Montreal and the Baltics – Here I Come!

Maybe it’s the reappearance of the sun, the blush of dawn that awakens me earlier and earlier each morning with unspoken promise, or the daffodils suddenly swaying in the garden to the crisp bite of the wind, but I am bursting with sudden energy.

That isn’t to say I have limitless energy. I still crash into a wall that appears without welcome every afternoon. My reserves are fragile and finite. I wake up some mornings with barely enough gas to make it out of bed.

No, nothing about my body, or the world outside, has really changed. Last month was so warm I was lounging outside in shorts and a tank, while now I bundle back up in a wool coat and scarf.

No, the difference is I have something to look forward to. A clear goal. And not just one, but two, suddenly shimmering on the horizon, as delicate as a mirage, but reassuringly solid in ink on my calendar.

Two trips. Two voyages into the world. The Chronic Traveler is back and preparing to lace up her boots for a giant leap.

There is nothing better for my self-esteem than having a new adventure on the horizon. I can handle the chronic pain and fatigue, these unrelenting realities of fibromyalgia, when my endorphins are pulsing with this rush of anticipation.

The spring fare sale for Air Canada landed me a long weekend jaunt to Montreal. Ever since I sifted through photos of Old Montreal, starring my young, slender mother in a classy pea coat – a vision of a sophisticated Québécois that clashed against my image of my outdoorsy, jeans-and-sweater Pacific Northwest mom – I have dreamed of Montreal. I assumed that one touch of my scuffed sneakers on the cobblestones and I would swirl into a transformational tornado ala Disney movie magic to become a beautiful French-Canadian woman in skyscraper-high heels and bouncy skirt.

Next month I’ll test the long-held theory of an eight-year-old.

Another airline fare sale landed me tickets for a three-week backpacking sojourn through the Baltic States. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, a region of mist-shrouded forests of medieval castles, modern cities boasting some of the world’s best Art Nouveau architecture, and the grim remains of Soviet occupation and Communism to fascinate and horrify this student of history.

Two trips, two seasons, two glimmers of hope on my horizon.

Fibromyalgia – bring it on. Right now I can handle anything.


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.
This entry was posted in Baltic States (Estonia Latvia Lithuania), Canada, Quebec, travel with fibromyalgia and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Montreal and the Baltics – Here I Come!

  1. Sloan says:

    I am grateful that I came across your blog. I understand, completely; and I’m looking forward to traveling with you via this site. Many blessings,

    • chronictraveler says:

      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, and especially for reposting me on your blog!

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