Throughout my life I have done things my way, and they have always worked out – as if I’ve had luck in my corner. Of course there were challenges along the way, but these were always dealt with head on and produced great results. This approach brought me around the globe: living from Tel Aviv to London to Tokyo to Jakarta to Buenos Aires; from Wall Street to Main Street to Midaq Alley; from an apartment on Fifth Avenue to living out of my car. No matter what, I was “all in.” This approach has brought me both failures and successes, including a once thriving and financially successful business. The question for me was not whether I would be successful in life, but rather, how?
All of my optimism and bravado came to a crashing halt one cold December holiday night, when after an evening out with good friends, I suffered an accident. I was beaten with a pipe and later found under a moving train, resulting in quadriplegia. Given virtually no chance to walk again, I was devastated. But I also had hope, and lots of it. A fire that exists deep within, and has since childhood, burns on no matter the circumstances. I am here for a bigger mission. What would that mission now be? Better yet, how would I get through the mess that I was about to face?
Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come. Every part of my life– emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, financial, including family and friend relationships, suffered. Still, not ten seconds of pity passed through me while I lay on that gurney in a cold, dark, sterile hall in the trauma center, with a priest’s hand on my arm, I was determined to recover, to heal. This sense of optimism was supported by a deep inner belief that all things in life are impermanent, and no matter how bad it was, it too would eventually pass. Having a background as an entrepreneur, I organized and operated my recovery as a business, down to a daily spreadsheet that had my time split into fifteen minute segments. This process changed me in deep, introspective ways, allowing me to get in touch with my heart– with compassion for myself and others.
As a result, today I am a changed man; a new person, reborn into a new body. I embarked on a journey of recovery and healing that brought me through great pain and darkness, a result of looking deep within for the bigger answers related to who I am and what my purpose is here, only brought home through God’s grace and the sweet song of having touched my inner-self-soul. After six and half years of grueling physical therapy, I am also now learning to take steps again. There is no doubt in my mind, I will walk and run again. My body is sure to follow.
Upon completion of writing my first book, Unbreakable Mind, Channeling your Survival Instincts after Catastrophic Injury, so many new doors and life opportunities, otherwise previously unavailable possible options to me because I lacked the chutzpah and know how of injured travel, now opened up as a result: I was invited to give motivational and inspirational speeches the world over. One of the greatest rewards of my recovery was my ability to get back onto an airplane and travel the world again. So often in life the injured are marginalized by friends and family, and most definitely by the travel industry as a whole. Some days it was hard enough to get the courage to leave the house, let alone plan and take an international trip where so many factors [the injured like to be in control of] are outside of your control.
Stepping onto my first plane again after seven years of being unable to travel gave me my life back – it made me feel whole and complete again; a new and refreshing breath of air was breathed into my heart. It is my hope my travel expeditions and experiences can also assist others in a similar situation to find the courage to start living life again. Injury, mental and physical, affect so many in our own personal lives – and will only increase over time as sickness and disease become more and more prevalent in a modern society so reliant on doctors and medicines that do not heal. Starting to live life again through domestic or international travel has endless physical and mental health benefits.
If you or someone you know has suffered a life trauma, recovering from surgery or sickness, or if you are part of medical or support staff, a friend or family of someone going through a life changing experience, then this travel blog, a record and report of each trip I take somewhere in the world, will help you to find the motivation and inspiration to get out into the world – to breath – to live life again. Eternal light and love. First blog post to arrive soon.
Teeth to the wind! S
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