Lessons in Irony – Greenland, Iceland and the Faroes with Fibromyalgia

An old post of mine that gave me a much needed kick in the pants today as I’m in the midst of a fibro flare with 3 weeks to go until my next travel project.

Chronic Traveler

Irony walks arm in arm with fibromyalgia. I find myself amazed at what I can accomplish, tasks and adventures that sound impossible in the face of fibro pain and fatigue, and shaking my head at the simple activities that flummox me completely, such as twisting open a jar. This riddle colors all my travels and my recent trip through Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands was no exception.

Every time I mentioned I would be hiking between sheep farms in Greenland for a week, I encountered shock, awe, and dubious expressions. “Will you be okay hiking solo? In Greenland?!” Maybe it was the far-flung, exotic nature of my destination. After all, most people only have a vague notion of where Greenland is and what the climate is like. They picture ice, snow, polar bears, mountains. Not Southwest Greenland in the frenzied season of summer, when the days stretch endlessly before you and wildflowers invade the mountain…

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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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