Travel and Chronic Pain

As I write this I am looking forward to lunch with travel author Liz Hamill Scott. That's not Liz Hamill Scott.jpgonly because she is a prolific and talented writer about the state that surrounds me - California. It is also because she travels with chronic pain. With a writer's perception she has gathered her experiences together and will be publishing a book


While most readers will want me to jump into the details and practicalities of Liz's insights I want to tell a different story here. I will let Liz be the expert on content - and encourage you to pre-order her book, "The Imperfect Traveler's Guide to Traveling with Pain."

Pain is a silently isolating disability. It changes everything while nothing apparent is different.

My chronic pain is relatively minimal and recently infrequent. What is isolating is its ambiguity.  

 It is a private experience whether it occurs when you are alone or in public. A flare of chronic pain can be disorienting like a light going out in a dark room. It can be distracting like an annoying noise. It can be dis-animating like an odor that invisibly fills a space displacing the ability to enjoy it. And in that drawing inwards one loses continuity of connection with one's environment and companions. A flash of pain across one's face looks remarkably similar to disapproval of the the person you are speaking to. The self-preservation body awareness reflex or dazed look that comes on can be equally confusing to others. To explain is to end up teaching a class about yourself.

Liz is opening up a topic that needs much more strategic thinking within the travel and hospitality industry. Here is one instance of the ripple effect she has had in the words of travel writer Lanora Schoeny Mueller:

Yesterday, I launched a actual, honest-to-gosh niche blog,Traveling Pains, as a platform for a topic about which I can say, without pride, I am an expert. Content is still sketchy, and the design is spare, but I did finally use my license for Thesis on a start-from-scratch Wordpress site. I've had the idea kicking around for some years, but it wasn't until I discovered Liz Hamill Scott's blog on the same topic, Travels With Pain, that I overcame my fear of outing myself as an expert on coping with hidden disability and chronic pain.

More from Lanora:

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