|Stormy days. Stormy nights|
‘I need help,’ the text message read.
We had chatted on the phone not long before and my daughter’s weary voice had clearly conveyed the pain that she was in and the effort that walking the few steps in the heat uphill to her room in Corfu would require. Signing off, she had promised that she would remain where she was until she felt that she had the necessary strength to do so safely.
Her ordeal had started several nights before.
“Perhaps the effects of partying too hard?” her boat captain had suggested.
“I don’t drink, so that is not it.”
“No. I take precautions against the heat.”
In her disorientation and needing full-time access to a bathroom, she had cut short her sailing trip, forgone a pre-paid bed in a hostel and booked a room in a guesthouse, not realising that it was on the other side of the island.
Still, there, she had no support, no easy access to medical help and the sliding door on her balcony, which adjoined that of other apartments, did not lock, giving her an additional preoccupation as a single, female traveller.
Receiving the above text message from her not long after our call came as no surprise. The content however punched with the full force of being seventeen thousand kilometres from her side.
“I’ll ring reception for you,” I said, simultaneously wondering how I was going to manage that conversation with my non-existent Greek and Googling to see if there was a local ambulance service.
“Take little sips of water and check in with us every fifteen minutes,” my husband texted independently, aware that dehydration could sneak up insidiously.
I got no response at reception, there was neither local doctor or chemist available and any chance of getting an ambulance on the island was slim.
Assistance finally came hours later in the form of an observant cleaning lady.
It was hard, so hard, to be on the other side of the world, feel my daughter’s distress and be unable to help.
But would I want to curtail her wanderings in order to minimise the likelihood of such events?
Did I consider jumping on the next flight to Greece?
Does this make me want to continue encouraging my children to seek adventure?
Yes again, as I believe in their desire to travel and their openness to encounters and rejoice in the beauty of their discoveries.
PS I’m nonetheless extremely relieved that she is now on the mend.
|Back to the beginning|
Catherine's books (including her books celebrating her French-Australian life) below.
The links should take you to where you need to go, wherever you are in the world, to make a purchase.
Merci mille fois