Caravan Sonnet: June 2018

6/30/18

Wuthering Heights Altered Book

Happy Saturday friends! Today I am so excited to share with you a fun and cute addition to the shop! This adorable altered Wuthering Heights book is now available for purchase! (You can find it HERE!) 
I have always had an obsession with books and reading since I was a young girl. One of my dreams is to have a library filled with books from all over the world, where people could cozily slip into comfortable chairs and read stories that touch the heart and mind. 
Some books just hit us in deep ways don't they? In this case these books deserve to be highlighted in special ways and that is what these altered books in the shop do. 
As I shared back in April a bit about the background of December Caravan and where it is heading, (you can read about it HERE if you are interested), I knew that one of the things I wanted to include in the expansion of the shop were altered books. 
This altered Wuthering Heights book has been lovingly altered with lots of beautiful modern and vintage ribbon and washi tape. This is a lovely gift and keepsake or a perfect addition to your library!
If you are interested in this altered Wuthering Heights book can find it HERE. Or if you are interested in looking at other altered books that are available in the shop you can find them in the altered books section by clicking HERE
Happy Saturday friends! It is supposed to be some record high temperatures in our area so we are planning to spend the day by the lake! I hope that you have a wonderful day with friends and family!

6/29/18

"Courtney the Portney" turns TWO!

"Courtney the Portney" celebrated a 2nd "birthday" last Friday, and I celebrated 2 years closer to healing! It has been a whirlwind of the past two years...years that I have stood in awe at all the healing and progress that has taken place. I remember well waking up on June 22, 2016 and tentative and cautious about the surgery to place the port.  At that point it was the best decision medically, but to have the port placed was a leap of faith for me. There were so many unknowns and medical risks (additional ones that went beyond the typical due to the blood clot I had with "Nic the Picc"). I was definitely nervous and so grateful as we returned to the hotel later that night, and so very thankful for all of your prayers. 

As that first year with Courtney came and went and I celebrated her "first birthday", I was so incredibly grateful by all of the progress that I made, and this year I am simply amazed at the difference this year alone has brought! I well up with tears of humble gratitude.

I have said this often here on the blog... each person in a fight for their health must choose the best treatment plan for them, but I remain eternally humbled and grateful for my amazing medical team, this decision to move forward with a Port, and the care and love of so many. (If you want to read more about my healing journey you can do so HERE)

It truly takes a village and I am so incredibly grateful for my medical team and everyone who has compassionately and kindly cared for "Courtney". Thank you for all of your prayers, your love, and your encouragement during these past two years! I can't wait to see ALL of the healing that this next year of "Courtney's port life" will bring! 


"But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever." 
-Psalm 146:5-6-

Shop the Look:
Earrings (originally from Target in 2014, very similar HERE!) 
Turquoise Sweater (originally from the Limited, similar HERE and HERE
Cream Off-the Shoulder Shirt (originally from Anthropologie, similar HERE)

Moving Home When You Live Alone : A Timeline

One thing that can be tough when you are walking your singleness journey is moving houses. After all, it's you alone that has to organize everything, do all the packing and the hard work. Luckily, there is a way to make it less of a difficult task, something you can read more about in the timeline below.


Three months.
When you are single and moving home, it is important to remember that thing may take you a little longer to complete on your own. Therefore it is a good idea to start as early as possible, and with that in mind start to declutter your home three months before the move.

Decluttering is a vital stage because it ensures that you only have to pack and transport the thing that you genuinely want to take with you. Something that can save you both money and effort when moving day rolls around. Two months before the move is time to start getting things put in place. In particular its an excellent point to book off any time you need to from work, and the more notice they will have for this the better.

Two months.
Two months before the move is time to start getting things put in place. In particular its an excellent point to book off any time you need to from work, and the more notice they will have for this the better.

Also, it is the perfect time to do some research on local movers that can help you with your relocation. After all, they are insured for
any damage that occurs by accident, and they can take care of the heavy lifting of large furniture pieces and boxes, so you don't
have to struggle on your own.

