An Open Letter to my Travel Family

Written By: The Planet D

Dear Travel Family, I am writing you this letter because I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. In the past 3 1/2 weeks I think I have had tears in my eyes more than any other time in my life.

It has not been from  the pain (although at times unbearable) but from the outpouring of support and encouragement that I have received from you…my travel family.

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When I broke my back a little less than 1 month ago it changed my life.

An Open Letter to my Travel Family

Not only did it open my eyes to the fact that life can change in the blink of an eye, but it also made me hyper aware of how important friends and family really are.

I could not get through this without Deb. She has been my rock and unsung hero not only through this whole ordeal but my entire life.

While I was laying in the hospital in Peru spaced out on painkillers she was by my side 24hrs a day tending to my every need, trying to communicate with doctors with her Google Translate as well as having to organize all the details of getting me home in an Air Ambulance and all the insurance needs.

This woman is superhuman let me tell you as anyone who has met her can attest to. Thank you my love.

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Family and Friends

I also could not have gotten through this without the support of family and close friends. Just to see the faces of my brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, my nephews, and close friends or to hear their voices over the phone really lifted my spirits and I believe it has been a huge part in my recovery moving along so quickly.

Thank you guys and to Deb’s parents for letting us use their house to recover. But truthfully the support of my family and friends did not surprise me.

They have always been a part of my life and always been their for me during my ups and downs. Your reassurance and comfort have been unwavering.

Travel Family Around the World

What was most overwhelming for me was the words, comments, gift baskets, phone calls, emails, and Google chats that came from you…my Travel family.

We have been doing this for 6 years now and have been fortunate enough to meet and work with some of the most amazing people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

The joy that I get from meeting new people is the fuel that powers my passion for travel. And that is exactly what you guys do. Fuel my passion. You will never know how much those words of encouragement have meant to me and when I see you again you will be getting an embarrassing hug so be prepared.

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Online Friends

But it is not just the people I have met in person that are responsible for that, but also the people that I know only virtually.

Some people can argue that your “online” friends are not your true friends. But obviously, they have not met my online friends.

Our goal when we started ThePlanetD was to develop a relationship with our readers, and if the response that we have received during this tough time is any indication then I think we have accomplished that.

I have been overcome with emotion each time I read your comments and realize how lucky I am to be part of this incredibly giving travel community. This may sound strange but when we were younger we used to cut out quotes from Oprah Winfrey’s magazine and stick them to our fridge for inspiration.

There was always one that really stayed with me.

It was “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher”.

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I feel that is exactly what we have done. You guys have become part of that group that lifts me higher and inspires me to follow my passion and take the risks necessary to live a fulfilling life.

So thank you again from the deepest reaches of my soul and heart for being you and most importantly for being my travel family.

With Love and Gratitude,

Dave

Please Read: Why you Need Travel Medical Insurance, it truly saved our bacon

We’d like to thank International Expeditions for all their help after the accident. They stayed with us for the entire week I was in the hospital in Peru. And especially Jaime who was on call and at the hospital in the blink of an eye when Deb needed him. And a huge thanks to Joyce and Ryan, fellow passengers on our cruise. Joyce is a retired nurse who took control of the situation, stabilized my back and made sure I was safe until the float plane came to take me to the hospital. Her nephew Ryan, is an amazing young man who didn’t have to stay with us, but he was there to help move Dave and keep him comfortable too!

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Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

76 thoughts on “An Open Letter to my Travel Family”

  1. You two have touched so many people’s lives, both virtually and in person. We’ve looked up to you since we started blogging and have always thought of you as friends…even though we’ve never met. Dave you are so brave and we thank you for sharing your incredible / awful story with us. we wish you a very speedy recovery. Deb, if I were ever injured, id want you (and Nick!) there. You’re a total rockstar, amazing! All the best. your fellow Canadian friends, Dariece & Nick xo

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    • Aw, thanks Dariece! So true, I can’t believe we haven’t met in person. I feel like I know you two! I’ve already felt like I can say anything to you guys in my “Deb sort of way” ie—Blunt. haha. Thanks for the comment and looking forward to meeting in real like soon!

