A Lifetime of Travel, A Tale of Determination and Friendship

Thursday, 14th May 2020

Nichol Callaghan

arctic spitsbergen longyearbyen in august istk

Our amazing staff, clients and partners are still sharing their favourite tales from a lifetime of travel. We’ve been inundated with wonderful stories, images and thought provoking memories that we can’t help but share. Here’s a tale of determination and friendship, from our client, Helen:

Several years ago, I suffered a stroke, caused by a brain tumour. I was left paralysed on my left side and had to learn to walk again. I had previously travelled up the west coast of Greenland, and still wanted to explore more of the Arctic – but after the stroke, I didn’t think this was possible. Fortunately, the tumour was non malignant, and after some really difficult years, I was told it was gone. Time to try and get these lost years back, so my husband, daughter and I booked a trip to explore Svalbard. Although I was still disabled, with limited use in my left side – we made the trip. This trip was a very special one for me, my life had changed quite significantly, and I didn’t know if I would be able to cope with the various adventures and challenges we would face on this Arctic adventure. My biggest worry was making a fool out of myself, particularly getting in and out of zodiac’s and keeping my balance! But I did it.

The trip, despite being challenging, was wonderful, I was reassured and listened too,along every step of the way. It made me hopeful that one day I would travel up the east coast of Greenland.

However, it was a couple we met on arriving in Svalbard that made the trip extra special. They had travelled from Australia, and were often in the same zodiac as us throughout the trip. We started chatting and just felt so comfortable with them. We exchanged email addresses, and surprisingly kept in touch and learned a lot more about each other and our families. We have never found people on holiday that have kept in touch, and our new friends said the same.

Most recently, we just so happened to be in Scotland at the same – in the same hotel, on the same night! We met up again, and chatted like we had known them forever. We had also organised to meet up this year in England, but regardless of whether we can go ahead with that plan, we will never lose touch with them and have made lifelong friends.

The travel friendship is a particular kind of relationship, they come out of nowhere and change us – and we couldn’t be more grateful for our happy memories and great friendship. Made a little more compelling by the Discover the World team, who helped make my dream of travelling to the East Coast of Greenland true (whilst also making my new friends incredibly jealous!).

Here’s to many more adventures ahead.

Feeling Inspired?

Share your memories via email, or messaging us on Facebook or Instagram. experienced.

Be sure to read a fond memory of Iceland by our client, Claire, and the trips we remember now travel has been taken away.

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