So, we depart soon for vacation, South America bound.

Our tour package, entitled “The Best of South America”, highlights prized sites and sights: Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Machu Picchu, and Easter Island.

We’re hoping the physicality of this trip isn’t beyond our knees… With successive travel adventure abroad (now at 40 countries explored via tour after accomplishing visits to all 50 states), we’ve been reminded of a wondrous reality of life in America: Prez Bush One passed ADA. Known as the American Disabilities Act, advocated by disabled vets, the law assured access for all public sites: parks, restaurants, skyscrapers and low-rise businesses. Despite ambulatory limitations, all are able to navigate our country. My bad knees don’t matter, like they do abroad.

If this mountain-top wonder doesn’t daunt you as you stare at its topography, consider London’s Underground System, the Swiss Alps, and Australia’s deep, deep caves in the Grosse Valley, Blue Mountain Range. All places where my knees rebelled after beaucoup steps. Steep, slippery steps on a hilltop town near Provence. Argh – ache!

Buried in the multi-page pack is a list of skills deemed useful for encountering cross-cultural situations:

  • Tolerance for Ambiguity
  • Ability to be Non-Judgmental
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Sense of Humor
  • Open-Mindedness
  • Communicativeness
  • Curiosity
  • Self-Reliance

How many do you possess?

What’s inherent in your biology, your psychology, your physiology, your self-image, your world view?

What skills keep you at home, unbending, unchanging, and aloof from the world or propel you to circumnavigate the world, to hold all of life in the palm of your hand.