I used to travel A LOT. Mostly for work, but it was almost always fun! I’d take a trip to London, or Dorset, or somewhere else for a couple of nights at least once a month, if not more, and I’d got it all figured out. Packing would take me maybe 20 minutes from start to finish, and you’d quite often find me lugging two suitcases and an overstuffed backpack on and off trains and on the underground.
When I moved to my current city, my travel was cut down a bit, as one of my most regular pieces of work was now just a 20 min train ride away, so I didn’t have to stay away for multiple nights. But I still went to London, and to visit family, and to various other shoots up and down the country. I loved getting the train because it was enforced downtime. I couldn’t work, so I got to spend a couple of hours writing, or reading.
But that was all Before.
Since I got ill I’ve taken maybe 2 trips alone (and one of those was with a lovely new friend who understands chronic illness and was happy to “look after” me if I needed). The last big trip I took was with my spouse on our honeymoon, and while it was wonderful, it left me in a huge flare for over a month when we returned. That was before I had a diagnosis though, and before I began the treatment which is really helping me to feel so much better.
But I’m building up to a big trip now. I’m going to be away for a week, I’m going to be in a field, in nearly the middle of nowhere, and I’m going to be there without any of my usual support folx. I’m so nervous and so excited and have been constantly right on the edge of a panic attack since I decided I was going a couple of weeks ago, but I have a feeling that it’s going to be worth it. I’ve spent 2 years being super careful, gradually testing my limits, working out what I can do, what I can’t do. And now it feels like time to put all that knowledge to the test, and see if I can go back to doing some of the things I loved before I got ill.
I’m planning hard – making sure that I’m conserving spoons in every way possible, and that I’ll have as many of my home comforts with me as I can manage. And I’m going with friends who understand. They’ve not seen me at my worst, but they know what CFS and fibro can do, and they assure me that I’m welcome, even if I can’t always do as much as everyone else. Once I get there, it’s going to be a whole new learning experience, and I’m looking forward to sharing on my return.