Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Older Traveler, Limited Mobility, Abroad Aboard a Barge at 79--What We Learn

A gray-haired woman, bent over her walker, was moving somewhat awkwardly towards our group and the private bus that was taking us to the Gare de Lyon in Paris. We would then board the TJV for a barge trip in Burgundy.  Although 99-year-old, Sr. Advisor R has said "DON'T ASSUME" countless times, I did assume this woman wasn't traveling on our barge. WRONG!

Initially I didn't know her age, nor that she was accompanied by a sister--11 years younger. While I do know that affect influences our first impression of people and while I've been trained, as a counselor, to be objective and nonjudgmental, barge travel isn't luxury liner travel. It involves a degree of mobility--at minimum navigating steps to get to the bedrooms and bathrooms below deck, and often walking ladder-like steps with railings and a gangplank to get from the barge to often  unmanicured terrain--all this before reaching the point of interest.

In  six days I watched a 79-year-old......

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