How Planning a Vacation Helps Me Cope with PF
If you’ve been part of our forums community for awhile, you’re likely aware of my deep passion for traveling. If given the choice, I’d happily give up the structure and security of my daily life and travel the world. One of my favourite quotes about travel is: “if traveling were free, you’d never see me again”. In addition to being aware of my love of traveling, you’ve probably also read in my columns or other forum posts that my biggest fear after being diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) was that I’d lose my ability to travel. I am so grateful to say that this hasn’t happened…. yet.
Not only do I love the physical act of traveling and seeing different parts of the world; I also love the planning aspect of all of it. In fact, I’d argue that planning a vacation helps me cope with my lung disease.
I am currently in the thick of planning a three week solo trip to Hawaii and while it is overwhelming at times, it has been beneficial for me in many different ways. I was recently speaking to an elderly woman who is also traveling to Hawaii via a cruise from Vancouver in September, and I was stunned to hear the high price she paid for her trip. On the contrary, she was so interested in learning how I’ve saved money and have planned my trip to/from Hawaii at a very reasonable cost using online resources. We both laughed when she called me “gutsy and young”, as she stated she’d never be able to plan a trip or go on her own like I plan to do come September. What I neglected to tell her is how beneficial planning this trip has been for me. Nor did I tell her that it helps me cope with life as a young adult living with a fatal lung disease. Let me explain.
There are many different ways that planning my trip to Hawaii has helped me during difficult times with IPF, here are some of them:
- It gives me a goal to work towards.
- It is something positive to focus on and look forward to.
- It requires me to be intentional about my budgeting and save for something exciting. When you work hard at saving/budgeting for something, the reward just feels so much better!
- Makes me feel normal. Traveling is a normal activity for young adults, and I am thankful it is still one I can participate in despite the abnormality of living with a life-threatening lung disease at thirty one.
Can you relate to the benefits of planning a trip and how it helps you cope with IPF/PF?
Maybe it isn’t planning a trip, but something else: what activity/action helps you cope better with your lung disease?
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