THE BLOG

Travel Has Changed From Luxury Treat to Major Ordeal

10/08/2015 10:35 BST | Updated 08/08/2016 10:59 BST

In the past 15 years, travel has changed from a luxury to an ordeal to be endured as the price we pay for visiting places and people. As a former travel editor, I was engaged in helping create the illusion of travel as a luxe activity. But the reality is that while some hotels and resorts may (indeed, are) truly luxurious, getting to them (and returning from them) is, frankly, a nightmare. If we live in cooler climes, air travel is what we are forced to do to get some guaranteed sunshine, or to see far-flung family and friends...

Fortunately, one of the benefits of having adult children is NOT having to travel in peak season (i.e school holidays) and, basically being able to please ourselves when we travel - employers permitting, so that we can, at least travel when airports are less busy. But air travel is, nevertheless, an ordeal at any time and more so if your mobility is impaired (as mine has been since a 20-hour operation for the removal of a brain tumour)... I will never again be impatient when walking behind someone slower than me, should I have the ability to walk fast and unaided, that is.

But since my surgery, I have begun to loathe air travel as never before. Security checks are my pet hate this summer when I have done a lot of flying; my former self was more understanding of the necessity of the most annoying aspects of security; the removal from a carry-on case of laptops, tablets, etc (I refer to the generic name for tech gadgets such as iPads, not bottles of pills) and the removal from self of shoes, watches and jackets, etc, understanding it was vital to avoid a repeat of 9/11 or of the Shoe Bomber.

Because I can't walk very far, I have to have special assistance at both ends of any journey. The airport staff who collect and deliver me by wheelchair are, mostly, unfailingly kind and helpful, often going out of their way, literally, to get me to a car park or taxi rank. But, at security you occasionally (particularly in high season), get a lazy jobsworth, who can barely be bothered to raise their eyes to look at you and will insist despite one's obvious impairment, that you remove your jacket and in one case at vile Luton Airport, a necklace even though they are fully aware that you are about to be thoroughly frisked in your wheelchair just a few yards past them.

And not just the security, but also the jet-lag, which seems to, in my husband's words, "knock the stuffing out of me" far more drastically and for far longer than it ever used to. I have done some research (the journalistic instincts never go away) and discovered that my surgery would have had an impact on melatonin levels and melatonin is what governs how our bodies deal with jet-lag. So I will just have, as Americans say, suck it up...

So, as ungrateful and blasé as it sounds, I am happy to be back at home in the UK and not travelling anywhere for several months. For all of you flying off to sunnier parts, travel in shoes that slip on and off easily...

Read the story of Jan Shure's brain tumour and how it has impacted her life at Sosensational