Adventuring Through Chronic Pain

Every time I travel, I think about my very wrong Ex who told me we could probably never travel together because of my illness. I know her comment shouldn’t bother me all these years later, but it does. Because it was ignorant, because it was wrong, and because it was mean. Once again, I have taken myself on a vacation, and this one has been the wildest one yet. Hiking, ziplining, ATV-ing, snorkeling, and off-road driving. Even a stay in an eco-lodge, 2 1/2 hours deep into the rainforest. I didn’t do it to prove a point, I did it because it was a dream vacation that I’ve wanted to do for years. I wasn’t about to let a little chronic pain and illness stop me. Why should I? I only have one life and I want to live it.

IMG_1981Hello Costa Rica!

My vacation plans took me to Costa Rica. The weather was hot and humid (perhaps even a bit too hot as I broke out into a heat rash half way through the trip). Yes, I now direct sunlight isn’t good for my condition, but when in Rome… My friend whom I traveled with, I’ve known for years but this was our first trip together. She also has a few health issues, so we both had to navigate activities, sleep issues, and food restrictions (well, I mostly ignored food restrictions). These all warrant separate posts, so I’m going to start this one with activities.

IMG_1811You’ll have to excuse my airplane hair, sleeping on the plane was the only way I could get through Day 1.

Day 1: Low key in San Jose. We arrived at 10:30am, got our rental car and checked into our hotel. Then we had a little trip to the National Museum of Costa Rica, and a dinner at a “soda” (yes, we ate locally, had a typhoid shot before hand, but honestly all the food was amazing and neither of us got sick). Bedtime: 10:00pm

IMG_1818Posing at the National Museum of Costa Rica. Education is important!

Day 2: Road trip to the Cloud Forest. We left San Jose after breakfast and headed out. Pit stopped at a Animal Rescue which was so cute and a great cause we were happy to donate some money to. Then a windy, twisty road literally up to the clouds and checked into our hotel in Monteverde. That evening, after dinner, we did a Night Tour of the forest, which was honestly a back and forth workout, running around to follow the guide as he showed us some pretty cool animals. Wakeup: 5:30am. Bedtime: 9:30pm

IMG_1871Baby two-toed sloth! My favourite! At the Animal Rescue centre.

Day 3: Adventures in the Cloud Forest. After breakfast we went Ziplining, which included the Superwoman and Tarzan Swing. Adrenaline rush. I did throw out a rib during the Superwoman… definitely need to see my chiropractor now that I’m back in Canada. Afterwards we headed into the Reserve for a 3 hour hike, finding animals and checking out a waterfall. On the way back to the town, we stopped in at a Bat Rescue and got to see some pretty fascinating creatures! Then we headed into town for dinner, and had some drinks and a little dance party for two at the hotel. Wakeup: 5:30am. Bedtime: 9:30pm

897209c5-3e04-4eb6-aed4-79f1ba71c2dfI am Superwoman!

Day 4: Road trip to the Beach. After breakfast we packed up the car, said goodbye to the clouds and drove for a few hours to our next destination. We tried to do a side trip to a waterfall, which was a bust and a very twisty road. And then another side trip to a hot springs… also a bust and a bit of an off-roading experience. When we finally got to Manuel Antonio, we mostly just wanted to drink, eat and relax on our amazing sunset view balcony.

IMG_2088Beautiful view and a hammock to relax in, in Manuel Antonio.

Okay. This has been a long post so I’m going to wrap it up. Next post will continue the activity adventures. Then expect some posts on sleep issues, humidity, pain, and food. Remember, you can still live even if it’s modified. Pain doesn’t stop this warrior.