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Allison Miller

Allison Miller

The Leg of the Journey: Traveling As An Amputee

I lost my left leg above the knee in 2014 due to influenza-related bacterial pneumonia and septic shock. I was in the hospital for nearly three months and spent a lot of that time wondering if I’d ever get back to my regular life, including extensive international travel. In the years leading up to my illness I’d been lucky enough to travel throughout Europe and beyond to places as far flung as South Africa, Australia, Brazil and even Tahiti. I worried that my newfound immobility would obliterate my life-long love of traveling.

While almost every other part of my life changed post-amputation, I’m happy to say that it took only six months out of the hospital before I took my first trip with my prosthesis. My mom and I took to the road and drove California’s Big Sur. Six months after that–and just a little more than a year after my illness–she and I went to Vienna, Paris and Nice. I learned how to improvise getting in and out of hotel showers. I used my cane and took my time. After another six months, I tackled Amsterdam and London. Munich, Prague and Hamburg were next, followed by Sydney, Venice and London (twice!).

In that time I ditched my cane, walked up to 10 miles in a single day, tackled countless stairs, crowds and numerous international airports and managed to feel confident that though I may be down a leg, I’m still up for travel.

Losing a limb is difficult, but it is not insurmountable. My limb loss has not kept me from seeing the world, but rather has given me a new perspective and gratitude from which to view it.

(More on my travels & life post amputation at: