I recently went on a (very fun) trip to Berlin with Callum and a couple of our closest friends, sadly at the moment I’m going through quite a dip in my health with CFS/ME, so going on this trip was quite nerve wracking as I had no idea how I would be whilst we were away. I’m so fortunate that our friends were so understanding but I also decided to use special assistance at the airports. This honestly made such a huge difference to the whole process of travelling, both our flights were early in the morning and the lack of sleep really takes a toll on my fatigue, so knowing I had help going through the airport.
Anyone who is perfectly healthy is aware of how much walking is involved with airports, but for someone suffering with a disability it’s a really overwhelming thought having to navigate through a busy place on a time constraint. It made my day so much easier having help getting to the gate and plane as I knew I would get there in time and I didn’t have to use all my energy getting there. Anyone with a disability and concerned about airports, I strongly advise you use special assistance even if there’s a chance you will be well on the day, there’s security knowing you can use it if you need it.
I think the biggest tip I have is planning your day out to what you can realistically handle (I know for a fact Cal, Izzy and Ali are laughing reading this), however I find it’s better to plan less for a day and feel you can handle doing more than planning lots and realising you won’t handle it all or making yourself ill. One of the biggest troubles I have with travel is feeling like I’m missing out or causing others to miss out, I looked back at our big family holiday to Cyprus and realised I’m only really in pictures from the evenings as I was merely too poorly to go out and do things. The only day out I had was a trip to a water park (also the trip out we did in Berlin was to a water park, everyone HAS to go to Tropical Islands if you go to Berlin), and it really upset me at the time that I missed out on so much. Now I look back on that holiday and think of all the things I managed to do rather than what I didn’t manage, I read 8 books in the two weeks we were away, I managed to swim everyday and play cards with the family. Just changing this mind set really makes a trip seem so much more positive and it’s what makes me still feel capable of travelling.
I’d be lying if I never felt like I was holding others back from a good time, but I just have to remind myself that if roles were reversed I would only want them to be happy and enjoying themselves. It has taken such a huge toll on my confidence having to constantly judge what I can and can’t manage, particularly when I go through a dip in health, however I know it won’t always be this bad and when it is I just have to be kind to myself.
It’s not always easy accepting you need the help, however as soon as you do, travelling becomes so much more achievable and enjoyable.
See you next time pals x