One month.
When there is only one month left before you move it's the perfect time to start packing. In fact, because you have previously
de-cluttered your home, this task should already be a little easier.
Just remember to pack your boxes properly with some heavy items at the bottom for stability, then fill the rest of the box up with lighter pieces. Otherwise, you may struggle to lift them without help, something that can be a real pain if you want to start moving them around in preparation for the big day and there is no one about to assist you.

One week.
One week before your moving date is the best time to deal with any administration issues. These usually include getting your mail redirected to your new address, as well as letting your utility provider know your moving out date.

Don't forget to make some time to say a proper goodbye to friends and neighbors in the areas as well, and give then you change of address details so you can stay in touch.

One day.
Lastly, just before moving day, you will want to ensure that you have a box of essentials packed for the day itself. Usually, enough tea and coffee as well as some snacks area good idea for you, the removal men, and any friends and family you have roped into helping.

Don't forget to use this time to look over you moving plan and decide which room you would like packed onto the truck first, and finish off any finial jobs such as defrosting the freezer. You may even wean to treat yourself to a last take-out meal in your old home before you new adventure begins!

This may be a contributed post but all of the thoughts I agree with and match the tone of my blog .

6/28/18

13 Benefits of Cod Liver Oil

Back in 2013, shortly after I was diagnosed with Advanced Late Stage Lyme and soon-to-be Cancer (among a host of other health issues, I spent several weeks out at a Health Clinic as part of my treatment. I had hoped (not understanding or knowing the severity of my illnesses) that it would be the answer for my health issues. While it wasn't, it was a life-saving time (literally) and where I began to walk and eat again. 

While I was there I was introduced to several things that I have continued to incorporate to this day, one of them being Cod Liver Oil. When the doctor first mentioned taking it each day I looked at her with skepticism as I thought she must not have tried the "wonderful" taste of it. At the time she laughed and admitted that this was something that she had been recommending her patients do for years, but had only started taking herself recently. I was skeptical until she started sharing all of the health benefits from adding this quick and simple habit into my life. 

I will warn you that the Cod Liver Oil truly does not taste good. There are some brands that offer "taste enhancers" but in my opinion nothing truly masks the taste of Cod Liver Oil! I have found that having a small glass of cranberry juice to sip on immediately after is the only thing that truly kills the taste. (The kind that I have found to be the best is the Carlson's brand (you can find it on Amazon by clicking HERE!) 

As a bit of background, Cod Liver Oil has been used for over a hundred years. There are recorded notes of Cod Liver Oil being given as early as the 1890s to malnourished children and adults with arthritis! Here are just 13 amazing benefits of Cod Liver Oil:

1. The anti-inflammatory properties of Cod Liver Oil can help reduce some of the swelling that is known to cause arthritis pain.

2. Cod Liver Oil can help those with high cholesterol and heart disease.

3. Cod Liver Oil has been known to help relieve migraine headaches.

4. Cod Liver Oil has been known to fight inflammation.

5. Cod Liver Oil has been known to help regulate the immune system.

6. Some studies have suggested that Cod Liver Oil inhibits cancer cells!

7. Along the same lines as number 6, Dr. Patrick Quillin who holds a PhD, an RD, and a CNS degree and who wrote the book "Beating Cancer with Nutritionsaid: "Fish oil is therapeutic and can slow cancer."

8. Cod Liver Oil has lots of omega-3 fatty acids that are important to the body!

9.  Cod Liver Oil contains excellent amounts of EPA and DHA which are important omega-3 fatty acids.

10. Cod Liver Oil contains high levels of Vitamin A.



13. Cod Liver Oil may help depression.

With all of those benefits one small swallow and a little bad taste don't seem that important! Do y'all take Cod Liver Oil?

6/27/18

December Caravan Instagram Sale!

Head on over to the December Caravan instagram community for a special Wednesday Sale! You can connect with the December Caravan community by clicking HERE

Interested in just checking out the shop? Lots of new goodies have been added in the last few weeks with lots more to come! You can go directly to the shop by clicking HERE

See you on over at the IG page!

