If you are a regular reader of my blog, you would have seen that I have recently been spending some time over in Spain. You will also know by now that I suffer with a long term chronic illness.

Travelling with a chronic illness is a very big ordeal. Travelling abroad can be difficult enough for healthy people - It's a long tiring day with lots of waiting around at the airport. Luggage needs to be taken care of and if you are anything like me you will always over pack, and the majority of people I saw at the airport definitely didn't seem to be opting for travelling light either, as they struggled to carry as much as they possible could. There's all the queueing up and then of course comes that long walk from customs to the aeroplane that always seems to go on forever. So imagine how difficult it is for those of us that struggle enough to get up and dressed in the morning. But why should the chronically ill have to go without a nice holiday abroad just because we are sick and can't handle the travelling?

Fortunately for me, I was lucky enough to be able to go abroad for a while, something I didn't think I would be able to do for a long time, and god knows I needed the break after such a long and difficult couple of years in bed! But that was all before I found out about the special assistance service available at most airports. If it wasn't for this service there is absolutely no way it would have been possible for me to travel. Physically or mentally. The assistance basically means you are given special treatment (in a good way) as soon as you arrive at airport number one, right up until you leave the doors of airport number two. They cut out all the waiting about as much as they can and I even got a race with another wheelchair user thrown in as we used neighbouring lifts - we won in case you were wondering...

I have my own wheelchair, and I was able to take that with me for my holiday. But if you don't have your own wheelchair, they can supply one for use at the airport. You have the option to have one of the airport staff escort you fast track through customs, or if you prefer one of your party can wheel you through. You are also permitted to take with you any mobility equipment you need - crutches, canes etc and the whole service is free.

I was the first to board the plane and they had reserved a whole row especially for me so I would have plenty of room and could sit quietly and comfortably. I was pleased to discover this as I had been dreading sitting next to anyone who was loud and annoying! I was given help with my luggage, and I jumped the queues so I was never left waiting around surrounded by noise and overall I was given help with everything I could have needed it with. The staff were extremely polite and helpful at both ends and made a conscious effort to check and ask that I was okay and if I needed anything throughout the day.

The travelling still left me feeling exhausted, and I did have to put on a brave face but I was happy to endure the pain for the day because it meant I was able to have a lovely time in Spain.

I can't recommend the service enough to anybody who might struggle with travelling.

I'm now back in England and I must admit the temperature difference has hit me hard but I'm very happy to be able to drink a decent cup of tea at last! And on that note, I think I'm going to go and boil the kettle.

x Hayley-Eszti

Travelling abroad with a chronic illness

As my time here in Spain draws to an end, (for the summer at least) My boyfriend and I decided to take a little trip to the mountains. The drive is about 30 minutes from the house and it's definitely a very scenic route! We drove up the winding roads and the first stop was one of our favourite lakes. We were able to admire the view but sadly to get down to the water requires a lot of walking down steep rocks, something that I am not able to do in my chronically ill state, much to my disappointment as the water looked so refreshing! 

It worked out really well though, because we decided to drive further north and we were so lucky to find an amazing spot on the roadside with some absolutely stunning views. It was so peaceful, and so beautiful. The temperature was perfect too, escaping 40 degrees for a while meant that we weren't uncomfortable. The only thing that made me uncomfortable was a big wild lizard which ran out on me and scared me to death! That and Alex getting too close to the edge.

It was a lovely way to spend the last day off Alex will have before I leave, and as always I appreciated being able to leave the house, especially to be able to do it in such relaxing surroundings. I'm not sure how high up we were exactly, but it was high! The ants up there were HUGE, There were also lots of pretty butterflies flying around. Luckily no bears. All we could see for miles were mountains, water and one house in the distance - god knows how far they have to travel to do their food shopping.

Feel free to leave a comment telling me how jealous you are...

Enjoy your week! 



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