Entries in ‘Travel Writer’ Journal

How to Deal with Hip Replacement and Travel

Tuesday September 25, 2012 at 5:05 AM | 23 Comments

"Nancy Brown"

Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown at Camp Augusta in Nevada City, California

On the disabled list – or am I? One travel writer’s journey

This is the first in a 4-part series that will help you deal with total hip replacement (THR) and travel.

Part 1: Denial to acceptance

Part 2: Preparing for surgery

Part 3: Recovery and travel

Part 4: On the travel road again

Disclaimer: Many people suffer from disabilities – either as a result of accidents, injuries, congenital or acquired disability, or other factors. Fortunately for me, my disability is temporary, yet my experience opened my eyes to inclusive travel and the physical and emotional challenges disabled travelers face. I am fortunate to have the choice of Total Hip Arthroplasty.

Hip pain equals travel pain

“Wow, you’re walking like my mom did right before her hip replacement surgery,” observed Katherine Johnstone of the French Tourism Office. “You should insist to your surgeon that the time is now. You shouldn’t have to put up with this much pain.”  As I limped along the cobblestone streets of southern France, popping Advil, I cavalierly offered this response. “After my visit to the Orthopedic surgeon and looking at my x-ray, he said that I had hip dysplasia – something I thought only Labrador retrievers got. He said that I would eventually need hip replacements. He sent me home with a prescription for Naproxen and told me to come back in 10 years. That was a year ago.”

"Nancy Brown"

Nancy Brown riding Quarter horse Jett on a cattle drive at High Lonesome Ranch in DeBeque, Colorado

From fit to fat; the downhill slide of a baby boomer

It hadn’t always been this way. In my youth I swam, rode horses and played tennis.  As an adult, I continued riding and added walking and a gym membership to my routine. Initially, I thought my left hip flexor muscles were the problem and added chiropractor and physical therapy to the routine, all to no avail.

Eventually, I gave up my gym membership and walking shoes, opting for deep water aerobics.  It was in my water aerobics class that I met Lucy Talbot. Fit and fabulous, Lucy had two hip replacements at the age of fifty.  She suggested that I return to the Orthopedic surgeon for a follow-up visit.

"Esther Vélez"

Esther Vélez performs at Museum of Flamenco Dance, Seville, Spain

Dance with denial takes center stage

My husband is the first to point out that I am a rule follower. I took a surgeon’s dismissive remark about my hip pain as authoritative. I had heard rumors that artificial hips only last ten years and didn’t want to have multiple revisions.

I have had multiple staph infections in my life and didn’t like the idea of having to take antibiotics the rest of my life before dental cleanings to stave off infections settling in my artificial hip.

I’m a writer, specializing in equestrian travel. Would I set off the metal detectors at security every time I went through clearance? Would I be able to horseback ride again?

As I watched my weight move up the scale and my interest in walking wane, I continued my dance with denial.  Finally, at my husband’s insistence, I returned to my primary care physician and made an appointment with the Orthopedic surgeon.

X-rays don’t lie

While the doctor was in his office, reading my x-ray, I was looking at the same results in the exam room. To my untrained eye, I could see that there was no cartilage in my left hip. The pain I was experiencing was from bone on bone contact.  The doctor considers many factors such as your pain level, weight and activity level before determining the best method of treatment.  Ultimately, the patient determines when a hip needs replacing.

I see the logic behind this hip replacement approach. The patient needs to come to terms with the trade offs and the reality that a hip revision may be in their future.  My approach to total hip replacement; I wanted quality of life now, at age 51.

Preparing for joint replacement surgery

What about you? Have you had joint replacement surgery? Are you facing hip or knee replacement in your future? How will joint replacement affect your future and travel? Let’s travel on this path together.

Tripbase Travel Secrets E-Books for Charity

Friday May 21, 2010 at 12:12 AM | 2 Comments

Tripbase Travel Secrets - free e-books for Charity: Water, Nancy D. Brown contributor

Tripbase Travel Secrets - E-books for Charity Water

First down loadable series of E-books of Travel Secrets –  Free!

