A Travel To-Do List
by Jade Parker
Travel and self-care while living with chronic illness require tapping into all five human senses to feel our way through our journeys to choose what is healthiest.
After I became a travel nurse in 2018, I learned this freedom to travel the world also came along with much responsibility. But once I realized it was MY responsibility to learn and know what is best for me, it became easier to ensure the quality of life was always within arms’ reach.
Here are my Top 5 To-Dos & Resources that make traveling the world with chronic illness an enjoyable journey:
1. Write a Travel Letter - Get with your provider to have a document prepared in the possibility you’ll experience a health emergency while you’re away from home. It’ll include things like normal meds you take and your provider’s contact info. This advocacy letter gives new medical providers guidance on best practices when it’s difficult to relay the message yourself while in crisis. There’s no worse feeling than going to ER for help and care, and due to a lack of confidence or exposure to your condition, they cannot or will not provide adequate treatment.
2. Know Your Baseline - Discuss and learn the lab values that are normal for you when attending routine checkups. Should they ever change (and they will), you can help find solutions to get you back to ground level to ensure your health and safety.
3. Create a Small Emergency Fund – Start small, and build from there. Money for unforeseen expenses including transportation, favorite snacks/comforting items, travel kits, and prescriptions are a few of the costs associated with dealing with chronic illness, and definitely come in handy.
4. Utilize Your Support System - Traveling with must-have self-care items can reduce the anxiety and fear of traveling foreign territory. Also look to trusted friends, family, loved ones, and life groups that keep you anchored, and energized while on the move. These spaces that support your holistic health journey provide the necessary reassurance that you’re not alone in your journey.
5. Last but not least, HAVE FAITH! - In your capabilities and willingness to push through. There’s no need to feel ashamed, embarrassed, or overly burdened. The joy lies in the moments we sense heaven on earth. Let your desire to travel and fight chronic illness build you into a holistic health warrior!
If you’re like me, seeing and believing in good health + independence to travel is exhilarating! While I don’t have all the answers, I know travel and independence look different for everyone due to experiences and circumstances. Be encouraged with these starting points to build the quality of life you want and desire. Even if it takes a little work and creative thinking. You’ve got this! We’ve got this. This is simply what finding joy in the journey has looked like, for me.
Joyful traveling, my warrior friends!
Jade J. Parker is a registered nurse, sickle cell patient advocate, and Indianapolis native. Now founder & CEO of holistic beauty and wellness company ROJOrganics, she combines her nursing scope + childhood diagnosis to help melanin-rich individuals unlock the transformative atmosphere of the Jordan River through creating luxury self-care regimens for healing.
Learn more about Jade J. Parker:
Personal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jadeparker
Company LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/rojorganics