• Sophie Ward

Holiday Baggage

We all want to look and feel our best for our holidays. 

It is a given. 

I had the right frame of mind back in March that I would slowly get myself sorted and be organised. Ensuring I was comfortable with and in all the clothes, bikinis and so on I wanted to pack.

I had right intentions. I had found swimsuits I like, outfits I loved ( and still love ). Yet, feeling so unwell and being so underconfident I have put of purchasing anything waiting for a miracle to happen it seems.

I told myself this weekend, I will organise myself and finally make decisions and click buy. I’ve purchased a few things but nothing on the actual to do list. 

Normally I love the buzz of getting all prepped for holiday. This time its different. I’m excited - don’t get me wrong. It’s not just mindless buying or buying because I adore certain outfit pieces isn’t the case anymore. I have no choice but to overthink everything. I don’t know how I am going to tolerate the heat because it depends on how well or poorly I am at the time of the holiday. Will I be shivering and cold despite the heat or be warm ( sweating, red hot ) in normal people’s terms. 

Will I need long sleeves, despite the heat. Can I get away with rocking trousers or will I be too hot. Who knows. It’s a bit like our symptoms they change on a daily basis and it’s the same with how I can tolerate and deal with such situations. Such as heat, cold, walking and travelling. One day it may be fine, not a problem at all and the next it can knock me back for a week. 

This makes it very difficult to know how to plan, what to pack and how to mentally as well as physically prepare. 

I think the utter panic and energies required to really start preparing for my holiday is slowing my progression with actually getting down to the nitty gritty. I am already currently suffering with neutropenia and am mentally and physically exhausted that the extra thinking and energy required is too much to consider. 

I just really don’t want to have a last minute panic, so I hope I do manage to get myself sorted and organised. 

At the beginning of most trips, my Mum would always say to me that I looked tired and unenthusiastic before we even got started. I was always of course excited about traveling. But the prepping; cleaning the house, washing the sheets, packing and just getting myself motivated had wiped me out before even getting on to the actual travelling and reaching the location. Now, she understands why I was/am the way I am before trips. 

People always say, ‘Just take the extra, so you know you have it with you.’ This is all well and good but when I already take everything but the kitchen sink, it’s best not to tell me to take everything because I Iiterally will! Believing that there is a 5 per cent chance I might need a winters coat in 40 degree centigrade heat. 

Realistically, I think six weeks is still too far ahead for me to be getting myself in a muddle about what to and what not to take with me.

Like I say my condition and health is like a rollercoaster, I truly never know from day to day what surprises good or bad I am going to have to deal with. So with a month and a half to go, a lot can change.

With my current health state, it is probably more important to focus on stabilising it, so my holiday can be more relaxing. 

I know for many who suffer from chronic illness and chronic disease, travel is a massive no, no. As the energy required to travel, pack and so forth is far too intense for you to cope with and the baggage you end up taking is too much. I totally understand that.  

For me.. my illness does effect my life in many ways and does effect my travel plans. At the same time I refuse to allow my illness to take, take, take from me.

Yes, it’s hard work, stressful and extremely challeneging to face the preparation and even the hurdles once away on the trip. There will always be hurdles in life however and if you stop and don’t attempt to jump then you will never get the buzz of jumping and reaching the ground on the other side.

We can’t live in dark rooms waiting for the answers to fall at our feet or to one day feel better. The best medicines are ones we can experience from living. Through love, the people we meet, the experiences. 

I try to think that if I have ever forgotten or not prepared quite as well as was required I can purchase things as and when I need them on my trips.

Another issue is thinking ‘take what you feel comfortable in.’ I always opt for comfort these days anyway. Often it means I end up wearing outfits that aren’t truly the ones I would really want to wear. 

1. Because I have to wrap up and keep warm, to stay sane and comfy but also to avoid extra illness.

2. Body confidence is a massive issue. You can laugh off wearing a hoodie in the middle of summer or trousers when you would rather be wearing a dress but body confidence is a really big deal soul destroying fact. You don’t feel comfortable and confidence in wearing outfits people are probably judging you for because you are still in your winter wardrobe when it’s summer. Never understanding the real underlying issues and being so different can also cause unrest.

I try to think that no matter what you wear you will always be judged but that inner beauty is what really matters. 

Most of you, like myself probably feel like they are wasting time or not living fully. When you can’t wear what you want, sit in the sun all day, do activities , eat ALL the food. We have to just accept what we can still enjoy and experience. 

As by facing our fears and putting ourselves out there we are definitely not time wasting. We are inspiring others to take life by the horns despite everything. 




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