I grip the handle tightly in borrowed mittens. Through thick ice fishing boots I feel my feet wobble on the tire-treads of the sled runners. Breathe. In and out. Ahead of me five dogs pull their lines taut and stare intently at our guide, Kyle’s, sled in front of us — they’re waiting for his signal. My friend Mary sits as a rider in Kyle’s sled. But me, I’m driving my own sled. I didn’t expect to be this nervous for Michigan dog sledding. But here I am, quite literally shaking in my (giant) boots. The long list of Kyle’s instructions swivel through my head: Feet on the tire treads. One foot on the drag pedal to slow. Stomp on the claw brake to stop. Keep the dog’s lines tight. And whatever you do, don’t let go if (when) you fall.
I am so proud to bring you this post about traveling with endometriosis, with tips from seven endo warriors. Traveling is hard on anyone’s body, and when you have a chronic illness like endometriosis, it’s that much harder. I know a lot of people with endometriosis avoid travel, or feel limited in their travel options. Personally, one of my biggest passions in life is travel, and endometriosis became a big barrier to that. How could I avoid a flare? What could I eat? How do I deal with the pain? What products can help? There are so many questions when it comes to traveling with endometriosis. That’s why I reached out to these fellow endo warriors to share their best tips.
As you’re maybe aware, I’ve slowly been transitioning my wardrobe to include more ethical and sustainable items. The dream is an ethical capsule wardrobe that I can seamlessly take traveling with me. My newest discovery that I have to share with you is the brand Organic Basics. In particular, the Organic Basics silvertech line which has quickly become my new active travel essential (just in time for Everest Base camp next month!).
It’s March, which is Endometriosis Awareness month (to those of you who haven’t already been bombarded by my Instagram posts). I figured, there’s no better way for me to kick off this month than with an update on how I’m living with Endometriosis. I have probably been living with Endometriosis my whole life, but it’s been five months since my official diagnosis via laparoscopy surgery. The last time you heard from me, I was coming to terms with this chronic illness and what it would mean for the rest of my life. So the question is… how am I doing now?
February is the shortest month of the year but famously rough AF for a lot of us, including myself! Honestly this is when seasonal affective disorder really seems to hit home for me… in Michigan it’s my tipping point of snow-filled months with not enough time outdoors. Here’s how the month went for me…
When in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you need to stay somewhere grand. And really, in Michigan’s second biggest city, there is no better option than the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. This historic and luxurious riverside hotel is well known among us Michiganders. Personally, I’d wandered its halls at Art Prize festivals past, or walked the skywalk that connects the Amway Grand to neighboring buildings (it’s useful in a Michigan winter… trust). But I’d never actually stayed at the Amway Grand… until our recent visit to Grand Rapids with Experience Grand Rapids!*
It was travel that introduced me to the magic of day spas. From the baths in Bath, England, to the hammams in Marrakech, I was easily converted to this type of wellness tourism. Not only do day spas give you a respite from jet lag or travel-related stress, but you get a peek into local traditions. So when my friend Amanda, who I met up with in NYC, sent me a photo of a rooftop infinity pool with views of the Manhattan skyline… I knew we had to go! Meet Sojo Spa Club, the best Korean spa in NYC, that’s well, not actually in NYC.
New York City is truly a gluten free mecca. Actually, NYC is the first place I traveled to when I originally had to go gluten free back in 2012. I remember that trip vividly – I had only been gluten free for about six months (filled with many cross contamination experiences and a lot of sickness and frustration). I was living on bland salads at my college’s dining hall and dreading travel to a new location. Then I arrived in New York City to a huge array of high standard gluten free restaurants serving safe food that tasted … GOOD. The gluten free restaurants NYC scene has grown exponentially in the passing years, just as awareness of celiac disease, and the pop culture and scientific research on gluten free lifestyles have grown too. Yet, some of those original restaurants still remain. I have been back to NYC so many times over the passing years, now having both best friends and family living there. Each time I love revisiting my old favorites, and exploring new gluten free options.
You don’t need to choose between travel and life… you can have a travel life. Stop looking at instagram and wondering how some people travel so much, and instead start making targeted changes in your daily lifestyle. Building a travel life isn’t an overnight change, and it doesn’t mean you have to give up all your small pleasures. It just means you have to shift perspective and make room in your lifestyle for choices that support travel.