Spring Break Adventures With The Family And Tips For Traveling With Chronic Illness

traveling with chronic illness
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Hey guys! I’ve been out of the blogosphere for a few days because we took the family on a little spring break adventure to Florida.

I’ve missed being in touch and posting, so I thought I’d share a bit about our trip to let you know what’s been going on in my world.

I took my laptop on the trip thinking I’d write along the way, but between being so busy and feeling pretty wiped out from the fast pace, it simply didn’t happen.

David and I agreed it was one of our favorite trips with the kids yet. I was so thankful the boys could come because they’re often busy with work or other activities like college kids are.

Every family has their own vibe and when we all get together, there’s usually a lot of laughter, and with the 6 of us, things can get pretty loud.

We all love music, joking around, the occasional debate (some more than others-ha!), and having fun.

Spring Break, 2017

traveling with chronic illness
MO State Basketball – David and the girls

The weekend before our flight left for Florida we’d been in Columbia, MO for the Class 4 State Basketball Tournament where our Bolivar High School boys played in the championship game.

They played hard and did a great job!

We went back home for a night and repacked for Florida.

The next afternoon we flew into Orlando and moved into our hotel near SeaWorld.

Universal Studios, Islands Of Adventure

We woke up early the next morning, ate a big breakfast and headed to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure.

traveling with chronic illness
The kids at the Harry Potter castle.
traveling with chronic illness
Sweet Emma enjoying a Butterbeer.

Drew and Cooper have read the Harry Potter books and seen the movies, and Maddie and Emma have read and seen some too, so this was definitely something they wanted to check out!

Some of the kids even tried the Butterbeer.

We rode ALL the rides we were interested in riding and then some. Thankfully we all love to ride roller coasters so no one was left out and it was a blast. 🙂

Talk about a G-force extravaganza!

And we did a lot of walking! At the end of the day my fitbit said I’d taken over 15,000 steps!

traveling with chronic illness
Cooper trying Butterbeer.
traveling with chronic illness
David and Drew at Universal

Wowza!

By 5:00 we’d conquered all the rides and had such a fun and full day.

We were hungry! So we headed out to Freddy’s for giant burgers and fries and frozen custard (because vacation ;)).

Then back to the hotel to crash around the pool and go to sleep.

SeaWorld

Rest.

Rinse.

And Repeat.

Woke up early. Ate a big breakfast. Headed to SeaWorld first thing.

traveling with chronic illness
Love them.

SeaWorld has changed so much since when D and I were kids. I thought it was pretty cool then, but they have some of the best coasters now, including Mako, Kraken and Manta.

The weather was gorgeous! The lines to the rides were short. I don’t think we had to wait more than 10 minutes to ride anything so we were loving that!

Plus, the shark aquarium is super cool and the Antarctica penguin exhibit

traveling with chronic illness
Coop and penguins

is so fun! Are penguins not the cutest little birds?!

We talked to some beautiful parrots…”Polly want a cracker?”

And petted the stingrays. The leopard print ones were my favorite!

We saw several shows, all of them entertaining and impressive

  • dolphins
  • killer whales
  • sea lions  (arrr, arrr, arrr!)
traveling with chronic illness
Not sure what this is about, but I like it. 😉

Overall, it was another super-fun day! And my fitbit said I had walked

about 14,000 steps….much more than I’ve done lately. Thankful.

But, whew, was I feeling the burn!

We were all hungry for dinner and went to Moe’s and filled up on giant burritos and burrito bowls made with fresh ingredients, including cilantro lime rice and guacamole (my personal favorite).

Then back to the hotel for some relaxation by the pool until we were ready to turn in for the night.

Tips For Traveling With Chronic Illness

If you or someone you love have a chronic illness, you probably understand how difficult traveling can be.

For me, traveling is one of my favorite things to do. I love the beach and won’t pass up an opportunity to go if humanly possible.

But since getting Lyme disease and a host of related medical issues, traveling is often challenging in ways that I never considered before when I was healthy.

I love to be on the go and be involved and it really bums me out when I can’t keep up with everyone else (but it won’t stop me from trying).

Even so, there have been plenty of trips when I’ve been stuck in the hotel room with a migraine, or in too much pain or too exhausted to move, etc. I can definitely be pretty stubborn when it comes to accepting this and have a lot of work to do in this area. But trust me, I get it. It really stinks to be shut in when everyone else is out exploring and having fun.

But then again, I’m praying and working towards recovery of my health so I’m not willing to give in.

I’ve learned the hard way plenty by overdoing it (as I’m sure many of you have too) and then spending a week or more recovering flat-out exhausted.

We all make our choices I suppose.

But you know what? You only live once, and (assuming your doctor hasn’t put restrictions on your activities) sometimes, to me, it’s so worth it to have to take a few days off to recover when I return from a trip.

Like right now, I’m wiped out, but I’m thankful to be able to write this blog post.

This particular trip I made the mistake of forgetting my turmeric curcumin supplement I take for  body pain.

Nothing is perfect, but if we can learn to go with the flow it helps!

Tips To Help When Traveling With Chronic Illness

  • Pack your medicines, supplements, etc. ahead of time to make sure you have everything you’ll need. Research the area you’re visiting. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but do they have a hospital nearby in the case of an emergency? It’s good to be prepared.
  • Communicate with your family or friends you’re traveling with. Be honest about your medical limitations and how you’re feeling.
  • Give yourself grace! You probably won’t be able to do everything you want to do but that’s okay. This is the hardest concept for me but I keep repeating it to myself and it really helps.
  • Be thankful for the small things. Focus on the positives. They are always there. Sometimes we just have to look a little harder to find them.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. I’ve found the more I’m aware of all I’m grateful for, the less I’m aware of the frustrations that come with my illness.
  • Show kindness to your travel companions. Say thank you. When you’re not feeling well it’s so easy to forget this, for me anyway. Try to remember that your illness is not only difficult for you, but can be hard on your loved ones too….because they love you and care about you and want you to feel better.
  • Drink lots of water! Eat healthy, whole foods.
  • Move your body. Gentle stretching is wonderful. If you’re up for a short walk that’s great too.
  • Get some fresh air. Take in the sunset in a comfy chair. Go barefoot outside.
  • Be flexible when scheduling outings.
  • Have fun!

    traveling with chronic illness
    Push ups by the pool

The Takeaway

Thanks for letting me share about our family trip with you!

We’ve enjoyed plenty of “staycations” and they can be super fun too, but I’m thankful it worked out for us to get away together this time.

I want you to know that if you enjoy traveling like I do, you don’t have to give it up just because you have a chronic illness.

Remember to be prepared, honestly communicate how you’re feeling with your travel buddies, give yourself grace, be flexible with your travel plans, focus on the positives and get some fresh air.


Do you enjoy traveling? Do you or someone you love have a chronic illness? What tips would you add to this list?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. I love hearing from you and will reply to your comments as soon as possible!


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