The Final Stretch

Less than a month to go until my flight to Eastern Europe! The excitement is starting to seep in and balance out nervousness that I’ve been experiencing. It’s a minor panic. I have allowed self-doubt to creep into my enthusiasm. I’m working on embracing the excitement, and yet being realistic and dealing with the issues behind why I’m so nervous.

I’m especially nervous I will get sick on my trip, and missing work the last two days due to a fever, cough, and headache do not lift my spirits. I remind myself I have contingency plans in case of sickness overseas (stay in my hotel and sleep, regardless of what I had planned for the day – a simple solution actually!). I have medical insurance and travel insurance for larger, unplanned incidents. I have to remain positive and constantly reassure myself that I have thought through all the large “what-ifs” I can think of. If worse comes to worse, I have friends in various cities in Europe I can call up for help.

In the midst of my fears, I am in the final stretch of planning and preparation. I have visited the doctor to get a basic check-up and final go ahead, as well as receive all the necessary shots, such as Hepatitis A and the tetanus booster. I have also received a written letter from my doctor describing my condition. My primary care doctor – who has been there since the early days of endless tests, doctors, and questions, before my official diagnosis with fibromyalgia – is truly excited for me. The fact she is excited more than worried about me traveling alone for 5 weeks is a good sign. I have been “ordered” to bring in photos when I get back.

I am also typing up an itinerary for both my husband and my parents detailing where I am staying each night of my trip. This way, if they suddenly stop hearing from me, or I do end up in the hospital, they will know where I am and how to get to me. Hopefully they will never need to jump on a plane to find me, and instead they can refer to the itinerary to follow my trip and say “Wow, she’s in Budapest today!”

All of this planning is a lot to keep track of, but it’s vital to traveling safely solo and with fibromyalgia. Better safe than sorry!

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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2 Responses to The Final Stretch

  1. awalkabout says:

    That sounds awesome! As a fellow fibro sufferer, I certainly admire your courage and fortitude!

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