Cheers To You, Chronic Illness! You’ve Made Me Live Life More Fully

Back of Airstream

Chronic Illness

I never thought my life would take such an unexpected turn. Being diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses and autoimmune diseases such as Lyme, CIRS, hypothyroidism and SIBO all within the space of a few months really threw me for a loop! It’s something that I never saw coming but has impacted my life so deeply. I don’t even feel like the same person I was before all this happened. The past few years have been a very trying time. I feel as though a lot has been taken away from me and I can no longer do things that once brought me so much happiness. For some time I was very bitter, angry, and thought my symptoms may never change, or worse, that they would continue in the wrong direction. I finally realized that if I wanted to heal and get better, then I needed to change my mindset.

How Illness Changes You

Chronic illness really puts life into perspective and makes you take a hard look at what’s truly important. It makes you appreciate the little things and focus on what you DO have. Illness affects your mindset, usually for the worse, but hopefully throughout the process it’s ultimately for the better. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who has been so supportive throughout all of this. Great support and a positive mindset can get you far. 

If you have experienced chronic illness, then you know the amount of guilt and strain it can put on a relationship. I felt guilty for being sick, not being the same person I once was and not being able to keep up our outdoor adventuring we love so much. I felt like I was not the same person that my husband married. I needed a change in my life. We needed to change. 

Since this has become a time for so much change, my outlook on life has transformed and I see more clearly what really matters to me. Experiences matter, people matter, family matters. Money is important as a means to an end, but work is not everything. Because of this my husband and I decided to put our lives first, before work and things that keep us from really living. We wanted to live a less stressful life and have more time for each other. Why have a life where all you do is work to make money so that you can have a nice car and a big house but not have the time to enjoy them? What kind of life is that? 

What We Are Doing

It’s been a while in the making, but we are finally doing it. My husband and I decided to buy an Airstream travel trailer and we are now traveling full time across the United States. Yes, you heard that right, we moved out of our Bay Area apartment, sold most of our belongings and moved into a 150 sq. ft. trailer. Our house comes with us wherever we go… It’s amazing!

Kaylie and Airstream

Before we got married we wanted to do some serious world travel but life, work and health issues took over. Instead we are taking it slow and traveling through our own home country. 

Why We Are Doing It

We are doing this for many reasons but first and foremost is for healing. Healing can look different for many people but for me I know this is right. Since I have taken a more natural and holistic approach from the beginning, this just seemed like a natural progression. Being out in nature has been very healing for me. I don’t know if it is being around less people, the sun or the fresh air but I feel as though nature has a healing power for me. It’s very easy to get into your own head when you don’t have the energy to work or exercise and you are sitting for most of the day. Touring around and seeing something new everyday gets me out of that mindset. 

How We Are Doing It

You are probably thinking, “but traveling around the country seems really taxing and takes so much energy.” Well, I thought that too at first and I was nervous about it but we’ve figured out how to make it work so far. My husband does all of the “heavy lifting” so that I don’t need to. We make sure I don’t do too much and I can lay down or rest whenever I need to. That is the amazing part about all of this. We can stay pretty much wherever we want for as long as we want. We don’t need to go fast since we have no deadlines to be anywhere. 

“But what about food and sticking to your AIP diet while traveling?” We also have a full kitchen with a gas range, and oven, refrigerator/freezer and a microwave. I don’t need to stress about the quality of my food or where we are going to eat because I have everything I need right here. I can cook all of my food and I can continue on with my healing diet. 

I am so thankful that I get to travel this amazing country with my husband and that I can take my time so that I don’t get tired or have a flair. I’m also thankful that I have just enough energy and stamina to do this. Our journey, though just beginning, has been amazing so far. If you want to follow us throughout our travels we will be getting our social media accounts up and running soon so stay tuned for that.

Birds View of Orange Grove

Lastly, I want to share with everyone that just because you are diagnosed with an illness doesn’t mean that you need to limit your life. Don’t put boundaries on what you can do. Just because I am in the process of healing doesn’t mean that I need to always dwell on it. Yes, it’s part of my life now but it doesn’t need to be the center of attention. I also want to be an example of how you can travel and still take care of yourself and put healing first. There might be some work-arounds but there is always a way. 

Happy Travels,

Kaylie

1 COMMENT

  1. It was my dream to travel around the country in our trailer after my husband retires. He’s getting close to retirement now, but I’m very sick like you. I was on the AIP for 5 months, but it didn’t seem to help. My diet seems so restrictive that it’s hard to stay on with my family’s eating habits. It’s nice to see that you are able to do this in spite of your health. I wish you well!

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