Traveling is something most people love to do. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy for everyone.
In the first traveling with a handicap: yes you can! post,
 five brave women shared their experiences about traveling with (someone who has) a handicap/disease/restriction/whatever you would call it. Many people have read it and we got a lot of positive response. That’s why in this post, a few other, brave women share their story to encourage others. Still, they all have in common that they just go, they follow their dreams and aren’t afraid to dream even bigger! 

Andrea Goldstein, of The Fearless Flashpacker, served in the military for seven years, which had consequences for her body.. She explains how traveling helps her! 

I’m a military veteran, and the seven years I spent in the service was tough on the body. There’s a  joke that pain is weakness leaving the body–unless you served, in which case it’s probably arthritis. Sure enough, I’ve lived with constant, chronic pain from spondylarthopathy in my hips and back. It also means I can’t stand in one place or sit without being able to extend my legs for long without excruciating pain (bus journeys are the worst), am traveling with powerful prescription pain medication, and might be caught doing awkward physical therapy stretches in the middle of a hostel dorm! It’s tough not being able to stay out and socialize because everything just wears me out much more, but I also have the excuse of being an older “Flashpacker” now Lachebekje met zonnebril
The best thing I can do is eat right and stay active–places like Thailand have been terrific with lots of trekking and a natural anti-inflammatory diet with gluten free options filled with ginger and turmeric. And with cheap massages everywhere, travel had proved to be great therapy!

Jenni, of Travel to Recovery, has overcome cancer and although the side effects still have their impact on her today, she is determined to travel! Jenni
In 2013 I started my year long plan of travelling the world, two months into my travels I got diagnosed with breast cancer at 32 years old I didn’t even think you could get it.

After a gruesome year of treatment I was determined to get back to my travels. I now have to do things slightly different. I am registered disabled due to side effects from medication and chemotherapy but because I now look better people think it’s over and I’m back to normal but I’m not.

Now i plan my travel with rest breaks as I suffer from fatigue, take more comfortable travel arrangements I have recently discovered cruising and it’s now my passion. I’m still getting to see the places I want but someone else worries about getting us there it’s a stress free way to travel.Even though the diagnosis was scary I have become such a stronger person. I now live today as though it’s my last and do what I can instead of putting things off until another day

Keri, co-editor of Ladies what travel, tells about how she copes with her invisible, autoimmune disease. Although her travels involve a lot of planning, it doesn’t stop her from seeing the world. This part below is a shortened version of the original post Keri wrote on her site. 

For almost half my life I’ve been living with post-thrombotic syndrome after having an extensive blood clot in the deep veins of my waist and legs when I was 22-years-old.

Caused by an autoimmune disease called APS, my body will never fully recover, yet outwardly I look normal. I no longer use a wheelchair, and try when possible not to rely on my walking stick, but even so most of the time I suffer from fatigue, my legs are painful and swollen and my back will hurt.

Travelling with an invisible illness isn’t always easy, but with research and planning I’ve learnt (almost) anything is possible.

Keri in Sri Lanka.

I have to check how flat or hilly a destination is, what the public transport is like and book suitable accommodation that has amenities like lifts and baths.

I need to find out how far apart attractions are, how easy they are to get to, how much walking is involved in the activity and I’m always clued up on where all the nice cafes are before we arrive, as I use these as rest points whenever I’m walking between destinations.

The flights themselves are the things I dread most because I get sore, swollen and often bruise heavily, but I remind myself they’re a means to an end. These days I can cope with short flights ok, but for long-haul flights I have to request a bulkhead seat so I can raise my legs up against the wall.

In the early days I wondered if I’d ever make it to New Zealand, but I did. I found a way to visit Mount Fuji and I’ve even tried snorkelling.

There are still days now when I feel sorry for myself and focus on the things I’m no longer able to do, but then I remember what I’ve managed to achieve even with my condition. My travels may involve more thought and planning than the average person but I won’t ever let my condition stop me from seeing the world!

Jeannette Cheney, of Traveling Honeybird, shares her story about how she got diagnosed with Endometriosis and how she deals with it while traveling. 

It’s really easy to think about saying no. To have deep and considerate thought about making the decision to say no. To accept the potential consequences of your decision to say no. That’s easy. The challenge isn’t in the decision but in the follow through. Actually saying no, committing yourself to this cause of action and dealing with the any consequences which may come back and try to slap you in the face. Eight years ago I was faced with such a decision.

My body hated me. I fluctuated between bursts of energy to levels of exhaustion which would have impressed a sloth. I had trouble sleeping. And I peed like a pregnant lady more often than not. This made me perhaps the worst road trip partner in the universe. I was 22 and lost within a vicious circle. My body and I had started having a few disagreements and issue in my early teens. Our bad attitude only continued to worsen and the struggle became near unbearable. In protest to simple day to day requests my body induced fainting. On nights when sleep was needed most my body ached with unexplainable pain. My stomach tortured me with hunger pains only to reject any delicacies offered. Despite living in a so called developed country I found little to no assistance from the medical community. For over 6 years I expressed my concerns, bared my soul and even shed a few tears to doctors. Again and again I heard the same thing- It’s a phase. You’ll grow out of it. Just eat healthily and exercise. Get a good nights sleep. So the cycle went on.

I was officially diagnosed with endometriosis, poly cystic ovaries and a cyst filled bladder when I was in my early 20’s.
Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus (endometrialimplant). Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis
It’s now a condition that I happily live with in a symbotic style. I don’t suffer, endure or trawl through the pain I just get on with my life and keep on traveling the word. Since my first diagnosis I’ve had 5 surgeries, each time reopening those delicate core muscles. This hasn’t stopped me from taking up mountain biking and skiing as an adult, or stopped me from riding horses. Last year I trekked for 3 weeks in the Mongolian mountains.
There’s no cure for endometriosis. Though some specialists have recommended having children may assist. I’ll pass on that offer thank you very much. Instead for me it’s now about pain management and hormone management. Despite the surgeries this is an on going issue for me. I have opted for a Mirena IUD (in uetro device) to help manage the symptoms. As a traveler this is the perfect option for me and my body. One of the many benefits to the mirena is the long term contraception (though condoms should still be used if you’re having casual affairs) and that my periods have just about stopped all together. I always carry emergency lady supplies when I travel but there’s not surprise periods or the trauma of trying to buy feminine hygiene products in a developing country.
Since my first diagonin 8 years ago I’ve travelled to Guyana, Singpore, Malaysia, Japan, New Zealand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Mongolia, Czech, Germany, Spain, Scotland, England, Denmark, Finland, France, Belguim and the Netherlands to name a few!

I want to thank Andrea, Jeannette, Jeni and Keri for sharing their story! I think it’s really good to talk about (invisible) diseases/handicaps. By being open about it, we create understanding. I hope it serves as an encouragement for others to follow their dreams or passions. (:
Do you have a story to tell about traveling with a disease or handicap? Share it in a responds below!