How to Travel While (Chronically) Ill: A 6-Step Approach

Diedré M. Blake, Blog Contributor

Diedré M. Blake, Blog Contributor

Greetings Fellow Travelers!

I am D, a student, health blogger and a weekly contributor to the Mind the Guide Blog.

Throughout my life, I have visited over a dozen countries and have lived in four.  Since 2011, I have called Rome my home.

Whether it is before, during or after, being sick while traveling, especially on vacation, is simply…awful.

As a traveler living abroad with a chronic illness (fibromyalgia), I know just how awful it can truly get: forgotten medication, limited specialized medical services, ignorant doctors, etc. You name, and I’ve probably experienced it.

Still, such occurrences are not the end of the world.  Furthermore, having an illness, chronic or not, does not mean having to stifle your inner nomad or cure your wanderlust.

Yes, there are and will be challenges.  However, you can overcome these challenges by maintaining a realistic approach to the travel experience itself.  That is, you have to be mindful to your body and your new environment.

Below are some of steps I have taken to ensure a better travel experience and also some links to sites that offer more guidance on the subject. Hopefully, they will be helpful for you as you prepare for your visit to Italy’s Eternal City or wherever else your feet may choose to wander.
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Winter in Rome: Markets & Holiday Events

Following up on our previous post, below are some ongoing events during this holiday season:

Christmas Markets (24 Nov. 2014 – 6 Jan. 2015)

La Befana Dolls at Christmas Market in Piazza Navona. Image by Samsonite Australia: http://www.samsoniteaustralia.com/

Piazza Navona is already of great historical and architectural renown, and its massive annual Christmas market adds a hefty dose of magic to this busy attraction.  On an average day, thousands of people make their way easily through the open stadium-shaped piazza.  During its Christmas market, however, the piazza is transformed into a crowded marketplace, filled with stalls selling all sorts of decorations (such as the Epiphany’s Befana dolls, shown above), foods (make sure to try a hot ciambella, shown below), jewelry, books, and a host of other things.

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Essential Rome: 6 Things You Should Know Before You Go! (Part 1 of 2)

You’ve bought your ticket, packed and repacked your bags, have been crossing off the days on your calendar leading up to your departure date, and probably have been psyching yourself up for your trip by imagining touring the Vatican or the Colosseum.

But could it be that you’ve forgotten something?

Image by Dolores Juhas. Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved. http://www.dolores-juhas.tk

Beyond arranging your hotel and flight, here are some essential ways to prepare for your stay in Rome.

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Xmas is coming…

Christmas and New Year holidays are coming. Profit from car-free Sundays in various parts of the historical center, and discover every beauty of Rome.

Christmas is approaching with long afternoons and streets filled with tourists (and residents), who will walk, shop, and enjoy aperitifs in the heart of Rome’s beauty.

In particular, for the people staying in Rome during all the Christmas holidays, there are great possibilities to create a simple self-planned itinerary; a way that, without renouncing small gastronomic or relaxing pit-stops, enables the Eternal City, dressed up for the festivities, to offer to everybody the best show. Continue reading…

Muri Puliti, Popoli Muti: Walls, Graffiti & Roman Tradition

lutero

Click per la versione italiana

Muri puliti, popoli muti (“clean walls, dumb people”) is a famous saying that has accompanied Rome’s long social and political history, extending beyond the walls of the beautiful capital to encapsulate a trend common to the entire Italian peninsula: graffiti.

The history of graffiti, or generally-speaking writing on walls, is not rooted in modern times.  Furthermore, the spontaneous practice of wall graffiti provides clear evidence of a population’s need to make openly make social commentary and explain concepts.  Italians call it scrittura di strada e di piazza (“street and piazza writing”), a means of communication, engaged in by various members of society from different social strata, that is equivalent and parallel to official and institutional forms.

Graffiti came to be seen as directly expressing popular thought, and covered a wide range of topics, many of which were incised into the walls of ancient Rome.  The curious passerby was treated to numerous graffiti that represented men, women, political caricatures, blatant erotic scenes infused with ritual and religion.

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The Other Roman Art: Our Top 5 Places to View Street Art

Leaving aside the politics of whether to call it street art or graffiti, 2014 was a great year for Rome’s alternative art scene.  Both Italian and international street artists have made the Eternal City their latest canvas for cultural and self-expression, and many of the city’s more residential neighborhoods.

In the recent years, websites that represent the street artist community, such as Street Art Roma, Street Art News, and 999 Contemporary Street Art, have emerged and are growing in popularity, giving new understanding to the art form by creating educational dialogue.

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Superstition in Ancient Rome: Crossing the “Bridge of the Dead” (10/31-11/2)

Ponte Sisto

Ponte Sisto. Click the image to learn more about our Rome Walking Tour!

Click per la versione italiana

October 31st to November 2nd marks a span of time that most Italians view with superstition.  It is known as the “Bridge of the Dead,” beginning with Halloween and ending with the Celebration of the Dead—a 72-hour period steeped in occult tradition, stemming from ancient Roman history.

Lost souls, the dead returned to life…masks, witchcraft, nursery rhymes and much more: are they really dark magic or mere superstition?  Or are they simply old wives tales that contain a grain of truth from some forgotten time?  In Rome, with its worshipping of ancient gods, there has always been special attention paid to these dark tales.

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