chapter  Chapter Seven
10 Pages

Affective journeys and the imagination

WithCecilia Vindrola-Padros

This chapter deals with the emotional aspects of medical travel, discussing the research carried out to date on this topic and bringing in examples from research to highlight how experiences of medical travel are shaped by how we think and feel. It explores other ways in which the imagination shapes experiences of medical travel. Experiences of medical travel are shaped by ideas of care, travel, daily life, and dreams of life as a result of medical travel. Journeys are enacted to reach a “higher purpose” and become imbued with deep cultural meaning, sometimes representing a form of pilgrimage. Several studies have documented the different types of labor involved in caring for medical travelers. S. Ackerman also explores the affective carework involved in the “business of transforming and tending North Americans’ bodies” after undergoing cosmetic surgery in Costa Rica.