Solo travel personal discoveries – How solo travel = self healing.
Why this blog?
A recent message, from a splendid travelling friend, stated that I am a “philosophical walkabout”… Another close friend, whom I met at the Vipassana retreat, has started calling me a Dervish. Meaning; a wanderer that has chosen poverty over possessions in the search of ‘faith’ – or something (in my case).
Both of which has prompted me to write the story of how I reached this point.
Plus everything web based tells me I need to show that I’m human in the eyes of internet land if I’m to make a difference in this world. This, possibly over-sharing, quite personal story about “How solo travel = self healing” scares the bejeezuz out of me because I am generally a very private person..
So, here it is.. honest, raw, vulnerable me.
fibromyalgia + travel
What’s with all this travel / soul / self searching?
Let’s roll back about 10 years ago. I met a man. It was the single most stressful 5 year start to any relationship I have dealt with.
Without going into too much detail, just imagine the most horribly angry and manipulative ex-wife (even 13 years post-divorce), a very troublesome teenager that broke in to and stole everything from our house, and fighting to keep a relationship alive – single handedly.
Add to this mix somehow gaining glandular fever, along with working in a high stress job at the time.
I have been through plenty of shit before and classify myself as pretty good at going with the flow and knowing that everything will turn out ok.. however, all the above broke me. (Now I couldn’t be more grateful).
My physical and mental state completely crashed.
What is Fibromyalgia?
My mental state turned into a physical illness – Fibromyalgia.
For those that don’t know about fibromyalgia yet, here’s a brief and basic run down.
The best description I’ve ever read is this;
Imagine body aching flu symptoms x 100; add some fire ants to all your joints plus biting your already sensitive skin / nerve endings; the inability to retain anything in the brain longer than a nano-second; and the mental anguish of a very bad PMS sufferer.
For about 4 years my physical state was so bad that I couldn’t even walk to the letterbox without causing excruciating pain and needing to sleep for many hours afterwards. I also lost friends because I couldn’t commit to anything due to body and mental flare ups… and most likely forgetting that I was invited to events.
I’d always been proud of my memory, so I really struggled with the memory loss. I was constantly beating myself up about it.
Having to give up full time work because I became an angry, forgetful boss and when I returned home of an evening all I could do was crash on the couch in pain which wasn’t easy for someone that is super motivated in work and play.
Anger was my go to emotion (which is completely out of character for me usually). To the point that just about everyone in my path was called a c-bomb. I was fuming at cars cutting me off, people making little mistakes at work, strangers even looking at me, and my friends for not being there for me.
That’s not living, let me tell you.
Let’s not forget that I have epilepsy and debilitating migraines on top of this.
How and what made me change?
I have a step-mother who has suffered with life-halting issues (including fibromyalgia) pretty much since she joined our family about 30+ years ago. (Coincidence?)
Due to her being confined to her house most days, she was my motivation for not settling for a life of living house, lounge or bedroom bound. Her vitality dissolved, sadly. NO FREAKING WAY WAS I GOING TO CONTINUE LIKE THAT! I truly mean no disrespect towards this poor, pained lady, I purely found her situation motivational.
Plus, I assume I inherited the superpower of inner strength from my Ma.
Natural Therapy healing
Psychological appointments, General Practitioner appointments at least twice weekly, many blood tests and Rheumatologist appointments – all in the name of finding out what was wrong with me.
There was a lot of trial and error with Doctors and Naturopaths for me over 3-4 years.
Until I met Kylie Stabler – an Aussie Chinese Medicine specialist from Natural Therapeutics in Brunswick. Coming off pharmaceutical anti-depressants, ceasing pshychological therapy and opting for healthy eating, acupuncture and natural herbs (the winner being in the form of Metagenics NeuroCalm) changed my life.
As did the unwavering support from Kylie – she gave me her personal phone number in case I just needed to talk. Which I did.
Admittedly it would take me 2 days to recover from each acupuncture session, but when I did recover – I was gaining in strength and mental clarity, very slowly.
(Kylie also helped one of my besties get pregnant later in life)
My gratitude also extends to Sudi De Winter from Inner North Osteopathy for his continued support for my pained back and neck.
I didn’t drink alcohol for about 2-3 years either. I was refusing to let this Fibromyalgia beat me.
As you can see, I gave “conventional” medicine a fair go, but what actually helped was Natural Therapies.
Hopefully that explains my search for alternative therapy education so that I can offer benefits to other psychological and physical sufferers.
Coming out of the Fibromyalgia haze
So, fast forward a few years of all the natural therapies plus delicately finding the balance between forcing myself to exercise and resting my body to help decrease the symptoms of Fibromyalgia…
…and I’m set to do the Torres Del Paine hike in Chile. Sadly my Achilles gave way and I wasn’t able to even start the hike let alone finish it.
This hike, to me, was my personal Everest after the hell my body and mind had been through. I was incredibly upset. In fact, I cried all the way back to the camp on my own.
