Awakening Through Love

Awakening Through Love

Travel Therapy

The following is an article I'm going to submit for a contest and would like constructive criticism.  The following questions should be answered:

Have you been particularly enlightened, surprised or changed by a travel experience? Why do you travel?

Travel Therapy

My anticipation and excitement mounted as the plane landed in Cairo, Egypt.  Although I had traveled quite extensively in comparison to many Americans and lived in Germany while in the military, this 18-day trip to Egypt and Jordan would be my first encounter with a foreign and exotic culture.  Having left my career earlier that year to take care of my ill mother and with the knowledge that my 21-year-old beautiful, talented and intelligent son was battling the demon of drug addiction, I was eager to lose myself exploring far away lands.  This would be the first of three journeys that I embarked upon in 2009. 

It was easy to forget while squinting my eyes against the bright, penetrating eastern sun to gaze at the immense Pyramids; walking in the footsteps of Moses to the top of Mt. Sinai to witness the sunset; or floating weightless in the Dead Sea.  It was easy to forget as I danced with the Bedouin people of the Wadi Rum desert, in the swirling smoke filled tent, my blood pulsing with the rhythmic beat of their instruments; having my skin rubbed raw in a steam filled Turkish bath house, or losing myself amidst the towering rose colored, carved monuments of the lost city of Petra.

A few weeks later, it was easy to forget while hiking the ancient Inca Trail to the mysterious and sacred city of Machu Picchu, where the spirits dwell among the stone buildings; playing soccer with local Peruvians on an island of the brilliant deep blue Lake Titicaca; and feasting on sweet, moist pancakes prepared over an open fire, as a guest in a local family’s home.

My son was in a court ordered outpatient rehab program, but it wasn’t enough.  Later that year, I found him passed out on the floor of his bedroom and called a crisis hotline.  He spent three months in jail and six months in a lock down rehab and I read everything I could concerning addiction, co-dependence, and enabling.  I started a blog and reached out to other hurting parents and became one of many that received and gave comfort and support.  I prayed for myself, my son, and the other tormented parents and their children.  I wondered how could this happen to us?  How does a straight A, star athlete become a drug addict?  

My final trip was to Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in December.  The elaborate temples, invigorating Thai massages, and an overnight stay on a boat off the shores of Vietnam, within the spectacular seascapes of Halong Bay, were salves for my anguished heart.

I arrived back home on Christmas Eve, having taken the opportunity to “Let go and Let God”, and thereby relinquished any preconceived notion of control over the fate of my precious son.  We weathered the storm and my son is now on the Deans List at a local community college.

Travel provided an escape from the soul wrenching spectacle of addiction, time to heal, the opportunity to see amazing sites, meet new friends, learn about different cultures, and best of all…to empower myself. 

Never give up hope and never stop traveling!



Anonymous said...

Sign me up for some travel therapY!

Sherry said...

I suggest taking a road trip by's empowering!

Pamela Parker said...

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Indianapolis Drug Rehab

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