"Travel Bug Bites And I Bite Back" LeslieofTodd's Profile

Get Up And Go!

In my 56 years I have lived in five states and traveled to many others in the USA. I've made several trips to the Virgin Islands, Mexico and Canada. I have always enjoyed visiting new places and have a keen interest in the culture, history and food of the places I have been and where I hope to go.

Back in 2006 I tore up my left ankle and had it repaired with a handful of steel screws and plates. That experience slowed me down considerably and forced my semi-retirement from selling recreational real estate around Raystown Lake in Central Pennsylvania. In the spring of 2012 I fell on the steps in my home and ravaged the tibial plateau in my left leg. Again, able hands sculpted a repair of stainless steel and I spent many months regaining my ability to ambulate.

Both accidents damaged my confidence as well as my body--and a poor body it is; MS has taken its toll since the early 90s and my spine is aging even faster than my brain! I recently decided that I needed to do something to regain my psychological strength and test the physical progress that hard work in physical therapy provided.

I have never been to Europe but have held a life-long dream of traveling through France and I am now in the process of planning a journey that will test my ability to travel with mobility issues. I use a cane and have a noticable limp. I can cover some distance but I must watch my step and take my time and manage pain and fatigue. With the trip to France as my prize, I am working hard to gain strength to handle the rigors of travel. Every trip up and down the steps of my home builds a little more muscle and balances my gait. And the time spent on the computer researching and planning my journey has been wonderful brain exercise. And I am learning so much I did not know. One of the greatest things I have discovered is the amazing community of travelers who are willing to share their experiences and expertise with others.

I look forward to the interactions with others who have also been bitten by the travel bug--both the able-bodied and the damaged. After all, it is all about the journey...

"Leavin' On A Jet Plane..."

This coming Tuesday (23rd April, 2013) I will be flying over the landscape in this photo; an aerial view of where I spend most of my time. I am on the cusp of departure for an eighteen day trip through parts of France by train. The trip is a life-long dream and also a life-affirming action. I stumbled onto Virtual Tourist back in February while I was playing travel agent and planning this trip. Since I signed on to Virtual Tourist, there has not been a day that has gone by that I have not been enriched by the contributions of committed travellers and armchair travellers alike. I have made friends, and I thank each and every one of you for all of the wonderful advice and support that you have given me. And the bonds of friendship that are forming are something I can pack (with no additional weight!) and take with me in my heart as I go out into the world to explore. Very special thanks to those who have helped guide me when I was clueless, bouyed me when I flagged, and kept me on the many branched path of the traveller. I will be back in mid-May and hopefully post something that might help someone else who really needs to get moving again...so, as my good friend Kate says, "Ciao!" (for now)

  • Intro Updated Apr 21, 2013
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Comments (46)

  • paddington28's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    great photo of sunset from plane by the way!!

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Apr 1, 2014 at 11:54 PM

      I wish I could actually take a photo such as that. The image of the sunset across Europe and part of northwestern Africa was posted on the NASA Astronomy Picture Of The Day in March 2003. It is actually a digital composite of satellite images. Very beautiful, indeed, but not a photo taken from the Space Shuttle Columbia as many originally thought when it made its way around the internet.

  • paddington28's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    Thank you

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2014 at 2:07 AM

    Thanks for your ratings and nice comments on some of my Paris tips.

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Mar 17, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Hi Leslie, Thanks for your comments to me on your Forum. I hope all your travel dreams come true. Very best wishes!

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    So did you make it to France? I just love France, I keep going back!

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Mar 9, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      I sure did! It was quite a challenge but it was amazing. I was disappointed to discover that I was not in good enough condition to complete the itinerary that I had planned and everything changed. I made the best of it, based myself in Vannes and explored an area of Brittany that I originally only had planned to be in for several days. I came back physically devastated and it has taken time to get back into the swing of things. And it has also taken me almost a year to wrap my head around what happened to write it up for VT with all the gritty details. But, coming soon..."What Really Happened In France"! I fell in love with the bit of France that I saw and met some very kind, caring people. I desperately want to return and "finish" my trip but will need to greatly improve my mobility and stamina with more rigorous physical therapy to make that happen. Meanwhile, I armchair travel on VT. I am stunned by how much travel some VTers manage to do and also impressed by the quality of the writing and the photos that make the site so special. I am really looking forward to spending some quality time reading about your many journeys!

    • Dabs's Profile Photo
      Mar 12, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      So glad you were able to make it to France even if it didn't turn out quite like you had hoped. Will enjoy reading about your journey when you find the energy to write some of it down. :-)

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Hi Leslie. Happy New Year. I hope you have a terrific 2014 with lots of pleasant adventures.

  • riorich55's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Thanks for the New Years wishes. My wife and I are planning on spending a little time in your state in 2014. We are planning an October trip including Montreal, Upstate NY, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. for the VT meeting.

  • JulieJueletha's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    A wonderful profile page! I look forward to hearing about your trip!

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Dec 31, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      Hi Julie - How nice of you to get in touch. I am delighted to hear from a fellow Pennsylvanian. I am sooo tardy in getting my travel pages and tips written up for my 2013 trip to France. It was an amazing experience; so much of it unexpected! I am going to enjoy reading through your pages and I gladly accept your friendship. I do hope you are having a nice New Year's Eve and that 2014 is a great year for you. Leslie

    • JulieJueletha's Profile Photo
      Jan 1, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Thanks so much Leslie! We will keep in touch!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Thanks Leslie! Already the 1st and a fine sunny 30° day. Wishing you all the best for 2014, especially better health - fingers crossed!

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Dec 31, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      Thanks, Dee. I hope you have a healthy year too! I meant to tell you how much I like the photo of you and the lamb. Lovely!

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Dec 31, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      I couldn't resist giving it a cuddle!

  • gwened's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Happy New Year 2014!!!

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LeslieofTodd

“Pull yourself up by the bootstraps and put one foot in front of the other.”

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Real Name
Leslie
Location
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Member Since
Feb 11, 2013
Website
http://www.buyraystown.com

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