Many of you who know me and read my blog are aware that I’m travelling with endometriosis – stage 4. I’m still managing to travel, I just have to take it easy and be conscious not to push myself too much.
I’m open and honest about what I deal with in my health and personal life on my blog, because I want to help other people with similar circumstances to be able to cope with being on the road.
We all know about the drama of travelling with your period, but this is exacerbated tenfold as an endometriosis sufferer. During the time when I was suffering with severe endo (undiagnosed initially), I travelled to Morocco, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Philippines and Israel within the space of two years.
I want to reach out to all women suffering from this debilitating condition to let you know that travel is possible, just make sure that your health comes first. Here are my top tips for travelling with endometriosis…
Disclaimer – Templeseeker is a personal travel blog that is not meant to replace medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Never disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.
1. Know the Triggers for Flare Ups and Avoid Them
The two places where my endometriosis have been the worst, almost to the extent of hospitalisation (but thankfully not) have been Reykjavik and Pisa. There is a simple explanation for this – I didn’t avoid my triggers.
In Iceland, it was the weather – the cold almost made me seize up and the pain was way worst than it usually is, almost to the point of collapse. In Italy, it was the diet – there’s nothing worse than a load of pasta and cheese pizza to bloat and make you ill if you suffer from endometriosis.
Here I am in Israel, drinking and eating all the wrong things. NB: I suffered greatly the next day.
2. Pack your Medication when you are Travelling with Endometriosis
Since I was so ill in Iceland and Italy, I always pack an extensive medical kit specifically for my endometriosis symptoms. If you want to know what my endometriosis medical kit contains, here goes…
- Pain killers – Cocodomol and Tramadol (make sure that if you carry opiate pain killers they are legal in the country you are travelling)
- Movical – to help digestion and going to the loo!
- Paracetomol and ibuprofen for pain on less severe days.
- Senna and Suppositories for emergencies! (oh dear – not fun!)
- Flu remedies (people with endo usually have a lower immune system)
- Any contraceptives and plenty of sanitary towels.
- Dioralyte to rehydrate and keep body salts up in cases of severe diarrhoea.
- A Medic Alert Bracelet or ID jewellery if it’s necessary for your medical condition(s) to be easily identified.
This will be different for everyone – take medication under the advice of your GP or medical professional.
3. Eat Sensibly when you Travel with Endometriosis
I know that I’ve touched on this, but it is so important that you eat sensibly when you travel with endometriosis. Alcohol is another one for me. A few times in Israel, I suffered, because I did not say no to alcohol, even though it can make me really sick.
- Avoid Alcohol and pasta.
- Eat gluten free and limit bread and pizza.
- Avoid too much Red Meat and Cheese.
- Try going veggie or vegan while you travel.
- Snack on fresh fruit and veg.
4. Tell your Travel Buddies what it means to Travel with Endometriosis
It is difficult when you suffer from endometriosis, but travel with people who are fit and healthy. It’s a good idea to fully explain your situation before you travel, and reiterate this on the road. Travelling with endometriosis is different for everyone depending on the stage and the pain levels, so be sure to communicate your exact condition and what you can and cannot manage.
It may mean that you have to get the bus while your buddies walk, or that you explain that you need to take more breaks. It is also a good idea to tell them what medication you need if you have a flare up.
People who travel together are there to help each other out and need to understand each other’s needs and travel rhythms. Communication is key to a successful trip if you are not travelling solo.
Here I am in Denmark, enjoying the company of Rachael, Blond Wayfarer!
Depending on how sick you are, solo travel with endometriosis may not be such a good idea. It depends what works for you. Personally, I find that I can travel solo with stage 4 endometriosis, because I know my triggers and how to pace myself. However, it’s always nice to have a friend or my partner with me when I am sick on the road.
5. Pack Light when you are Travelling with Endometriosis
Consider packing light to accommodate a bad back, or even a wheelie suitcase if you are doing city breaks. I like to travel hand luggage only. Only 1 pair of jeans is necessary, and you certainly don’t need a guidebook now that we live in a digital age.
However, if there is anything that you use at home, such as a walking stick or disabled parking badge, make sure that you pack it and take it with you.
Are you travelling with endometriosis? If so, how do you manage on the road? Do you have any inspirational words for others? I’d love to hear from you.
Update November 2019 – Since writing this blog I have gone through 2 major surgeries, the second one including a life saving bowel resection. This shows just how severe my endometriosis was – it was destroying my internal organs. I’m doing much better since the last op, and as a result I can do more solo travel and carry less medication, although I always keep the basics just incase! I recognise from people’s comments that their endometriosis was less severe than mine and that some people may be able to control it with diet and exercise – sadly, this was not the case for me. But I understand that the situation is different for everybody – find what works for you. x