Thursday, 25 September 2014

Travel interview with Emma

Today's travel interview is with Emma and is an interview with a twist, because she had a holiday abroad and here in the UK. So today you are getting the best of both with a home and away account and comparison. Hopefully anyone that doesn't feel up to travelling abroad can get some insight into what it's like to holiday over here. Also because Emma doesn't use a wheelchair or walking aids she isn't visabley disabled so it's an insight into coping when you could easily be mistaken for fit and healthy.
 
 
 
Name: Emma
Illness: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME
Destination: Zante, Greece
Who did you travel with? Friends
What airline did you use? Fly sun wing.. I think! 
 
First of all, how was your holiday? My holiday was fantastic, the most fun and happiness I've experienced in a long time.
 
What was your biggest worry before travelling? And how did you overcome it/ justify it? Gosh, I had so many! Firstly flying, I'd not been on a flight in 15 years and had been scared too in my early teens, so this caused the first of my worries which turned out ok in the end as I really enjoyed it. Seeing the world is something I want to do and getting on a plane is a fact of life to do so. The excitement about the destination outweighed the worry in the end. 
 
Did you notice any changes in your health whilst away? Good or bad? Any new symptoms? I don't know if it was luck or the change of scene, but I felt quite well most of the week and was able to socialise most of the day all be it around the pool, but still that's not something I normally find easy without needing massive rests and bringing on all kinds of symptoms.
 
How was Tsilivi as a resort/ destination in relation to your illnesses/disability? (Access, flat, close to restaurants etc, quiet) when we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by a staircase and steep drive, initially this panicked me as I couldn't lift my suitcase at all, luckily the staff took our bags up to reception and up to our rooms later. I found I managed well getting around the hotel, we were on the first floor and I didn't need to go up and down very often. The area of Tsilivi is mostly flat, at least what I saw. The town wasn't very close and I did struggle the one time we went down. The beach was a short stroll again not ideal but there's plenty of taxis around at really cheap rates so it wasn't really an issue.
 
 How did you find attitudes/perceptions towards you by other travellers and from the locals? I got one bad reaction from a fellow passenger when I was asking for help to lift my bag but otherwise no one thought I was different or acted different towards me as my illness is pretty hidden. 
 
From your experience(s) what piece(s) of advice would you pass on to other spoonie travellers? Don't push yourself just because you're on holiday, yes there's lots of lovely things to see but it's ok to go home and to have seen only one of those things. 
 
What items would you not travel without? Earplugs, eye mask and pain killers. I use Earplugs and an eye mask everyday but I would recommend to anyone who doesn't to take them with you. The plane is pretty loud and if you have to share with other people it's worth using them for noise and lights. The hotel I stayed in was very quiet at night, in fact when in my room I couldn't hear any other guests at all which is very important if you're sound sensitive. 
 
What are your favourite holiday beauty products? Garnier Ambre Solaire Aloe Vera After sun. I bought this a while ago after burning in the uk and found out how much it left my skin feeling smooth so now I use it as a cooling body moisturiser all the time. It's great to cool you down in the summer heat.
 
If you were to go on holiday again what would you do differently? I would worry less in the weeks leading up to it! 
 
How are you after the holiday? I lost my voice from the aircon on the plane and was very sleepy and kept falling asleep in the afternoon for about a week after.
 
Do you think that despite all the extra 'hassles' of travelling as a chronically ill person it is still worth it? Yes, totally 100% worth it. Personally being housebound most of the time I find I get very bored of the same four walls, I loved seeing a different area, somewhere my eyes had not seen before. I also think getting away from normal life is something we all need especially if you're chronically ill, for that week I left my worries that haunt me day in day out at home and found myself almost carefree (as much as chronic illness allows) and laughing so much, and they say laughter is the best medicine.
 
And here is Emma's interview after her trip to Cornwall.
 
 
 
Destination: North Cornwall
Who did you travel with? My mum
 
First of all, how was your holiday? It was lovely, I always feel so at home in Cornwall.
 
What was your biggest worry before travelling? And how did you overcome it/ justify it? The 6 hour car ride. It's always a draining time for me, but the beautiful beaches and country is well worth it.
 
Did you notice any changes in your health whilst away? Good or bad? Any new symptoms? I didn't feel well on the way down and the next day I woke up with an awful cold which my mum then got too. We spent a lot of time feeling ill together but otherwise my ME wasn't too bad, colds always make it worse to an extent but I wasn't as bad as I can be.
 
How was Cornwall as a resort/ destination in (Access, flat, close to restaurants etc, quiet) relation to your illnesses/disability?  We stayed at a family friends holiday home which is all on one level so no stairs. The beach is really close too which is great. The towns are good too as they're mostly flat.
 
How did you find attitudes/perceptions towards you by other travellers and from the locals? The same as most places. I went out for lunch one day with my mum and the waitress was telling my mum about a lovely walk and said she could show us the way if we would like, my mum said not to worry as I'm not well which sparked a very odd look. I could tell she was trying to workout what was wrong with me! This happens anywhere though.
 
From your experience(s) what piece(s) of advice would you pass on to other spoonie travellers? If you travel to north cornwall try and go out of school holidays as places like Padstow are a spoonie nightmare when the streets are full.
 
What items would you not travel without? Ear plugs, eye mask and water colour paints - if we go on holiday via the car I always take paints for quiet days.
 
What are your favourite holiday beauty products? Aftersun, fake baked body scrub
 
If you were to go on holiday again what would you do differently? I'd try not to get a cold! If I had the chance I would fly, half an hour on a plane beats the 6 hours in the car!
 
How are you after the holiday? It took me a few days of being housebound before feeling a little less drained.
 
What advise would you give for surviving long car journies for spoonies? If you can try and rest the day before traveling and if like me mornings aren't your best time try and get whoever you are traveling with to agree to a slightly later start.
 
Other than the location of course what where the biggest differences in holidaying at home and abroad? The weather, here I needed a hot water bottle at night as it was cold and the cold was setting off my leg pain. The beaches in the UK are much more enjoyable as there isn't music being played from beach bars or men trying to sell you knock off watches every 5 minutes! 
 
Did you find that there were was a bit more pressure to find things to do with a home holiday? Not at all, I've been going to Cornwall with my family for 7 years. We're all happy going to the beach or kicking back reading books.
 
Was there a difference in how your symptoms/ energy levels were in Zante and Cornwall? Surprisingly to me my energy levels were better in Zante than cornwall, my energy levels are always hit and miss and I think I got lucky the week I was in Zante.
 
 How did your PEM compare after each holiday? After Zante I kept falling asleep every afternoon for a week, I felt so tired. It took me about the same time to feel 'over' both holidays though.
 
Thanks again to the lovely Emma for doing the interview. You can read more about Emma and check out some of the fabulous outfits on her blog.
 
Sian x

2 comments:

  1. Lovely post - I'd love to go there one day! xx

    TOPCOAT

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  2. Looks so pretty there , amazing! would love it if you could follow my blog and leave a comment beaut! www.roxancolex.blogspot.co.uk

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