The opportunity came up to go back and attempt this the following year. I just had to do it.
And I did.
Ever since then I have been increasingly proud of my mental strength and physical ability. Above all else, I have been listening to my body and gut instinct more.
solo travel = self healing
Travelling & Studying
- I’ve learned what a Yogic life is about whilst studying in Rishikesh, India – not just posting yoga poses on Social Media.
- Ayurvedic therapies with a Doctor 1:1 in Sri Lanka. Enabling me to help people with physical and mental ailments. When practicing on the Doc herself, she said “You were a healer in a past life. You are in my top 3 students out of thousands.” The Doc proceeded to show me her book of previous students to cement this generous compliment.
- Reiki – I was attuned a few years ago, but I’m enhancing that on a daily basis. Giving distant Reiki to friends and family has been healing for all involved.
What I have learned about myself
- I am resilient AF!
- My Fibromyalgia is almost non-existent now.
- My spirituality has grown tenfold and I trust my instinct more than ever – with success.
- The road of fewest obstructions is directing me to share my knowledge on how dealing with my past got me to where I am now.
- My main intent is to do things that make myself (primarily) and others happy.
- I am kind to myself both physically and emotionally when I need it most.
- Aiming to be kind to those that try showing they don’t need kindness. (Ok, there are occasions when I slip, but my heart is in the right place most of the time)
- No longer attempting perfection reduces stress and pressure.
- Trying to rid oneself of ego is hard, but imperative for self healing.
- You can love those close to you, but from a distance, in order to heal.
- Personal boundaries are my best friend.
- Being in nature, especially water, restores energy aids in self healing.
We are all one – no exceptions.
Why did I embark on this philosophical walkabout for the last 1.5-2 years?
I can literally feel the emotional pain the whole planet is in.
My expectation of people understanding the pain I went through mentally and physically doesn’t matter, but I’m sure everyone that knew me before, during and after can see that my inner light is shining brighter every day now. Which I attribute to all the work other naturalists have consummated (including my inner work).
People don’t need to suffer as much as they currently are.
I want to emanate the change that I want to see in this world. You can too by taking steps in the right direction.
My past shows that I have always tried to help all living beings – maybe not ants and mosquitos so much – but now I am on a serious mission to heal the world. And not in my usual style of “One person at a time.”
solo travel = self healing
Our world is in trouble and I don’t just mean in a climate way. People. People need more help than ever – and FAST.
Everyone is greedier, angrier, sadder, sicker, easily stressed. It’s up to us to change all of this.
We can’t go blaming anyone else for our choices.
An increasing number of male suicides / people taking their own lives is beyond comprehension and those people left behind feel helpless. My plan is to help change this.
I truly want to help others with chronic pain, mental angst and relationships with self & others… including us scary menopausal women.
I’m not saying that everything in the world is bad, on the contrary actually. I want people to see all the good there is out there. I guess my travel show off images and little tales of fun are my way of showing that life is awesome and not to always believe what you see on the news.
fibromyalgia + travel
How about you?!
Surely you don’t believe that working a meaningless or stressful job just so you can afford material things is all that life is supposed to be? I know we need funds to be able to live (also part of the reason I’m writing this is to get more exposure for my website). But is what you’re doing to earn money feeding your soul and making you happy?
What kindness do you give yourself on a regular basis to help you deal with everything life throws at you?
How often do you mentally abuse yourself for making minor and major mistakes?
Are you kind to everyone? Even those that aren’t kind to you?
How often do you smile or laugh?
Do you use substances to help you deal with your daily life?
How I can help you
I plan to create a space with more blogs about following our true life path so we can all lead a permanently happy life.
In nearly 2 years of solo travel = self healing I have chosen to learn things that will benefit not only myself, but many others. The learning wasn’t purely a schoolroom environment, I also mean talking to so many humans that are either enlightened, on their way or struggling with life.
Prior to my travel I was attuned to level 2 reiki and plan on enhancing that even further. There are other studies coming that you will all benefit from. So stay tuned my friends, we are going to make life easier, happier and healthier in no time… as long as we do this together.
Also dealing with personal deep issues has been the best thing I have done for myself (and others) – emotionally and physically. Thanks to the very knowledgeable, wise and kind, holistic guide and friend – Dr Nikki Staley from Staley Health.
When (or IF) I grow up, I want to be just like Nikki. She’s an enlightened inspiration.
How solo travel = self healing
I’m going to create a cult where we all live harmoniously and have little people running around naked. 😉
I’m not after a pity party here by the way, I purely want to share my story as to why I have chosen this new fruitful life. I’ve always been different to most and tried too hard to fit in. Now it all makes sense. I just wasnt built for a ‘normal’ societally acceptable life.
fibromyalgia + travel
It’s all about education of the mind, body and soul…. and being ok with vulnerability.
I’d love to hear from others that are dealing with pain, anxiety, depression etc.. I am here for you. xx