Planning Our Dream Traveling Trip with Endo: Part 1

In this two-part series, couple Jessica and Chris discuss planning their dream of traveling when endometriosis and other chronic conditions are a factor.

Tell us about your dreams to travel and how endometriosis has affected that?

From Jessica: Ever since I was a child, I dreamt of traveling the world. At the age when most people were setting off for their gap years, I started a magazine and simultaneously began going down hill with my health. I had planned to travel, but the two held me in the UK.

Since then, my health has dictated the kind of work I’ve been able to do over the years, and coupled with the extra costs that come with endo, I’ve not been able to save to travel. On top of that, I’ve found there’s been periods of time when I just haven’t been well enough to travel or have had to be in the country to wait for surgery or treatment.

I’ve been lucky and privileged enough to have a couple of holidays and the opportunity to work and see family in Cape Town, but there are still so many destinations that my heart yearns to see!

Why have you decided to travel now?

From Jessica: I’ve recently experienced a heightening of symptoms with my small intestine bacterial overgrowth, interstitial cystitis, and my hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction. Whilst my endo has been under control for many years, these two are raging. Managing your health can sometimes feel like a full time job and I don’t have the capacity to treat these conditions whilst I’m so busy with my coaching practice. As a result, I decided to take time off to carry out my treatment for SIBO and to recover from HPA axis dysfunction, and to slow down my coaching practice in the winter months to allow for continued healing.

This got us thinking – would I heal best here or somewhere calming and soul nourishing? We’ve been wanting to move for a long time, but truly there’s no where in the UK we want to be right now, so we started looking at long-term Airbnb lets in the Nordic countries. The idea that I could heal and fulfill one of my dreams was life giving.

Of course, the ideal dream would be to travel the world in an extended trip, but my body isn’t cut out for that – I’d be exhausted. I can’t do the backpacking, the noisy hostels or the constant public transport. For me to stay healthy, slow travel is the way forward and so I am now at peace with the idea that my dream of traveling will be fulfilled through a series of extended trips across my lifetime – and I actually love the idea. We’re starting with the Nordic countries because we’d love to see their stunning landscape in the winter, and the idea of hauling up in a cabin in the Swedish woods is my idea of heaven.

In the next part of this series, Jessica and Chris discuss the considerations they have to make when planning a long-term travel trip with multiple chronic conditions.

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