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Trip Report Tales of a falling woman

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“Tales of a falling woman in Italy”
or
should it be called “Leap of Faith”?!
or
“I did it my way”?

I wanted to travel in Italy and Switzerland.
First I had to decide if it was possible for me to do this.
My problem was I have problems with my feet, knees, back, left shoulder and an intermittent problem with heart rhythm.
I would also be travelling alone. As I have no family support I would also have no support back home to call if things went “pear shaped”.

The logistics of moving myself and my luggage through Italy, into Switzerland and back to Rome for the flight home was the challenge. I could not lift luggage, carry weight, stand in one spot for long, walk fast, stand up on jerky transport, needed to sit with a straight back without knees higher than hips, not sit for too long, or walk for too long, could only descend stairs right foot first then left foot down to right foot on each stair tread, not bend over often or for long. At any stage without warning my back could lock and I would not be able to move.

I’ve always been a psychologically “slower traveller”. I like to take the time to absorb the culture, architecture, history, landscape etc. I was a very active person (20k hikes and up and down gorges etc). My activities caused my problems. Born with hypermobile joints which have worn out. So now I am physically slower and limited so have even more time to enjoy the moment. Glass half full!

I decided that bus/guided tours were not for me – both physically and psychologically. These had never been my style of travel and now not something. I would enjoy or manage. I concluded that by the time I got safely to a place of interest from a bus on a guided tour, everyone else would be heading back to the bus! I also would have been a nuisance to everyone else - holding up the show. There was also a danger that I could find myself having to abandon the tour and waste my money.

So I decided to plan my own travel to Italy and Switzerland.

This is where Fodor’s forum came to the rescue in terms of information and travel tips.

Having researched where I wished to go and what I could see it seemed I would need 7 weeks.

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