Monday, June 7, 2010

Trip Of a Lifetime

It dawned on me that I haven't mentioned the most exciting part of my summer! A few months ago, John's family invited me to Italy with them and...there wasn't much arm-twisting there ;) Maybe I haven't written about it because it hasn't quite seemed real until now, but as the departure date approaches I'm getting  more and more excited. There will be 10 of us on the trip: John, me, John's parents (Margaret and Bob), John's sisters (Sara and Laura), John's grandpa Hank, his aunt Linda, his uncle Gordon, and his cousin Veralee.

I was lucky enough to have visited Italy 3 years ago with the Colby College chorus, singing and eating our way through Rome, Florence and Como. It was just a dream. I feel so lucky to be included in this trip, to be able to return to this amazing country, and to be with John and a family that I adore. 

John and I are leaving on June 17th (the day after his med school board!) and will meet everyone in Tuscany. I'm excited for John to be able to unwind and celebrate after working as hard as he has. I'm excited to get to know his family on a whole new level. I'm excited for all the memories we'll make, the food we'll eat, the things we'll see. But what I'm most excited for is watching Sara and Laura experience international travel that's tailored to them.  We're traveling with a special company called "Accessible Italy" whose mission is to " promote respect, awareness and accessibility for travellers with disabilities...creating a barrier-free environment (architecturally and socially) throughout all segments of the travel and tourism industry in Italy." Europe is extremely difficult (even impossible in some places) to navigate in a wheelchair, but this tour company will make it easy for them to enjoy Italy without worrying.

Here's hoping my pain takes a vacation elsewhere and lets me enjoy this trip to the fullest. I'm actually bringing along a wheelchair just in case the walking becomes too much for me to handle (something I wouldn't have allowed myself in the past) and I'm off to buy a working camera so I can share the memories with you all.  Do you have any trips planned for this summer?



  1. Italy sounds so exciting. My best friend from high school lives three hours away from Rome. She moved there about three years ago and she absolutely loves living there. Interestingly enough, my family and I visited a local amusement park (Cedar Point) over the weekend and despite all the walking, I am only a “little” sore. I think you might be okay. The airplane travel might be a bit stressful on your arthritis but the fact that your “on vacation” (a vacation entails relaxation and a trip away from your already hectic life), might elevate your symptoms. If you need the wheelchair, go for it. It does help to be in the company of others dealing with disabilities of their own. If I ever decide to make it to Italy (I have been promising my friend since she moved there), I will look into Accessible Italy.

  2. Oh Maya, have a wonderful time. This is so exciting.

    No big plans for the summer. We are taking short day trips this summer and my sister is visiting for a week and a half. I can't wait for that. Enjoy!

  3. Wow, what an amazing trip! Have a WONDERFUL time! I just got back from San Diego. I actually learned to surf, wasn't so great for the AS but checked that of the bucket list :)

  4. Thank you all for your wishes for a great trip! It feels nice knowing you're behind me.

    I really hope you're right, Lana (that's what I inferred your real name was from your blog?), and I don't need the chair. It's nice to know the safety net will be there just in case. I'd hate for my trip or John's family's trip to be affected by my darn joints

    Cathy, little short trips are the best - gives you something to consistently look forward to :)

    and San Diego! I loved it there when I visited about 10 years ago (especially the zoo). And surfing!? wow - look at you kicking AS and taking names...

  5. Great post Maya! You deserve a great trip :) I am glad to hear you are taking a wheel chair and not trying to over exert yourself. Tell Jon good luck!

  6. Lisa LearyJune 09, 2010

    Maya -

    As you see John & his family as a gift, they see YOU as a gift! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy ... I'm thrilled for all you & will be thinking & praying for a wonderful & safe trip!

  7. I am so excited for you! (And totally jealous!) I hope you have an amazing trip. Looking forward to seeing you when you get back.

  8. Heather - Thanks for your nice comment and I'll definitely pass your good luck wishes on to John :)

    Lisa - You're too great. Thank you for everything you do - you are just as much as gift to us all.

    Jodi - Thanks babe! I'm looking forward to our date too and I can tell you all about the trip then. Have a great couple weeks and feel good <3

  9. I'm jealous! Have a wonderful time :)

  10. That is going to be so much fun! Can't wait to see the pictures - and very cool organization! Great to hear that organizations like these are out there!