Karina Chronicles

Dresses That Travel Well: Nothing Can Hold Me Back

SusanBarnes_KarinaSusan Barnes – aka travlin’ girl – is a travel writer, editor and photographer. A proud Army brat, she was born on a military base in Belgium and has been on the go ever since;  she now makes Tampa her home with her husband and miniature schnauzer, Lucy. In addition to writing extensively for print and online media, Susan is a co-host of #girlstravel chat on Twitter, Mondays at 2 p.m. ET. Feel free to follow her via travlingirl.com, and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. These days, she’s jetting off to her next destination in her Karina Penelope in Daisy.

In my Penelope (Daisy) dress at Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia last month - ready to take on the world!

In my Karina Penelope (Daisy) dress at Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Croatia last month – ready to take on the world!

Four years ago in April, I went under the knife for the first (and hopefully last!) time. After years of back pain, which escalated to severe and eventually caused paralysis in my left leg and foot, it was time to find a fix.

When I was told that a simple stumble or fall could cause permanent paralysis, I made the decision – it was time for surgery to remove the ruptured and herniated disk in my back that was causing the blinding pain and immobility. Now, for someone who enjoys being on the go and being active, this was a hard decision to get to. But immobility certainly wasn’t an option!

The surgery couldn’t have gone more smoothly – though there was an hours-long delay to get out of the prep room and into the surgical suite. Fortunately, I had my husband and parents with me to keep me entertained, and keep my nerves calm during the wait.

Dresses That Travel Well Through Life’s Adventures

When Dr. Small, my surgeon, came to check on me in the recovery room, I do recall asking him, through a drug-induced haze, “I’ve been invited to go to Bermuda next month. Can I go?,” proving that travel is always on my mind. When he agreed that I could go, I fell back into a restful sleep. And sure enough, a month later I was Bermuda-bound, and my traveling continued. That year, just months after having limited movement in my left leg and foot, my girlfriends and I went swimming with the whale sharks in Mexico, and we later went out west and hiked Arches National Park, went on a full moon hike at Bryce Canyon National Park and hiked part of The Narrows at Zion National Park.

Traveling and adventures haven’t slowed down a bit since April 2010 – in fact, I’m going more places and doing more things, and loving it!

And I realize, nothing can hold me back!

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