Imagine a list of top secret travel tips compiled by travel writers and bloggers from across the globe? If you are a savvy web user and look to the internet as a first step to begin your travel planning, have I got a travel tip for you.

Tripbase  has compiled a series of seven e-books of “The Best Travel Secrets” that you, my dear friend, can download FOR FREE! Top travel writers such as Peter Greenberg, Rolf Potts and Johnny Jet have contributed three of their best kept travel secrets for this e-book series. 

First e-book tied to Charity

Download free travel e-book - Help raise funds for Charity: water

Download free Tripbase travel e-book - Help raise funds for Charity: water

As the folks at Tripbase asked all of the travel writers and bloggers to donate their “best travel secrets” it is only fitting that Tripbase continue to pay this goodwill effort forward with a donation to Charity.

Tripbase has partnered with New York-based Charity: Water and will make a donation to the organization based on the success of the e-book downloads.

Want to know my three travel secrets? What are you waiting for? Dowload the free Travel Secrets e-book. Of course, if you’d like to make a donation to Charity: water, they welcome your donation.

I’ve helped, please help too
led by Tripbase

What are your favorite travel secrets? If you have a blog, join in the fun. Leave a comment below.

Three Best Travel Secrets

Friday May 14, 2010 at 12:12 AM | 1 Comment

Three Best Travel Secrets, Travel Tips from Travel Expert Nancy D. Brown

Three Best Travel Secrets from Nancy D. Brown


Secret Travel Tips from a Travel Expert

As a travel writer, I’m often asked “what are your best travel tips?” Rather than respond with “read my newspaper or magazine column,” I came up with three travel tips that I don’t think you’ll find anywhere else.

Visit Your Destination on Horseback

travel tip secrets from Nancy D. Brown, visit your destination on horseback

Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown recommends you visit your destination on horseback

Get off the beaten path during your travels and hit the dirt – literally. Visit your destination from the back of a horse. Unless you are touring a major city, most places offer horseback riding to the general public. From beginner to advanced rider, there are many types of horseback riding vacations available across the globe.  

Visiting Kauai? Go horseback riding on one of the oldest working cattle ranches in Hawaii at Princeville Ranch.

What better way to learn about California’s Los Padres National Forest than from a local who rides the horseback riding trails on a daily basis?

 Have you considered horseback riding to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon? There are special equitrekking tours offered for the horse lovers amongst us.  I try to fit in a horseback ride on all of my travels.  


Visit The San Francisco Visitors Site "Only in San Francisco" and learn from locals

Visit The San Francisco Visitors Site "Only in San Francisco" and learn from locals


Social Media – a Traveler’s Best Friend?  

We all look online when we are planning a trip. You wouldn’t be reading these secrets if you weren’t web-savvy. Once you have narrowed down your destination, let’s say a visit to San Francisco, do a search to find the San Francisco CVB (Convention & Visitors Bureau.) Once you’ve found them,  look to see if they have a FB page and are on Twitter. Follow them, become a fan. Ask direct questions about where to find lodging discounts or where to go for the best tacos in the Mission District. CVB’s exist to serve you, the traveler – use them and save money while you’re at it.  

By the way, you can follow me on Twitter and for the horse lovers.   

Lost Luggage Tip Secrets  

Have you ever had your luggage lost on an airline flight? I had my luggage lost on a non-stop flight. Rather than stomp my feet and raise my blood pressure, I decided to ask fellow travel writers for their lost luggage tips and share the secrets with you.

My favorite tip comes from Wendy Perrin of Conde Nast Traveler magazine, “take a picture of your luggage from your mobile phone. This way you can show the airline EXACTLY what it looks like.”

What’s your best travel secret?

Related Posts:

Horseback Riding Vacations

Lost Luggage Tips  

Tell a secret image by Sxipa