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  2. Hi Dave & Deb,
    I am not one of your regular readers. In fact, I came across your The Planet D while looking for websites for a work assignment. I loved the website and its personal feel you guys lend it. And suddenly, I come across this post of yours, Dave. That photograph of you on the boat is just… I cannot describe it. It’s such a blessing you had a nurse-friend with you there.
    And the fact that your wife was your rock. I speak from experience – that is the best thing you can have.
    But I am really glad you are getting better and that you have such a superb support system to lean on. All the best to you all and wish you a speedy and safe recovery!

    ~ A stranger from Mumbai

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  3. It’s good to see you feeling better again! Quite a nightmare you’ve been through! But you are a rock star and not easy to take down! That’s good! 🙂
    I’m looking forward to have a beer together and listen to the full story in person!

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  4. Best wishes to you both. Hoping you can continue to embrace the ups and downs of recovery as you would a new country. I know the even keel and positive attitude that is part of your work and life will help tremendously!

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    • Thanks Kristen. Well said about recovery. It takes some adjusting but it is just like exploring a new country. Once you settle in, you become more comfortable.

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  5. What an awesome and well thought out letter. I’ve only recently stumbled across your blog but you both seem like great people. Really sorry to hear about your back Dave! That must have been awful. The post even gave me palpitations it was so dramatic! Sounds like Deb was amazing though 🙂

    Keep it up guys!

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    • Thank you Glen. I’m doing much better now and it’s been amazing having so much support from the community. All the best to you for 2015!

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  6. To be honest, I have learned that injuries create challenges that you need. Throughout all my injuries and pain I have always found a way to keep mentally and physically moving. When you become pain exhausted, you mentally tell ask yourself ” How is this going to make me stronger?” Then you answer ” Because I CAN get stronger ”
    You also realize that those negative people who make excuses to fail, have not learned to win. Your injury is going to teach you how to win.

    Injuries suck! But looking back you will realize that you learned something more due to your injury. I learned to not be afraid of getting injured. ” A SHIP IN PORT IS SAFE BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT A SHIP IS DESIGNED FOR”

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  7. Very sorry to hear about the unfortunate accident. So glad you are on the road to recovery and the worst is behind you. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they interact online. I have met many people in real life after knowing them first online, and I have never been disappointed by meeting people in real life if I liked them online first. From what I know about Planet D, it seems you are both caring supportive people, so I am not surprised you were embraced in your time of need. You get back what you give, and you two have given a lot. I hope to see you back to doing great adventures soon.

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    • Hi Ted, thanks so much for your kind words. It’s true, I think that most people portray themselves the same online as they do offline. We find it’s impossible not to. One thing I know is both offline and online we tend to share a lot (probably too much) but you can’t change your personality right? Hope to meet you in real love one day out there in the big world soon!

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  8. Oh my goodness! It’s Xmas eve and it’s been so busy that I am just now finding out about this horrific news. I am so, so sorry to hear this.

    What a beautiful post and I am so grateful that you are in good hands and recovering well, surrounded by loved ones nearby and online. We will keep you two in our prayers!

    I understand a little, as I broke and paralyzed my arm in a foreign land out of the blue in 2009, ( as least in one of the better places it could have happened, but didn’t lessen the pain) …and STILL recovering from that. Funny, how one moment can change everything. Hearing about your pain made me weep.

    You are strong and this will make you both stronger. Blessings to you both and may you be completely healed soon!

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    • Thanks Jeanne. I actually remember you talking about your arm. We had just started blogging then and I hadn’t gotten to know you yet, but I remember you writing about it. Sorry to hear that you are still recovering. All the to you and your family during this holiday season!

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  9. From the moment I met you two in Playa del Carmen, I could tell what an amazing bond you have. The only thing better than knowing your partner/love/spouse is there for you, is when they ARE there for you. Deb, I admire your resilience. Dave, I’m so happy to read that you are healing day-by-day. As humbling as it may be to accept all of the love and support from near and far, take it! Revel in knowing how much you are cared for.

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    • Wow! Thank you Dana. We are extremely lucky to have met at such a young age and to have grown together and create a bond over that time. It could have easily gone the other way. A lot of people who meet at a young age drift apart. Dave and I managed to strengthen our relationship over time. I can’t imagine going through life and travels without him and we were both talking about how difficult this would have been to go through alone. We admire and respect the solo travelers out there, but we’re definitely two people that need each other to rely on. Dave’s strength kept me going through this as well. Even in his hospital bed in pain, he supported me a lot.

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  10. Dave and Deb, I am just catching up reading about you ordeal and am glad that Dave is on the road to recovery. Sending so many healing vibes and much love. xoxoxo

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  11. Angie and I are so glad to hear that your recovery is going well Dave. She checks FB for updates about you every day and let’s me know if I ever miss anything. Someone mentioned the love story that you and Deb have and this is just another chapter in that story. You guys have been through better and worse and now are experiencing sickness and health. Your update proves this didn’t just happen to you. It happened to Deb too. To see you both getting stronger than ever through it all is inspiring to us all and makes us all want to be better in our own relationships.

    In a very small way, this happened to all of us too. We do love you guys and hope that we can help you both get through this in some small way. Continue getting better. We still have a date in Munich we have to keep.

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    • Hi Rick, so great to hear from you! And thank you so much for the kind words. You really brought a tear to my eye. We think the world of you and Angie and it was so great to be able to see you twice in 2014! Hopefully we’ll get a lot more Rick and Angie time in 2015! thanks again and you are right, this really was an experience that effected us both. We’re both doing well. I’ve been amazing by Dave’s strength. I know he’s dealing with a lot of pain right now and he never complains. He just keeps up with going to his tests, having his physiotherapy and doing his exercises. He’s amazing me!

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  12. Big love to you both from Wanderlusters HQ! We’re so pleased to hear that you’ll be home for the holidays and surrounded by loved ones. We’re sending you positive vibes and wish you all the very best for a speedy recovery in 2015!

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    • Hi Charli, thanks for the note and thank you for all your support this year! We’re really looking forward to 2015. This setback as already given us a lot to think about and given us the time to re-evaluate our lives and travels.

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  13. Dave, I’m so glad you’re starting to do better and that you have such wonderful, loving people around you. Andy and I were going to send a postcard to you in the hospital but they released you so quickly we didn’t get to it. But please know we’re thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery!

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    • Hi Ali, thanks so much for the well wishes. Yes, they let me go much sooner than expected. They want to get people out of the hospital and home ASAP. It’s much better for healing. While I still have home care and physiotherapy, it’s so much better being in the comfort of home rather than the hospital. It’s much better for Deb too. It was long days for her each day at the hospital with me.

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  14. So so glad to hear you’re doing better! I can’t even imagine what that was like. Also reinforced my decision to have travel insurance :). I know we’ve never met (or even talked) but feel a big (though gentle) traveler’s hug and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery!

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    • Hi Emily, I’m glad we could talk you into travel insurance. If we didn’t have it, we’d still be sitting in Peru because we wouldn’t have been able to fly home. We would have lost our return tickets, would have had to pay our hospital bills in Peru (Which for 1 week came to $2400) and then we would have had to buy another flight home plus pay for a hotel to stay in while Dave was healing. It would have been extremely expensive. I’m crafting an article all about it for the New Year.

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  15. So glad you are doing better Dave!!! I get a little happy when I see an update from you because I think ‘ok, great Dave is getting back to his regular self.” 🙂 And yes Deb, you are the bomb!

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    • Thanks Bethany. Agreed, I think it was important for Dave to write this one. He woke up and went right to his computer (I have a chair and table set up for him so he sits up straight) and spent the morning writing. It was something he was really compelled to do. I love this letter!

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  16. Dave and Deb you continue to be an inspiration and I’m so glad that you are on the road to recovery! I’ll be thinking about you both and hope to see you both on the road again soon!

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    • Thank you so much Sharon! I think we’re inspiring each other. I know that Dave has inspired me with his strength throughout all this. He’s definitely on the road to recovery and the dr’s think the prognoses is good!

