I'm pretty inexperienced in travelling with chronic illness as I haven’t had the chance to fly the coop since my Crohn’s diagnosis in 2010. The furthest I've gone is from my home in Scotland, down to England when I was asked to speak at a conference held in honour of World IBD Day.
That in itself was scary.
I flew down to Birmingham for the meet-up, then travelled by train to my hotel. I went by myself, which in hindsight wasn't the best idea, but it was exciting and new at the time. It was a self-inflicted show of independence and courage: I wanted to prove to myself, and everyone around me I could do it all by myself like a big girl, without anyone playing nursemaid en route. I did it - and spoke to a room full of people about my Crohn's journey and how I became a blogger. It was terrifying and intimidating but a huge step forward for me in terms of gaining confidence about my abilities and my disease.
In terms of places I love to visit, one of my top three would have to be Holland. I've been several times now since my late teens, at very different stages in my life, and have adored it every time. The last time I went it was with my partner way back in 2009 (I think). We were there for 2 weeks and for about 90% of that time I was feeling distinctly below par. I was seriously ill but didn't realise it at the time. I was lethargic and nauseous, had next to no appetite, was constantly getting up close and personal with the porcelain, and could barely muster the energy to drag myself out of bed in the morning.
I didn't understand what was wrong with me, and felt I was ruining what should have been an amazing romantic break for my partner and I.
I couldn't explain my state to him, because I didn't understand it. I felt beyond awful but like nothing I’d experienced before. I was in pain ALL THE TIME and was almost inexplicably lazy. I had zero enthusiasm for anything and trying to feign it just made matters worse. I was in one of the most beautiful places in the world with the man I loved, yet all I wanted to do was lie in bed.
12 months later I’d had a part of my bowel removed as I was slowly fading away through severe Crohn’s Disease.
I’d like to return to my favourite place again with my favourite man in existence. If James Spader is unavailable it’d be nice to take my boyfriend too.
So, so much to adore; the tulips! The coffee! The canals! The bikes! The accent that I'm never likely to perfect no matter how hard I try!
I want to be well enough to travel again and do it without anxiety and fear of the unknown. I hope that’s possible. I want to see the world before I'm too old to see at all, and now I know what I'm dealing with, I’ll do everything in my power to ensure my disease never stops me doing just that.
This post was written as part of WEGO Health's Monthly Writers Challenge - #HAWMC