What is this ‘thing’ I am doing with travel? How does it relate to MS?
Why is it important?
1. I am going to travel across continents, because I love to travel first of all, and I refuse to let MS stop me from doing what I love. But I also realize that traveling as an MSer is ripe with challenges that a non-MS person doesn’t have to deal with. So why am I vlogging my way in China and Thailand? I want to give all of you a first-hand account of what it is really like to travel when you have physical limitations. And I want you to find out that you CAN still do what you love, even if you have to modify it a bit.
2. Whether it is art, singing, swimming, rock climbing, writing, cooking or yes, even dancing, I believe that our dreams don’t die just because we have an extra box to tick on our medical forms. Yes, the dreams may have to change or be altered in some way to accommodate our new energy levels or physical abilities, but they never need to DIE! This journey is the journey of keeping your dreams alive and moving forward one step, (or plane ride) at a time.
3. So let us think about the challenges. There are injections in my case that need to be refrigerated, I need a wheelchair to move easily through the airport and especially to bypass standing for a long time in line, which is worse than walking.
As a person with Chronic Illness, I need to think about medicines to pack, the type of bag to bring, the location of the hotels from major transportation, the accessibility in hotels. Do you need to pack disposable panties? Do you need to bring cooling packs? Am I going to have to adapt that sightseeing trip to visit the Pandas because I can’t walk the 2.5 kilometers it takes to see them all? And on top of it all I need to schedule in rest time because as you know we only have so many spoons!
These are things that might stop some people from even bothering to travel across the world. (Most of the time I do it alone) But I don’t think any of these little blips should be the cause of not experiencing everything life has to offer.
4. Okay, you are not a travel buff. I get it. But the point is not to only show you how to travel but how to overcome your fear that MS or any other Chronic Illness will stop you from living your best life. You can do whatever you want to do….regardless of whether you can walk or not, see or not, work or not. Everything in life is negotiable so if you have to negotiate with the universe to make it happen..do it! I have always wanted to be on The Amazing Race, but I realize with MS there are plenty of challenges they do, that I cannot. But I had to back up and think carefully…..why am I so obsessed with The Amazing Race? Is it because I love the idea of taking a car engine apart to find a clue? NO WAY! Is it the million dollar prize? Yeah, that would be very very nice, but again, no. It is simply the travel. The idea of getting on a plane with little money and navigating through the next country. And I can do that! (when it comes to the money part, I HAVE to do that!
You can do your dream too. It may not be in its original form. But if you can find the essence of the dream, you can feel just as fulfilled.
Now you know why I am doing this thing. And why I want you along for the ride. The most important part is getting people with Multiple Sclerosis to come along with me and be a part of the journey so that they can know not only how to travel with physical challenges, but how to challenge themselves to live their dreams!