I’ve been travelling for many years and in that time, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve been snorkeling in Sardinia; I’ve abseiled down The Blade in England; I’ve scaled mountains in Hawaii; been husky sledding in Finland … I could go on. Throughout all of those incredible experiences, I had to make do with contact lenses that made my eyes dry and irritable, or contend with glasses not suiting me.
I’ve recently gone through laser eye surgery, and within 3 days, I found myself jetting off to Norway for work – talk about timing! So, here we are, a few weeks after my surgery and I want to reflect back on whether I’ve seen or felt a difference and how this surgery has changed my life and travels.
Reflection #1: Money Has Been Saved
One of the main reasons I decided to go through life-changing eye surgery was money. I’ve worn glasses most of my life, but in 2009, I opted for contact lenses costing £26 per month. Well, I’ve done the maths and realised that I’ve easily spent in excess of £15,000 on glasses and contact lenses (plus travel sized solution) – it’s safe to say surgery cost far less than that (even with my terrible eyesight)!
No more £26 per month contact lenses, no more £50 per pair of glasses, no more buying extra solution at less than 100 ml for travelling! Fair enough, I have quite a large surgery bill to pay for, but in 4 years my eyes will belong to me and there will be no more fees to improve my eyesight (apart from maybe reading glasses when I’m older).
So…which new country should I explore with this money I’m going to save?
Reflection #2: My Eyes Feel Healthier
I’m not sure if this is common to other contact lens wearers, but I found my eyes would get dry and irritable after wearing lenses for half a day. Upon getting home from work, I was very quick to hop into my glasses to give my eyes some relief for the evening. Whilst travelling, I want to be out all day and night exploring – although I’d never let anything stop me, it’s safe to say that this wasn’t as much fun as it should be – eyes getting blood-shot, eyes becoming tired — not fun.
But gone are the lenses and glasses, and now I can be out all hours exploring new places. I loved being able to explore Norway all day without feeling the pain in my eyes and I saw some beautiful sights even just in those first few days.
Reflection #3: My Bags Feel Lighter
Any glasses or lens wearer knows the pain of having to cart around extra stuff just to be able to see. My load has lightened now that I no longer need:
- Glasses case
- Contact lenses
- Contact lens solution
- Contact lens case
This might only seem a small thing, but I’m going to love using that space for other travel essentials or even just another holiday read!
Reflection #4: I’ll Lead A More Active Lifestyle
Even though I have tried to be active in glasses and lenses, there are limitations to this. When out swimming, body-boarding or snorkeling, I couldn’t wear glasses or lenses so there were many sights I would have missed out on.
But next time, I will be able to see with my better than 20-20 vision! I can’t wait to tick off scuba-diving from my bucket list (especially with my brilliant new eyes)!
The only question now is where should I go? There are a few contenders on my 2017 travel wishlist.
To the untrained eye, these reflections might seem pretty basic; but to anyone who finds wearing glasses and lenses a pain, I’m sure you can appreciate how excited I am for my next travels with the freedom of perfect eyesight! The next country for me to experience in a whole new light (and with new eyes) will be Morocco – bring it on!
Have you undergone life changing surgery and reaped the benefits? Were your travels affected? Are you a glasses / contact lens wearer determined to fix your eyes? Do you have any questions about my surgery? Share your thoughts, experiences and questions in the comments section below…
PS I went to the Bristol branch of Optical Express to have my surgery done, and I would happily recommend them. The surgery itself took just a few minutes and everyone was really nice and caring to ensure I felt safe.