Since I came back from my first taste of solo travel in 2008, I've been planning on travelling again, and writing about my adventures. Immediately upon my return I started seeking employment in the service industry so I could learn the versatile and travel savvy working skills that many poor, but determined, travelers rely on. If I could serve in my home city of Vancouver, BC, I could serve anywhere. And I thought it would be a fantastic way to save up money for the next plane ticket I already saw in my hand.
Unfortunately life had other plans for me. In June of 2008, about three weeks after my return from my eye opening romp across the world - where I didn't just re-light my wanderlust flame, I ignited a passion for photography, writing, and experiencing life - I got into a very serious car accident. I found myself in the hospital with a broken neck and an almost completely paralyzedbody. My surgeon told me and my family I had only a 10% chance of ever walking again.
Safe to say, I didn't end up working in the fast paced hustle and bustle of the restaurant biz. And I certainly wouldn't be traveling any time soon, if ever.
I began a rigorous journey towards recovery. With the help of a phenomenal groupof people supporting me I worked towards willing my body to move. Nurses, therapists, and so very importantly, my friends and family kept my spirits high and my courage strong. Somehow, and by some grace and fortune I feel I'll never be able to repay, my body began healing. Fast, and shockingly well.
Here I am today, coming up to three years later, and I am walking. I am moving. I am dreaming. And I will be traveling.
I am still technically a quadriplegic, but likely one of the luckiest survivors out there with an incredible amount of function returned to me. I am now finally beginning my plan to complete the dream that started three years ago. I am enrolled in photography school, I am writing..
And I just purchased my flight to New York and Spain.
Mid April... it begins.
Artistic photography by Kristina Shelden
Wreck Beach, Vancouver, Canada