6/26/18

A Taste Of The World In One Bite Of The Big Apple

New York might be the biggest, the most populous, and the most famous city of the US. But it’s also a place where people from all around the world have historically come to find their fortune and to be part of the American Dream. As a result, it’s not just a US-city, it’s a city of the whole world. Here, we’re going to look at how one bite of the Big Apple can give you a taste of places much farther flung.


Celebrate in China
Manhattan’s Chinatown is easily one of the most colorful and invigorating parts of the whole city. If you enjoy food, culture, and entertainment, you are certain to find it here. But the time of the year that is undeniably better than any other, when it comes to arranging your visit, is during the Chinese New Year. It can feel like you have stepped directly into another world. Huge floats, colorful dancing dragons, and vendors come out in full force. It’s not just a show, but an important event for families to honor their ancestors and come together. If you only have a short time to enjoy the sights, then you absolutely must stick around for the traditional lion dancing.
Eat in Italy
Of course, if you want to talk about cuisine in New York, then you can’t go very far without talking about the Italian flavor in particular. Tastes from around the world have found their home in New York, but perhaps none has become so firmly rooted and closely associated with the city than the tastes of Italy. There is many a pizzeria and no shortage of places to enjoy a good pasta dish. If there’s one that’s a must-visit, however, it must be Eataly. The hallmark location of a franchise that now reaches across the world, it’s a mix of restaurant, food store, cafĂ©, and much more that makes for a day out just as much as a place to stop and enjoy a bite.


Adventure in Paris
The theatre is deeply nested within the cultural heart and the history of the city. If you visit without seeing the lights of Broadway or even catching a show just outside it, you are missing out. Not only is it an institution, but it’s a great way to catch shows not only from across the world but also depicting adventures across it. For example, seeing Anastasia at the Broadhurst Theatre can have you living a musical adventure in Paris fraught with peril, intrigue, and a little magic. The theatre has a lot more to offer than Paris alone, so see what shows are coming up and choose the right time to see your favorites.
Inspiration from Europe
If your tastes a little more sedate and you want to be inspired by artists all around the world, then the many galleries and art museums of the city are a must-see. The Met Museum is particularly impressive for the sheer amount of different locales and periods it showcases in its exhibitions. However, if you’re a lover of the European masters, The Frick Collection might be a little more up your street. There are pieces from Goya, Rembrandt, Renoir, Titian and more. One moment you can be swept up in the vistas of a romantic Spanish scene and the next you can be admiring the golden age of Dutch baroque. All of it contained in a gorgeous old school museum complete with a working water fountain.


The heart of the US
Whilst you might be enjoying your international adventures in the Big Apple, it’s worth taking a look at the shore that drew all those people from around the world in the first place. From Coney Island to the Statue of Liberty, cruising the ports of New York City is not something to be missed. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful skylines in the country and never fails to elicit an emotional, awestruck reaction. Take a tour on the water up and down the coast, which can help you hit all the highlights of the city itself or even go further out into the county to show that there’s still much more to explore.

If you want to experience cultures, tastes, and sights from around the world, you don’t necessarily have to travel it. Of course, everything gets a New York-spin that makes it distinctly part of the city and part of the American way of life, but still, a trip to the Big Apple can truly broaden your horizons.

This may be a contributed post but all of the thoughts I agree with and match the tone of my blog .

6/25/18

Special Occasion Styling: What To Wear




Pulling together outfits for special occasions can be a lot of fun. No matter what the occasion or the budget you have, you’re always going to want to play around with your fashion choices here. Because that’s what dressing up is all about. When it comes to occasions, you can often go all out. You can make sure that you’re picking out fun pieces that make you feel your best.


But the key question often is, what should you wear? While party dresses are often a great place to start, it’s important to know that they aren’t always the answer. So if you feel like you need a great look to work with, then you might want to mix things up a little. Let’s get into it. Here are some key contenders to consider for special occasion styling.


Cocktail Dress
First of all, we have the classic cocktail dress. If you love to wear mini length, figure-fitting dresses, then this is going to be your style of choice. For really formal events and evening ‘dos, this is going to be your best bet. The cocktail dress is timeless. No matter what your budget, you will be able to find a great fitting dress that you can wear again and again.


Mini Dress
From here, you’ve then got a mini dress. While you may not be wanting to wear something too skimpy to the works do, or to a wedding, a mini dress can be great for any evening parties that you have coming up. Whether it's your birthday, a date night, or just an occasion that you’re attending, if you love to get your legs out, a mini dress is always a killer choice.


A Suit
Now that we’ve covered off two styles of dresses, we’re going to throw in the wild card. Because sometimes you just want to wear something different. And what could be more different, interesting, and powerful than a good suit? Just take a look at these women in suits to get some killer outfit inspiration. And here, we’re not talking stuffy. We’re talking sexy. So think about wearing a tuxedo with a bra and heels. No need for the shirt, because the jacket will be enough to look wow-factor and still cover your modesty.


Maxi Dress
Going back to a dress, the next suggestion is going to be a maxi dress. For this, we’re thinking a cross with a cocktail dress for something incredibly formal, but when we’re talking about weddings and daytime affairs, maxi dresses can often look incredible.


A Co-Ord
Finally, we’ve also got to talk about matching sets. Yes, we could have finished off with a jumpsuit here, but that would be a little obvious. So instead, why not look for something a little bit special instead? When you can get a matching skirt and top combo, or top and trousers, your look can have a huge impact. Maybe you even want to go with a matching skirt and jacket, or dress and jacket so that it’s really quite special for your occasion.

This may be a contributed post but all of the thoughts I agree with and match the tone of my blog . 

6/23/18

Donald Duck in Disneyland Junk Journal

Happy Saturday friends! Today I am so excited to share with you a fun and cute addition to the shop! This adorable Donald Duck in Disneyland Junk Journal is now available for purchase! (You can find it HERE!) 
If y'all have been around this blog for a bit of time you know how much I love creating different and unique journals and altered books. I started creating what is now commonly referred to as "junk journals" years ago, but have never added them to the shop until now. These beautiful and unique journals are the perfect way to grab onto ordinary moments or days and remember special times in life.
I found this rare vintage (1955) Donald Duck in Disneyland Golden Book in an antique book store back in the early winter and was so excited to use it to create a special Junk Journal. I fell in love with the precious pictures, the detailed illustrations, and the vibrant colors.
As I shared on the blog back in April a bit about the background of December Caravan and where it is heading, (you can read about it HERE if you are interested), I knew that one of the things I wanted to include in the expansion of the shop were tag and junk journals. Tag and Junk journals are perfect for celebrating the special and the ordinary days in your life or to give as a gift to someone.
This Vintage Donald Duck in Disneyland Junk Journal contains approximately 75 pages that includes gorgeous original book pages, washi tape, and quality coordinating scrapbook paper. You can easily add in pictures, your own ephemera (or choose the option for me to add in some before you receive your junk journal), and quick notes so that you can remember the special days forever. 
If you are interested in this Vintage Donald Duck in Disneyland Junk Journal can find it HERE (UPDATED: PLEASE SEE NOTE BELOW). Or if you are interested in looking at other tag and junk journals that are available in the shop you can find them in the tag and junk journal section HERE

UPDATED: PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS ITEM SOLD IMMEDIATELY. YOU CAN REQUEST A CUSTOM ORDER JUNK JOURNAL BY CLICKING HERE! MORE JUNK JOURNALS WILL BE ADDED TO THE SHOP SOON! 

Happy Saturday friends! I hope that you have a wonderful day with friends and family!!

