Have you ever used crutches? If so, you know just how cumbersome they can be. If you’re not actually walking with them at the moment, they’re either underfoot tripping someone or they’re leaning against a wall and in an inconvenient space. They’re also pretty hard to stow in most compact cars.
One of the things that makes travel a challenge for me is that I always bring crutches along. Because if I don’t have a set, I’m likely to be in a circumstance where I’ll lose my mobility. Like maybe I’m staying in a hostel and the bathroom is more than a few hops away from my bed. Or maybe I want to swim in a pool and there’s no dry safe space for me to stow my bionic leg within an easy skooch from the pool (and given that it costs $25K for the knee alone, it’s not worth risking some random splashing). Or maybe (just maybe) I want to spend some time at the beach and get my foot wet. In any of those circumstances I really need the crutches.
But carrying crutches around along with luggage is such a pain.
On my last speaking stint I arrived the night before and stayed in a hotel so I would be fresh for the next day’s talk. But because I was checking out of the hotel on my way to the talk, I had to bring my luggage with me. Which also meant bringing my crutches. It was more than a bit awkward to arrive at my speaking engagement with an overnite bag, crutches, and my presentation materials.
And this next trip that I’m going on to the Bay Area, I’ll be moving from one sleeping place to another at least three different times in one week. And each time that’ll mean using public transport with crutches and bag(s), perhaps lugging everything along to conference events and campus visits. I keep trying to figure out some way to not have to carry those crutches along every time, and….I think there isn’t one. I feel so terribly whiny admitting my annoyance at those crutches.