Planned, unplanned: My life is full!
By JULIA ANDERSON
Because of planned and unplanned travel, I have been away from sixtyandsingle.com. The unplanned trip took me to Thailand for a month earlier in the year because of my younger son’s life-threatening bacterial infection.
It was an emergency mission that ended well with him making a good recovery after three weeks in a Thai hospital hooked to an IV-line pumping antibiotics into his body. We were there to support him emotionally, and financially. It's what parents do when kids are in trouble.
It could easily have ended badly. One in three people who contract these fast-moving bacterial infections die. Because he was young and the bacteria seemed most interested in his outer skin layers rather than muscle, he survived. Once out of the hospital, we stayed with him for another two weeks to make sure his recovery continued. From all this, we learned a great deal about Thailand and appreciate why its beaches, charming people and great cuisine attract travelers from around the globe. Thai restaurants in the states are great, but second best to the fabulous dishes we enjoyed while in-country.
Did anyone say, coconut milkshake?!
Interestingly, Thailand has an excellent health care system, especially if you have the money to pay for it at the higher end. A hospital stay for our son that would have cost a quarter of a million dollars or more in the states, came in at about $20,000. We see why people travel to Thailand for medical and dental procedures. They get excellent health care services at a big discount and have a vacation while at it.
Within a month of returning from Thailand, we launched our long-planned Great Motorcycle Adventure with Ken leaving for a solo ride ocean-to-ocean West to East on his BMW K 1600 GTL touring motorcycle. He made the trip in less than three weeks using a southern route (California, southern Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee to North Carolina) with stops along the way to stay with friends and family. A nephew lives in Charlotte, N.C., which made it easy for me to fly east to join Ken there.
After putting his toe in Atlantic, he and I began our journey west. Sitting on the bike behind Ken works great for me. I describe the experience as similar to downhill skiing and riding a horse. As a passenger, you must concentrate on the road ahead, lean into curves. That’s while getting the thrill of speed, of wind in your face and being outdoors.
As the passenger, I could enjoy the countryside in ways that don’t happen in a car – winding leafy country roads in Virginia and Tennessee, gorgeous farmland and attractive small towns in Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas and the wide-open country of the Rockies in Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho.
It was a thrilling trip made better by finding the graveyard head stones of my great-great Crabtree grandparents on my mother’s side in Virginia, findng the birthplace in Tennessee of my great-grandmother Orlena Kyle Anderson on my dad’s side and her husband’s headstone (my great-grandfather Moses Anderson) in the Wills Cemetery outside Peculiar, Mo. (near Kansas City)
As one of my Facebook friends remarked about my trip posts, “You have family and friends (living and dead) all over the country.”
I am a lucky woman. My son is on his feet back in the states and working. Our motorcycle ride was a thrilling life-time experience that came off without bad weather or mishap. I am thankful that I have my health and enough resources to pull it all off. Onward!!
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