6/21/18

10 Tips for Thriving on Long Road Trips with a Chronic Illness

Over the last five years of blogging here at Caravan Sonnet, I have shared so many different travel experiences here on the blog, including specific tips on enjoying different Disney parks with a chronic illness (Magic Kingdom HERE and Animal Kingdom HERE) and one of my most popular posts of all time-10 tips for cruising with a chronic illness. These posts are always popular because no matter whether you are struggling with an illness or not you want to grab hold of life and soak up every moment. Perhaps illness in a strange way becomes a gift that teaches us to value the moments and the memories more than if sickness had never entered our worlds.
As I have continued to heal my travels have been able to expand into planning some amazing road trips that have been incredible work opportunities and personal highlights of my life that I will treasure forever! Last year, one of my best friends and I took an amazing road trip starting in Boston, went through Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. It was amazing. In that trip I drove approximately 30 hours (something that is beyond incredible considering over a year ago I still couldn't drive more than 20 minutes!), saw 3 Canadian provinces and visited 22 cities and towns along the way. It was a whirlwind to say the least and amazing. 
Yet, at the same time though, I have traveled enough while I have been fighting for my health to know that you don't "leave" your sick body and automatically get a "new one". I did a ton of preparation ahead of time for the trip and still found myself walking away having learned some important lessons that I plan to take with me on my upcoming Alaskan Road Trip next month. 

Traveling - and a road trip especially- does takes a risk and a courage- especially when you don't feel well, but if you are like me and wanting to live despite being sick... if you want to grab onto your experiences and live bigger than your world of illness is allowing you to, than I am applauding you and encouraging you! Here are 10 Tips for Thriving on a Long Road Trip with a Chronic Illness. I hope that these will help you in your next adventure!

1. Prepare As Much As Possible Ahead of Time
While many people may pack the week before a road trip, it is wise to spend time preparing and packing as much as possible in the weeks ahead. While there are certain items that you may not be able to pack till the last minute (i.e. different meds with insurance regulations), which will relieve the stress of waiting till the last minute will help your body. Preparing ahead allows you to really think about each item that you want to bring and also allows you to have the time to make sure that you have all of your medications, supplements, etc. 

 Preparing ahead also gives you a beautiful gift I have found. It really allows you to look ahead at the fun opportunity coming up, discuss with your travel companions the upcoming fun ahead of you, and if you are struggling with treatment or sickness, help you to look outside the difficult and painful days that you are having.
2. Try to Alternate Driving with Someone Else
While this wasn't possible on my road trip through MaineNew BrunswickPrince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia and won't be possible on my upcoming Alaskan Road Trip, in an ideal situation, alternating the driving hours with another person would be the best case scenario. Try to mix up the hours and trade off and on. 

This keeps you more "fresh" and not only allows you to see more of the world that you are driving through, but it also allows your body to get a much needed rest from concentrating on the road and driving well. In addition to this it allows your body to "move" a bit more and not be in one position the entire time of your road trip. 
3. Be Realistic About What You Can and Can't Do
When you are planning your trip you will want to be realistic about what you can and can't do. My mom and medical team (whom I ran everything by before our last road trip and this one coming up) were kind and compassionate sounding boards gently saying sometimes, "do you think that you can realistically do this?". While I could have chosen to be offended by their words, I instead knew that they were coming from someone who knows that my heart wants to go on that 10 mile hike up to the top of Denali, camp out and do it all again the next day plus drive nine hours to our next location all in a span of 48 hours... but my body is just not physically able to. Take the time to be realistic about what you can and can't do and you will end up enjoying your road trip a lot more than if you try to pack if full of things you can't do right now. 

I say "right now" because... it doesn't mean you will never be able to do them it just means maybe right now you can't. It doesn't mean that in the future you can't go back to a place and fit in the twenty additional things you want to do. I know for me personally there are a lot of things on this upcoming road trip in Alaska that I would love to do but just can't yet. That is okay. I have already started a bucket list for a return trip! *smiles*
4. Plan Your Activities Wisely
Following along with #3, make sure to plan your activities wisely. Think about the timing of the things you want to do and what times are best for you in the day. Think about the amount of energy each activity will take and how that will look in your overall road trip adventure. For our road trip MaineNew BrunswickPrince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia I walked away feeling extremely happy with the planning that I had done to alternate between activities that used a lot of energy to activities that didn't, knowing that I would be driving the entire time and that in itself was a big activity. I also found that this allowed me to fully enjoy the road trip and also created treasured times of spontaneity. 

For example... on our second day of our MaineNew BrunswickPrince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia road trip we were traveling from Camden, Maine to St. Andrews-By-The-Sea, New Brunswick. It was about a 3 and 1/2 hour drive. We got up early in the morning and after a yummy breakfast at the Lord Camden Inn, we spent time walking around Camden (which is adorable!), driving through gorgeous Maine into Canada and then in St. Andrews-By-The-Sea we explored the Kingsbrae Gardens, walked around downtown St. Andrews, and drove across the ocean floor to Minister's Island. In addition to that I saw this beautiful little lake in Maine during our drive and said to my friend, "Ali! Let's go see it!", which we did. The day was full, but all of the activities were low stress on my body and it was a completely relaxing and fun-filled day, which energized me for the entire trip! 

Taking the time to plan your activities wisely will ensure that you have fun, not just for one day, but for the entire trip.
5. Plan, Prepare, and Pack All of Your Medications, Supplements, Etc.
One of the things that can take a lot of time in preparing for a road trip is planning, preparing and packing all of your medications, supplements, etc. Honestly it can take a bit of maneuvering (and a lot of patience) to make sure that you have all of your meds before your trip. As much as it is possible try to let your doctors know in advance that you will be going on a trip and that you will need meds (and extra meds depending on your situation) for the duration of your vacation. 

I can't encourage you enough to work on this ahead of time as some medications can only be purchased with insurance at certain intervals so you will want to work this out with your doctor and insurance company. Also, if you are flying to a place before you start your road trip check with the airline as some airlines require that your medications are in the original containers not just in random pill containers.

Don't forget to pack all of your supplements and any other alternative meds you might use for your situation. I don't like wrapping my supplements and vitamins in aluminum foil, but for traveling I have found it so helpful to pack my pills in aluminum foil already separated out for the times that I take them. (For example: breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning snack, evening, midnight, etc.) Having my pills already prepared allows me to easily have my supplements available and also allows me not to bring along my hundreds of supplement bottles. In addition this saves me time in the mornings as I just pick up what I need for the day and head on out!
6. Plan Your Travel To and From the Road Trip Wisely
If you are flying someplace to start your road trip then plan this travel portion out carefully. The last thing that you want to do is exacerbate your symptoms or start off or end your road trip on the wrong foot. Think through your travel plans carefully so that you can fully enjoy every minute of your trip!
7. Make Use of Assistance if You Need It
Many places along the way will have "assistance" in various forms if you need it. This could be at the airport, or a hotel, or even just making use of your handicap tag. Sometimes the reality when traveling is that travel itself can create a lot of stress and strain on those who are chronically ill. You can spend a lot of energy walking, standing and waiting, and pain trying to get your bags, yourself, etc. in and out of the car. Making use of assistance can be a blessing and something to consider if you need it. 
8. Set the Tone of Your Limitations Early
I have shared this story many times here on the blog, but on my first cruise I wanted to "get away from sick world" and asked my friend not to share that I was ill. Let me be honest- I hate being the center of attention so in some ways this worked fabulously to allow me to "get away", but it also created a ton of awkward situations and eventually led me to apologizing for not being up front more with my health to the new friends I made on the cruise as they were apologizing to me for not knowing!

I am not suggesting that you can't have a vacation "away" from your fight for your health, but I am suggesting that you can quietly set the tone for your boundaries. I remember on the last road trip that there was a day near the end of the trip where I was driving 9 hours, I was exhausted, and I was trying to find our way out of Halifax. A suggestion of music was offered and I just said I couldn't do it. I am sure it was surprising and confusing to understand, but my body was extremely tired and trying to navigate a new city and still had about 7 hours of driving left of the day. I knew in that moment that I couldn't have music as I was trying to listen to directions. Maybe for you it will be something different. Whatever it is, your true friends will be understanding and extremely encouraging. 

Also... laugh. Just laugh. Fill the days with grace and laughter leading up to and on your trip. 

I am giggling about this but Ali and I were discussing something about our upcoming road trip and I off-handedly explained that I didn't think that a hike in Denali (something that is a bucket list dream of mine) would be able to happen with how much we are trying to see on this trip. Well the way I said it sounded like I had planned for us to actually climb to the top of Denali! Ali, being the sweetheart she is, responded gently something to the effect that she didn't think that would work for her anyway, taking the responsibility on her. I just started laughing and we now both have created a hashtag in our silliness that we won't be climbing Denali. 

Now... that my friends... is a dear and precious friend. Ali could have expressed her disappointment, or been critical, but she embraced the limitations I was setting and in grace we now have a funny joke I am sure will last for our lifetime of a friendship. So speak up to those around you, embrace the grace, and laugh. It's a treasured thing you won't regret. *smiles*
9. Expect Difficult Times and Have a Backup Plan
It can be hard when you are cruising to accept that sometimes your body might struggle and have difficult times or days. I am sure so many of us have heard- "just think positively and you will have a wonderful trip-you won't feel pain or sickness at all". That would be awesome, but the reality is that many times we will experience pain or sickness because we are still in our bodies. That is okay! 

Don't let times of sickness and pain ruin your road trip. Last fall on the final morning of our New England and Canadian road trip I twisted to lift my big suitcase on to the bed to pack things up and something snapped in my lower back and I immediately couldn't move. Now my lower back has always been a tender area in this journey (due to being bedridden and not able to walk for a while) so I am typically extremely sensitive to this, but I wasn't that morning. After seven days in the car driving, in one position (no matter all of the stretches and breaks we took), my back just decided it was done. Unfortunately this meant that we weren't able to see the final thing we were going to and I had to drop my friend off at the airport a few hours early so I could drive the five hours home immediately. 

At the time it was hard and there were a lot of tears, but one thing I had to remember was all that I had been able to do and all that we had done in the last six days. As I drove home I started thinking about all of the amazing things I had seen, all that I had been able to do, and all that my body had been able to do. It was humbling. What may have looked like a "typical or normal vacation" to many people was the highlight of many days for me. So when you encounter something similar don't grow discouraged. 

Accept your limitations, cry if you need to, find the joy in the day and the time, and have a backup plan. Take some extra time to rest and relax and get down to the bare necessities of what has to be done- even if this means altering your original plans. Most importantly, take a deep breath. Nothing is ruined in the long-term scheme of life- keep the joy and faith, even in the difficult times and treasure the memories.
10. Try to contact some restaurants and your lodging ahead of time about Food Allergies
Many people dealing with a chronic illness also deal with a myriad of food allergies. Even though on a road trip there is typically always some sort of food place around... the food that is available might not be something that you can eat. While I love planning things out for a road trip, I also love being spontaneous and fun and detouring and seeing other things if the opportunity arises. So what I typically do is contact the places I am staying at and ask them for a recommendation or two of a restaurant in the area that is sensitive to food allergies. If the website doesn't then answer my questions I will then call the restaurant and discuss with them personally. I really haven't had to much trouble so far and don't anticipate any in the future. It may take a bit of extra planning but its worth it so that you don't waste any time on your trip dealing with a food allergy reaction! 

I hope that these 10 tips have been helpful for thriving on a long road trip with a chronic illness! If you are looking for tips for long road trips in general you may find my post 10 Tips and Tricks for Long Road Trips to be helpful! You can find it HERE! If you are looking specifically for more tips on traveling with a chronic illness you can click on the links below:
 


What about you? What tips do you have for enjoying long road trips with a chronic illness? Happy Thursday friends! I hope you have a wonderful day! 

**All pictures in this post are from our time at Peggy's Cove which you can read about HERE. This was one of my absolute favorite stops on our MaineNew BrunswickPrince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia road trip! **