When you have an Inherited Metabolic Disorder, going on holiday can be a little more complicated with having to consider transporting medication, supplements and managing your condition in a new place! This summer, our guest blogger, Chloe Easton (who has Phenylketonuria (PKU)), has been holidaying in Cornwall for a whole month! In the third part of Chloe’s guest blog series, Chloe is back from her adventures and letting us know how it all went!
On Saturday 29th June, I returned home from my Cornwall adventure. A whole month away and what a month it has been. It definitely tested my emotions. I’ll be honest, there were times when I questioned if I was doing the right thing, even times when I felt like I wanted to come home. But most of all, there were times when I felt completely on top of the world. Despite all of these mixed emotions, it absolutely flew by, and in the end, I definitely didn’t feel ready to leave! However, now that I am home, it has been so lovely to settle back into home comforts and to, of course, see my family and friends again! Even though I feel incredibly grateful for being able to spend four weeks in my favourite place, Perranporth, it was tough to be away from my family at times. I am quite a family-orientated person. So, choosing to leave them behind and travel to the opposite end of the country was a pretty big step for me, but it is certainly one I don’t regret taking.
This time away has been so valuable to me. I have grown in confidence more than I ever imagined possible, not just in myself but in dealing with my PKU too. I had to take absolute control of everything, which was slightly overwhelming but I am proud of myself for doing it. Most importantly, I have reminded myself that my metabolic condition shouldn’t ever stop me from doing anything in life. Honestly, this trip is one that I dreamed of making for years. I distinctly remember from around the age of twelve, sitting in class with my best friend and constantly talking about my plans to make it happen – I am just so incredibly happy and grateful that I did finally make it happen. I don’t doubt that this is an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life and it’s definitely not the last time I will be taking a solo trip away!
My top tips for travelling solo:
- Plan and consider how you will manage your metabolic condition whilst away – this may seem obvious to some people, but by undertaking some careful planning (for example, how you will transport medication) you will ensure that your trip runs smoothly!
- Go out and make the most of each day – even if the weather isn’t on your side (if you’re travelling abroad you probably won’t have this concern), you should go out and do something. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate day out, you might just like to sit in a local cafe or pub. On colder days in Cornwall, I got into the habit of sitting in The Watering Hole (a pub on Perranporth Beach) with a coke. I just loved taking in the sea views and found it to be a perfect place for getting some writing done.
- Don’t be afraid of chatting to new people – this was quite a big thing for me and it did take me a while to pluck up the courage to do this, but in the end I’m glad that I did! The one catch with travelling solo is that there are inevitably going to be periods of loneliness. However, it was easier than I thought to start up little conversations – I got chatting to the workers in a local surf shop where I regularly hired out a surf board and I also made friends with a German lady who was on a coach trip I did, which was really lovely.
- Most of all, try not to stress and enjoy your trip! No doubt you will have worries; I was so anxious that my medication wouldn’t be delivered and how I would cope so far away from my family, but I tried not to let this overrule the excitement of the trip and didn’t let it stop me from truly enjoying every moment.
Thank you to Chloe for sharing all her great updates of her Cornwall trip and for some wonderful tips on how your condition need not stop you from travelling and how you can make your travel goals happen!
Chloe also has her own personal blog where she shares her experiences of living with PKU. You can read her blog here: https://t.co/GaNPoBcy7X
If you would like some advice on travelling with an Inherited Metabolic Disorder, please see the following page https://www.metabolicsupportuk.org/travel/ or contact our Core Services Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0845 241 2173.