extended to even more people.

Let’s embrace whatever impairment life throws at us!