Besides studying medicine, I also work at the municipal health service at travelers care, so I see quite a broad spectrum in health care. In principle, people who travel to far places for either holiday or work are quite healthy, although some may have conditions that require a different vaccination regime or limits their travel abilities. I see many students who go abroad for a couple of months to do some backpacking, volunteer work or a study program. I see families going on a beach holiday to a far-away place for only a week, or maybe a little more adventurous. I see retired couples who love to spend their free time to go to exotic and exciting places. And once in a while I have a very unusual traveler. Like today.
An older woman enters the vaccination room. From the intake form I see she is 80 years old. Firstly, she doesn’t look like 80. Most people look much older! This woman radiated life and energy and she looked at least ten years younger. From her intake I saw that she didn’t suffer from (almost) any diseases. No diabetes, cardiac or lung disease, no renal failure. She’s incredibly healthy, especially for her age. Secondly, I don’t come across many people of that age who travel that far! And guessing from her vaccination booklet, she’s seen a lot of the world.
What I found so special about this elderly lady was her apparent lust for life. She told me how her son had lived in different Asian metropolian cities, and how she had visited him a couple of times. She told me about her far travels, her walking competitions, and getting up early to enjoy seeing the sun rise. This was a lady who clearly enjoyed life. To the max. I want to be like her. Open to new ideas (her son is gay), taking opportunities, travel the world, live healthy and enjoy life. She radiated life.