“What is the purpose of your travel?” A question asked at least once during a journey, normally at the airport or border patrol, but it’s also a question you can ask yourself. In some cases, people already have their own idea of why they’re travelling. On the surface, it’s purely a business trip or a holiday but the underlying motivation can be to challenge yourself, to experience more than the typical routine, and to be in awe of the things we learn.
Sevda, Sev for short, is a 23 year old Osteopath and recent university graduate, who in her final year of study embarked on a placement alongside three friends in Kenya where they volunteered to work in a few hospitals as student Osteopaths. Sev didn’t necessarily know what she’d experience, but what she did have was inspiration.
“I’ve always looked up to others who have done fantastic work helping others in need. This was a great opportunity for me to give something to others who are a lot less fortunate than me,” she said.
A key highlight for Sev on this trip was working in the maternity ward at the rural hospital. Due to nurses being on strike at the time, the doctors and surgeons relied on the students to help out beyond their expertise and they were fortunate to have worked closely with an obstetrician named Lucas. Sev also got to provide osteopathic treatment on a heavily pregnant young woman, Halima, to help ease her labour. However, it was more complicated than originally anticipated. An immediate caesarean surgery was required or else both the mother and baby could die.
Halima’s family was not in a financial state to pay for the operation and the strike-induced inflation created a greater battle. Together, Sev and her friends, contributed towards paying for the surgery and they observed the procedure that produced the delivery of a gorgeous baby boy. The family could not have been more grateful and presented Sev with the honour to name him. She named him Mustafa, after her father. Mustafa also happens to shareSev’s birthday!
Traveling not only puts you in certain situations that you would otherwise not be in but it also provides a different perspective that you grow to appreciate. You also witness different struggles and forms of happiness and you get to learn at the same time.
“There are days when I find myself caught up over petty things, then I remind myself that there is a lot worse out there,” she said.
Despite the poverty Sev witnessed, she highlighted how the kids would always have a smile on their face and excitedly greet you Jambo (hello) in their native tongue.
Sev began her travels with a purpose but she left with an even greater one: To further test the boundaries and defy limitations.Traveling is freedom.