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  17. Glad to hear you are on your way to recovery, Dave! No surprise Deb would be by your side 24/7. She loves you. You both take care and rest up!

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    • Aw, thanks Jennifer, just like I know you would be there for Tim and I know that he was there for you. You’ve had quite a few traumas as well and I know that you are still healing. I missed your accident when it happened, but hearing about it at TBEX I was very concerned. Thank you so much for all your support.

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  18. For richer or poorer in sickness and in health…..and since I’m quoting, here’s another…stand by your man. Speedy recovery to you, Dave and to Deb, I hope you have a spa day planned in the near future!

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    • Thanks Nancy! I actually didn’t have a spa day planned, but you have given me an idea, Spa day it is! I need one for sure. 🙂

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  19. You are loved Dave!!!! Glad you know it now even more than you did before. But I’m sorry it took something like this to show you. Both you and Deb are foundation stones of our travel community. It would not be the same place without you both. So glad you’re going to be ok and it wasn’t all worse than it was. Deb, thanks for being such a shining example of a wife and partner. I hope I am 1/100 of the partner for Danté that you are for Dave.

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    • Thanks so much for the really nice words Kirsten. That’s really kind of you to say! I think there are many like you too that have been doing this for a while and we’ve all become so close. It’s a wonderful community. I’ve seen you and Danté together and I have a feeling that both of you are 110% supportive and loving to each other. I remember how well you two complemented each other. When it fits it just works.

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  20. What a beautiful and touching letter. Glad you are feeling better, Dave! Deb certainly seems like superwoman! And I agree regarding the travel community being supportive and encouraging. You are blessed to be surrounded by so many people who lift you higher 🙂

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    • Hi Nita, it’s Deb here and I can guarantee that I am no superwoman. I was just there doing what any wife would do. Although, I probably ranted and yelled a bit more when things went wrong. One day I’ll share the bedpan incident story and then nobody will think I’m superhuman 😉

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  21. Dave and Deb – it is so lovely to hear that you are on the road to recovery, and that as ever Deb has been your rock. You receive our support because you have given to us and others so generously. See, when you are kind to people, people are kind back. Have a restful and relaxing Christmas and we look forward to hearing more of your (passive) adventures in the new year. Regards, Paula and Gordon

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    • Thanks Paula, I’m answering for Dave as he can’t spend too much time sitting at the computer and I must admit Dave was just as much of a rock as me. He had to calm me sometimes and there were definitely times when I lost it and he had to comfort me. I felt guilty because it really isnt’ his job to comfort me when he’s in pain, but he did it. I admire him for his strength. We’re getting ready for 2015 and hopefully we’ll be back to our old adventurous selves in a couple of months.

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  22. We’re very glad that you’re on the road to recovery and surrounded by those you love. Sending healing thoughts, strength and positivity your way. ….Also, I think we’re going to invest in travel insurance for future trips.

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    • Thanks Mary! You definitely should invest in travel insurance. I am always shocked when I hear that people don’t. Anything can happen anywhere and for a small amount of money you get a lot of security.

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  23. I’m so happy to see that you seem to be progressing well – the idea of a broken back is so frightening! You know if you want an outpouring of love from your online travel family I think we’d all be willing to offer it if you did something less dramatic next time – I recommend a torn cuticle! Many kudos to Deb! Best wishes for recovering ahead of schedule!

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    • Hi Kay, thanks so much for the note. Yes, it was very scary. Especially the week we were in Peru. We really didn’t know the extent of his injury or how much it would affect his life in the future. It’s good to know that he will be ok and didn’t need surgery. Rest and hard work will bring him back to his old self.

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  24. I don’t find it surprising that so many have expressed their support and affection. You and Deb have been incredibly kind and welcoming from the first time we met – when I was a fledgling blogger, eager to be accepted by “the community.” It’s wonderful to know that your genuine warmth and kindness have an impact and are returned. I was just speaking with another blogger about you, and we were both clearly invested in your well-being and recovery. Here’s to lots more support and care among our community. Wishing you both happy holidays. I look forward to seeing you soon and getting that hug.

