Another ingredient for success was renting a big comfortable van to travel across the country and all over the Highlands.

Traveling in Scotland, while Andy had Parkinson’s, was a successful and extra fun vacation.

The ingredients that made it such a great trip began by having a team of people to take care of issues that came up- including those caused by Parkinson’s. It is true there is safety in numbers and the difference in traveling with only Andy and me and when we added two of our adult children, was enormous.

At the entrance to Edinburgh Castle having three people to communicate and care for Andy’s needs made our tour 100% fun instead of all the responsibility falling on me.

At the bakery in Findhorn, when Andy had to use the restroom, there was our son to accompany him and at the shipwreck on the beach of the Atlantic ocean in the Highlands there were two others besides me to help Andy walk safely through the loose stones.

Nobody felt overwhelmed with the care Andy needed in order to participate and Andy never felt like he caused too much work for me- his main caregiver.

Another ingredient for success was renting a big comfortable van to travel across the country and all over the Highlands. In Inverness, at the rental dealer, we were taken aback by the sheer size of the vehicle. Our daughter, Alana, acted a bit embarrassed at first because she lived in London and was used to the much smaller cars of Europe. She wasn’t comfortable standing out as the Americans in our giant car!

The big van soon turned into a blessing as we had so much room for Alana’s little dog, Astra, and all our luggage as well as plenty of room for 4 adults.

Andy and I sat together in the luxurious back seat, with Astra, and left the driving to our kids. The single lane, narrow winding roads gave us pause but Brendan was an ace driver and he navigated our giant van with confidence.

The last ingredient that made this trip so successful was traveling with Astra, the intrepid mini Schnauzer.

Parkinson’s can be an isolating disease.

There were times in Scotland when Andy declined going on the long hike up into the steep rocks on the Isle of Skye or when he felt fatigued and wanted to rest while the rest of us wanted to explore a path to a waterfall or a museum.

Astra became the “person’ who happily stayed in the van with Andy. She’d nap in his lap and honestly. I don’t think he missed us at all.

In Scotland, being a group of four empowered all of us to take care of all our needs without burdening anyone.

Our big van became a home base that allowed for comfort, naps and safe travel.

Astra’s presence created a higher level of peace in all circumstances and nobody ever felt left behind.

We didn’t plan these ingredients for success but we discovered them through our experience and there’s no reason they can’t be included to plan, especially when traveling with a loved one who lives with Parkinson’s.

2 thoughts on “Scotland

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