Swan: To wander without a goal or destination in mind (it’s also my last name.)
Trek: to make one’s way arduously, with great effort; a journey.
Aspie: A fun, shortened term used for folks with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Wahoo! Lucky you, you get to read my very first blog entry. My intention is to share adventure stories and dozens of travel tips that I’ve gathered as an extremely sensitive adult with a thirst for travel. I love trekking but struggle with the sensory challenges inherent to transportation and unfamiliar environments. My posts will be geared toward adults and will include how I dealt with noise, smells, textures, lights, communication barriers and food challenges while traveling. I hope the content of these posts will inspire, amuse, and give you a few tools to enjoy traveling too.
Just where have I been? Good question, glad you asked.
I currently reside in California, United States of America. Within the USA, I have visited Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Internationally, I traveled to Antigua, Australia, Barbados, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Spain and Turkey. Possible future destinations include the Baltic region, several countries in Central and South America, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
So why do I seek out adventure? It appears counter-intuitive for a supremely-sensitive person to travel the world. Yes it hurts, but seeing distant lands and experiencing new cultures stimulates my interests and expands my perspective. When we directly interface with the environment we’re in, it’s an amazing experience. The scents in the air, the sounds unique to the area, a change in temperature or elevation and an unobstructed 360º view – it fills the senses in a way that is not possible from looking at a flat image or video and/or reading text about a distant place.
When we travel, we experience the flavor of a different culture – even within our own region. Traveling to a foreign country affords the greatest opportunity for unique and new experiences. From the language, accents, currency, food, cultural nuances, architecture, forms of entertainment, cultural priorities – even the privies (toilets) can be very different than the ones we’re used to. The psychological benefits can be tremendous. Attaining perspective on my troubles, gaining confidence through accomplishment, and an awareness of human diversity allow me to expand and grow through travel. I highly recommend it.
And finally, there is my joy of photography which allows me to communicate in my native language – images. Combined, it irresistibly draws me out of my little room and into the great, grand world. Bottom Line: Adventure is worthwhile.