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    • thanks so much Jeff! It was so great getting to know you better at TBEX Athens, and let’s not forget our little project! We have got to start planning for that! Thanks for sending out the good vibes even when we’re not around. Happy holidays to you too and looking forward to seeing you in 2015!

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  25. So happy to hear that you are recovering, Dave, and how lucky you are to be surrounded by friends and family. Continuing to send prayers and healing energy to you both during this tough time. xoxo

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    • Thanks Barbara! It is good to be home and comfortable. I can’t imagine being stuck in Peru all this time. If we didnt’ have access to the air ambulance, we’d still be there. Dave wouldn’t be able to sit on a flight for another couple of weeks. Just driving to the doctors was enough for him and he had to lay back in the car. It would have been terrible to be sitting in Peru waiting to heal enough to come home.

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  26. So wonderful you’re on the mend and we can all look forward to more of your wonderful photos and stories ‘soon’ 😉

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  27. Beautiful letter. You have both given so much of yourselves to others over the years, from inspiring people to take their first adventure to sharing & teaching us in the industry how to realize their dreams. No surprise here the travel family wants to embrace you right back! Big hugs!

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    • Thanks Cristina for your very kind words. It was so great spending time with you in Italy and hopefully we’ll get another set of travels together somewhere in the future. Keep inspiring us too!

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  28. I am reading this with teary eyes. You have taken a very painful, distressing and terrible moment in your life, and turned it into an inspiring story of gratitude, a lesson about what’s important in life, and another amazing chapter in your love story as a couple. Bravo Dave and Deb! You were already two of the most inspiring people I know, you are turning into real heroes..

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    • Thanks Mariellen. This really did help us to realize what’s important in life. We’ve been so busy in 2014 we really did lose sight of what’s important and took things for granted. It’s moments like these that snap you back into reality and help you to focus on family, friends and taking care of yourself.

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  29. Through thick and thin Dave and Deb.
    I’m well pleased you’re both recovering 🙂 and you’re welcome.
    Deb, thanks for keeping it together :).

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  30. What a beautiful letter! Glad to be part of this community when there are people like you, who inspire others, are in it. I think that the positive energy that you always share is bouncing right back to you. And wow to Deb; she’s incredible–so strong. I saw that as I followed what was happening on FB. I’m happy she’s been there at your side and that you’re on the mend and wish you the best. Get well soon! 🙂

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    • Hi Lisa, and thanks for your card and book. We just received it today! It’s true, this community is very positive and supportive. It’s wonderful to be able to share the support that we’ve been getting to remind everyone just what a giving community the travel blogging community is. It’s truly the best! This is Deb answering and I have to say, I started posting on Facebook in Peru, because I was feeling so low and alone. Dave was sleeping a lot and on a lot of drugs. I had a local SIM card with data on my phone and it was my way to staying connected. I didn’t expect the wonderful outpour of support. It’s funny, I was sitting alone in the hospital wondering if I should send a message about what happened and didn’t know if anyone would notice or even pay attention. When the well wishes and messages came pouring in, I didn’t feel so alone or upset. Dave says I am a rock, but really, it was everyone’s support and notes that helped keep me going too. All of you were the only people I could communicate with. If I didn’t have the travel community, I wouldn’t have had anyone. I couldn’t make long distance calls on my phone and I didn’t have Internet on my computer. It was just updates on Facebook that kept me sane. Sounds silly, but it’s true.

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  31. Hugs Dave! I’m so glad you felt embraced by your travel family during this crazy time. We love you and we’re rooting for you always!

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  32. So glad to see you are doing better Dave, you gave us quite a scare. And it is indeed awesome to see what a great community is out there. I hope you get up and at it again soon and wish you both the best 🙂

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    • Thanks so much Jennifer. I’m walking now and tomorrow I’m going to go outside and walk around the block! Things are looking up!

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    • Thanks Nathaniel and thanks for your support too. I know you offered to give some help since we couldn’t make the White House, that meant a lot to us.

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