Retreat to Hiiumaa, Estonia: Photos Posted

Sometimes flinging yourself off the beaten tourist path means following the locals….as tourists. For a quiet, relaxed retreat from the cities of Estonia, I followed the city slickers to one of their summer idylls – the island of Hiiumaa, a rural getaway in the Baltic Sea that involves a couple of buses and a ferry, plus a whole lot of patience.

This isn’t a sight-packed destination. A couple lighthouses, the hidden swells of WW2 bunkers beneath the forest floor, towns no more than a couple of streets, houses, and the bare necessities. Hiiumaa is where you go to breathe, not race through activities. Sans car (like me) the pace slows down even more, to the rhythm of your feet or the pulse of your pedalling. I borrowed a bike and let the quiet of farm fields, mires, bird colonies, rocky beaches, and the long shadows of the forest cathedrals laced with wildflowers seep in. Dragonflies raced me. Birds serenaded. Crickets performed a heat-induced symphony. I poked around spooky WW2 bunkers with a flashlight, scaled lighthouses, and picnicked on beaches.

Nothing like an island retreat to cure jet lag.

To view my photo slide show, click on the link below.

Hiiumaa, Estonia

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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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