Can an RA Survivor Take a Vacation?

I’m talking about me, of course.

Yes. No. Maybe. Depends.

Yes. There is no reason I can’t take a vacation just because I was horrendously mistreated as a kid. No. I am too scared and timid to go because I was horrendously mistreated as a kid. Maybe, if I do a good job of talking myself into being brave and fearless.Β  Depends on how well I plan the details and how thoroughly I prepare myself.

Can I take a vacation without feeling guilty? Are you kidding me??? I can’t do anything without feeling guilty! I’m going to make my cats unhappy. I’m going to use scarce resources and contribute to global warming. Don’t say everybody does it — that doesn’t make it right. Even if my carbon footprint were zero I would feel guilty that I wasn’t planting trees and making speeches 24/7. Guilt is just a given.

Nevertheless, I have made up my mind and I am going to do it. I’m sick of being confined to my apartment, sick of these four walls. And I need a break from my beloved computer, too. My writing seems stale to me and I haven’t filed anything in weeks, if not months. I want to once again be brimming with ideas and projects and energy and enthusiasm.

My best friend and I are going to Australia, my favorite country in the whole wide world, for two weeks. We are going to see lots and lots of desert because that’s my favorite part of Australia. About five years ago I was in Australia for two weeks with my daughter and grandkids and we spent three twelve-hour driving days going through the outback in a bus, mostly on unpaved roads. One night we stayed at a cattle ranch under millions of stars, and they had an illegal pet kangaroo named Mary. (Don’t ask me why they are illegal, they just are.) They fed her tea with milk and a slice of bread for breakfast and gave her a beer at dinner time. She held the cup in her little racoon-like hands. We won’t see Mary this time, but we will see lots of other things.

First stop is Coober Pedy, which is the opal capital of Australia, if not the world. They noticed that it was cool in the mines, so they dug holes and made houses inside them, and hotels and bars, too. Lots of bars; guess there isn’t a whole lot to do in Coober Pedy. The outback around Coober Pedy looks fantastic.

There will be no 36-hour bus trip this time, but there will be a 12-hour train ride from Adelaide to Melbourne through five hundred miles of beautiful nothing.Β  I just love trains.

Then, for contrast, there will be a week in Tasmania, which is very rainy. The outback — also called bush — there is lush and green and full of all sorts of birds and marsupials. If it is a clear night, you can see just as many stars as in Coober Pedy. The night sky will look totally different because it’s the Southern hemisphere and the constellations are all unfamiliar to me. I’m hoping to have a Tasmanian specialty for dinner one night: mudbugs. They are extremely large crawfish, quite edible. I’m also hoping to see a wombat, which is a short fat marsupial rodent the size of a small German Shepherd.

As you might have guessed, I’m pretty excited. This trip will be all the more precious because my back tells me this may be my last big adventure. I hope I’m wrong, but it looks like my spine is going to continue getting worse. The pain as well as the lack of mobility clips my wings considerably.

We won’t have access to the Internet, because what’s the point in going halfway around the world just to use a computer? So there will be a gap in this blog. I’ll miss the 10/30 entry, and I’m quite sure I will miss Halloween festivities, too (Hooray!) I plan on an 11/10 entry but it will be late.

Oh, and I promise to come back.

6 thoughts on “Can an RA Survivor Take a Vacation?

  1. Ha! Jean when I saw the subject of your blog. I was going to send you an e mail before reading it and saying, does this mean you will be visiting in December? I am thrilled to hear of your Australia trip. I am jealous in the most lovely way. Mostly I am proud of you that you took that first experience as a learning and success so now this trip is more specifically for YOUR needs and well, you know the old Making lemonade. I also know how much you want to be there so this is just terrific. And we have not had that discussion about how you feel about your degenerative back news of late. Degenerative back. Regenerative Australia trip. I am just thrilled for you. Made my day. Karen


  2. Have your life! Life is made for this and there are the other people working. I love Australia too. If you have a chance to look through a telescope under really dark skies, do it!


  3. hurray hurray hurray hurray hurray!!! Hurray for deciding to go and planning and being excited!!!!!! hurray for honesty and preparation and deserts and stars and marsupials. Hurray for you dear Jean. hurray. GO, enjoy, be proud, love stars, have a beer with a kangaroo for me (how fun is that!!! πŸ™‚ and, welcome home when it is time. πŸ™‚ hugs and love and respect and gratitude…..
    ani rose


  4. I’m so excited for you Jean… it’s time we all had time away from the stress of dealing with our pasts. You have done a fantastic job keeping up with the entries here and I anticipate you will come back refreshed and ready to add color and excitement to your new blogs… Have fun and be safe… love you!


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