At the age of 59 (late 1999), I declared I would live to 100+. As a result, I would spend the next 41 years traveling the world while enjoying various cultures via their sights, sounds & foods. How I could afford this was not part of my basic Declaration. I am a firm believer of the theory, “Set the vision & the means will follow”. For the first 14 years, my wife & I did just that. We traveled to over 15 countries & enjoyed many cities.On 3/10/16, I experienced my body’s first major travel delay—I had a STROKE! For the next 48 hours I had no control over my life. All I knew was that due to some equipment failure I was stranded in a stranger’s bed. Why did the equipment fail? How did it happen? And how long will it take to repair it? This blanket of unanswered questions covered my motionless left leg & arm for the first 2 days. Of course, I feared they would never move again. They would never again be cramped in the middle seat. Nor would they ever again slide under a table of pasta in Tuscany. It seemed even a stroll in Times Square may become a distant memory.
“The stroke is over and it was a mild one” said the doctor, as the Nevada morning sun broke through the hospital window. However, a cloud quickly covered the sun as the doctor continued, “If all goes right, in 2 to 6 months you should be fully recovered. “6 months, I haven’t felt this confined since my 2-day Air France delay in Paris. I could see the Eiffel Tower but I could not get to it. Then they put us up in the only hotel in France that did not have any Grande Mariner.
If my traveling shoes are going to gather dust for up to 6 months, I have to compensate with a travel blog that documents my journey of recovery, peppered with travel memories worth sharing and future plans of adventures for the day I put those shoes back on my feet. Our 4 More Travel motto, “You dream it & we’ll make it happen”, becomes for me, “I dream it, & it damn well better happen”. Kids from Brooklyn, even at 74, still dream.
JOIN ME ON THIS TRIP —–
Pre-stroke declaration. At 59, why did I think I would live beyond 100? Well when my dad was 59, he stopped smoking cold turkey and lived to 85. My dad was in the army 31 years. He smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day even though he was gassed & blown up in WWI. He survived 5 Beachheads in the Pacific in WWII, got wounded & earned a Bronze Star all while being blind in one eye (he memorized the eye chart to stay in the war).
Logically if he made it to 85, then 100 must be possible for me. I quit smoking my 12 pipes at 40, I was never in a war, however, there was that misunderstanding over a Zip Gun in 1951. I had a few tense moments while delivering food to the inner city in Washington DC during the Riot following MLK death. But no fear, the 82nd Airborne was there. And I was a little scared when all 4 of my tires were sliced during union negotiations with Teamsters. But on the whole, my life had been “Pax Romano” so bring on 100 plus.
In Part 2, I review my fun filled 14 years and my first 14 days of recovery.
Join Patrick Barney as he explores his love of travel & food around the world & in his home town of Las Vegas.