I Love Writing my Blog, but I Am Not a Blogger.
Are you confused? Let me try to explain.
I enjoy writing these posts. They help me, and my most sincere hope is they help someone else. But the reality is cultivating an online audience requires more or less constant social media activity. And that’s just not me.
For example, we recently returned from vacation in Mexico. If I was a blogger, I would have been posting the entire time, as there was so much opportunity to show how I manage my illness while traveling. But I didn’t do that. It’s not because I don’t care or don’t want to help others. I didn’t post during vacation because I have learned that once I go down the posting road, I start looking for Instagram Moments. And when I start looking for Instagram Moments, I start missing the Actual Moments. Instead of really feeling and soaking up each experience, I’m thinking of the perfect headline or trying to get the perfect shot.
I didn’t want to spend my vacation doing that. Instead, I wanted to be present with my vacation and with my family. I didn’t want to be present with my phone. In fact, I aggressively avoided my phone.
So, I’m not really a blogger.
But if I was a blogger, here are some of the things would have told you about traveling while living with chronic lyme disease, anxiety and fatigue:
- We packed heavy. I brought an entire extra suitcase, which we call “The Bag of Life”. It contained three tubs of protein powder (remember I am on a liquid diet), a bottle of liquid coconut oil (for my protein shakes), along with various supplements and powders I need to make my life work. ( I did not photograph our huge pile of luggage, because I wasn’t being a Blogger).
- We also brought two boxes of food. I know. It sounds funny. But I have several food intolerances, and so does my daughter, and many of the foods that are safe for us to eat are hard to come by in Mexico, so we brought our own. I ordered from Thrive Market, which is sort of like an online Costco for natural and organic food. You pay a small annual fee, and in return you can buy at a discount and in bulk. Free shipping on orders over $50. They do an amazing job of packing the food so it doesn’t get destroyed, so it was an ideal option for the airplane. We simply checked the boxes, and everything arrived intact. (same comment as above on the lack of photo).
- We went to the grocery store to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement the packaged goods we brought (cilantro photo above).
- As always, we stayed in a home with a full kitchen, and we ate most dinners at home. My family was actually very happy with that option, as the setting was beautiful, and everybody feels better with home cooking. (again, no photos. I was focused on eating and laughing).
- When we did eat out, we had the concierge call the restaurant and explain our food allergy situation so there was no difficulty or confusion caused by language barriers.
- Every single morning I took a walk at dawn (pool photo above). My dawn walk is an essential component of my anti-anxiety regimen. That walk soothes, centers and calms me. But it only works if I go while the world is still largely at rest. There’s just something about the feeling in the air at that hour. For me, a dawn walk is medicinal. A walk after dawn is just a walk.
- We were gone over Easter, so I surprised my daughter (and her friend, who is like a daughter to us) with Easter egg dying supplies. (egg photo).
- There is a stunning chapel on the grounds of the resort where we stayed (bottom right photo). I discovered it on one of my dawn walks, and the sight literally stopped me in my tracks. There was stillness all around. First light had just broken. And here was this chapel, doors flung open, lights ablaze. It just beckoned me in, and I dropped to my knees and felt God’s presence. Experiences like that are one of the many reasons I walk at dawn. It would not have been the same at high noon.
- Neither my daughter or I can tolerate onions, which obviously rules out most restaurant food. But the great thing about Mexico is the guacamole is usually made table side. So, we simply asked them to hold the onion (guac photo). It was such a treat for my daughter and I to get to actually eat guacamole at a restaurant. You have no idea.
- I lost my beloved brother a few years ago, and orange is the color we use to remember him. Orange is always popping up at the most unexpected moments. One morning on my walk, I came across orange flowers scattered along the path, so I put one in my shoe so my brother could walk with me. (shoe photo).
- You may think I look thin in the top three photos, but I weigh significantly more than when we made this same trip last year. It’s a joy for me to see the difference. And I am no longer adverse to having my photo taken with bare arms, which I avoided for years because I looked so skeletal. Credit my liquid diet for the weight gain. (PS – my daughter is a rock climber and extremely buff, so you can’t compare my arms to hers).
- To keep my fatigue in check, I made sure to plan down time each day, and I got plenty of sleep. Both are critical for me. (no photo).
So, there you go. The vacation I would have blogged about if I was a blogger.