Kirsten of Globetrotter in a Wheelchair
In 1992 my husband Dieter and I traveled through former Soviet Union with a group of other Danish people. We visited Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan for one month. By a coincidence, we got contacted by a family in former capital Alma-Ata where we were invited to stay. We did so for a week. The other Danes went back to Denmark but Dieter and I decided that we wanted to stay longer in Kazakhstan and continue our trip to China.
The mother of the family where we stayed was an English teacher at the University, which made it easy for us to communicate. Her English was bad, the standard obviously not so high, but nevertheless we were able to communicate. She was a strict person. She was naturally marked by the poverty that ruled in Kazakhstan at that time, on the contrary to her sweet husband and her mother-in-law who were also staying at the house, she was sad to say, not a warm woman.
The husband only spoke a few words of English which made it difficult to communicate, but he was wholehearted and friendly. The mother-in-law didn’t speak one word of English, but because of her I found out that to be able to communicate you don’t necessarily have to speak the same language. She spoke Russian and I spoke Danish and we had the time of our lives. Margrou taught me to open my heart to communicate to whomever regardless of the language barrier.
I am Kirsten, the Globetrotter in a Wheelchair from Denmark. My love for traveling started in my early childhood. I’m also an artist creating my traveling inputs on canvas. I was born with a rare handicap called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. It affects my ability to walk and therefore I use a wheelchair. My handicap seldom affects my life in a negative way. That means I don’t let my handicap control my life but of course it will affect it. It’s not as if I can say today I will climb this mountain and forget about the wheelchair. But I can and do say; today I want to go up that mountain and then I will figure out a way to get up the mountain. My curiosity makes me want to turn the next corner until there aren’t any more. I met my husband Dieter in 1991; and ever since he has been my reliable and lovely traveling partner.