Trips of Triumph
“Every year now since surviving almost twelve-hour surgery to remove a bleeding tumor from my brain stem in 2009, I mark this momentous second chance at life by traveling across our globe to add another year to my belt.
“One year I took off on a camel’s back through the Sahara Desert, following an Arab Berber nomad through Morocco’s slice of this mighty desert. Another year, I boarded a train from Delhi to a remote Indian village to attend one of the world’s largest camel-trading festivals.
“I’ve been to a reindeer farm that straddles the Arctic Circle to hitch up these gentle, big-racked animals to sleighs. Rode an elephant to an Indian fortress. Joined thousands at a pilgrimage to a sacred Hindu lake. I rang in a birthday to remember at the Taj Mahal at daybreak.
“Then there was the time I spent a day at a Bengal tiger camp outside Bangkok, Thailand, operated by Buddhist monks. I had an opportunity to bottle-feed cubs, and help exercise “teenager” and adult cats!
“I work and save and plan all year for what I call trips of triumph over Angie. Yes, I named my brain tumor. It was a cavernous angioma.
“My trips remind me of what I survived. How much I have yet to see in this world. How fortunate I am to be able to strike out for another adventure. Another horizon.
“To live another day.”
Ann is writing a memoir about surviving her brain tumor. Follow Ann on Twitter @annkkelly