Healing Ramble: Chronic Dude, logistical notes about “how to deal with traveling”

Memo: What follows comes from my erstwhile “Healing Journal” – written/compiled on a foggy meandering journey to various countries visiting all manner of hospitals, clinics and exploring various healing modalities and techniques.

Shared here more-or-less unedited for posterity (whatever that is) and to shed light to those struggling who might come across this riff. Please watch the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series.

(also riffs already from Thailand, India etc + tips about pros/cons and how-to logistics coming…)

Notes & Travel Tactics / summary

  • Comfort Kit and crash kit
  • Flight time: afternoon or energy time (no early or late night)
  • Airport hotels with bathtub for pre and post flight … wheel right to checkin
  • One place and be part of community 
  • Postcard and scrapbooks along the way … send home by Post offices
  • Playlists
  • Stretches – aisle seat
  • Massage
  • Coconut water/hydration
  • Wheelchair service
  • Block out airport stimulation (blue specs, ear plugs… )
  • Break it up / short hops, stay over
  • Medication CBD/RSO (but don’t take it with you!)
  • First on, Last off
  • Pack extra light, easy schlepp, buy stuff if needed and ditch it)
  • Travel uniform (slippers, compression socks, track suit, slip on shoes
  • Pick the right place
  • Places to get medical help: Thai, India, seems weird but… 
  • Confidence
  • Better than home w/ reruns
  • What are yours? 

Tips and Topics:

  • Crash Mode
  • Triggers (list, notice)
  • Warning signs eyes extremities, foggy, stutter
  • Get to safe place to regroup 
  • Quiet
  • Lights unscrew
  • Sound & batteries
  • Kids
  • Warm and fresh air
  • Electric /weighted blankets
  • Hydration coconut water
  • Magnesium etc. 
  • Soup
  • eyes/ears
  • Bath 
  • Candles
  • Epson/Magnesium/THC Salt
  • No interruption
  • Music/med
  • Reduce ? and sadness? 
  • Slow Docu films
  • Art Postcard therapy
  • Recover – ravenous … no junk!
  • Magnesium is handy
  • Cold bandanas around neck and/or temple
  • Moulded ear plugs
  • Comfy eye mask
  • Perfect pyjamas

How I deal with traveling

Realizing many of these notes were already published another post but here they are again in lieu of tidying up the notes above and adding some snaps for no particular reason.

No early morning or late night/redeye flights. Fly in late morning early afternoon when airports are more chill and your body is awake and capable.

Travel disabled. Get wheelchair service from the counter to the gate. Sometimes it feels like overkill but you skip all the lines and most importantly save a bunch of energy. I have a doctors letter saying I require assistance but I’ve never actually shown it to anyone. I do get a lot of strange looks because I look “fine” but… I’m not and it’s not my fucking problem if they don’t understand

Have an emergency comfort kit for the airport. Custom ear plugs, dark glasses, decent headphones, lavender oil, I even pack pyjamas for the long distance flights.

Pre-book everything and take every upgrade you can (not business and first-class of course) but pre-order vegetarian meals to go easy on your body on the flight, pick your seat, I go towards the back of the plane so I have a better chance of having multiple seats and I’m closer to the toilet and to the galley which makes it easier to get water. 

First on Last off, all good: when you travel disabled you are usually first on and last off the plane. Stay away from the crowds of idiots rushing on and off the plane and just stay in your own headspace.

Don’t fly crappy airlines. It’s super tempting to save to $300 on a trans ocean flight. I get that. But the hell that you go through flying on a substandard airline (this means basically every US based airline, also Chinese based airlines) it’s not worth the money. You’ll lose a day or two just from being beat down from the flight. Flying is hard enough. I love line Asian paste airlines like ANA, JAL, Korean or Singapore. Fly on midweek midday flight and you get killer deals anyway.

Fly on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (cheapest), don’t fly during any kind of holiday or spring break (remember holidays are different in other countries) and scout around define you’re right deal. 

Fly into smaller cities/airport. The hardest part of arriving in a foreign country is the first 24 hours and if you land in the middle of a huge city, it can be totally overwhelming and suck you dry of money and stress you right off the bat. If your flight goes to a main airport, consider switching right in the airport and flying into a smaller city (example fly into Chiang Mai instead of Bangkok, Cochin instead of Delhi). Once you’ve been on the flight for 15 hours crossing in ocean, another 45 minutes isn’t a big deal. Plus, you save that time by having a an easier time getting out of the airport and to your first hotel/accommodations.

Just Right Accomms: I usually find interesting guest houses to stay in but, for the first night or two in a country I realize I am just going to be decompressing from the flight so I stay somewhere right close to the airport, in the case of Japan or Singapore, inside the airport. I get a room with a bathtub as that helps me recover. I order room service and let myself regroup rather than giving myself pressure to “get out there and do things”.

Points game: Get a credit card that gives you travel points so you spend the money on the flight and basically get enough points to buy a hotel room for a night or two anyway. (i don’t overthink or over do this game)

Short Easy Hops: Travel slowly on trains and short hop plans. Don’t try to do rental cars or long-haul busses even if the price is tempting. Always get an upgrade on your short hop flights and trains. The incremental cost is negligible and the little perks make it a lot easier. Around Asia there are several regional discount airlines that get you from second city to second city cheap and cheerful.

yeah, i’ve looked better but this is a good way to keep folks from sitting next to you and starting a convo

Remember Reasons: You are there for medical care and not tourism per se. Yeah you’ll want to do a couple of things but, you have to have the mindset that “if it has a brochure, I’m not doing that” when I have a chance to do “something” I find a café and write postcards, go for a walk around the market, go chill out at a temple rather than going to try to see seven temples, three museums, a cable car ride and a bunch of shit mentioned in the lonely planet guide book. {I’ve never bought a guidebook and don’t plan to.}

Let your senses guide you and get off the beaten path rather than hanging out with a bunch of other “tourist”. I avoid other “travellers” as much as possible. I set my antenna to meet locals, and avoid all the conversations about “where are you from?” “What are you doing here?” “Have you gone to blah blah blah?” “Oh my aunt has fibromyalgia too” — That’s not why you’re there. 

For example I had two nights in a hotel before I checked into the clinic, I went as far as a stationery store to buy some notebooks, and paid an old man to paddle me around the lake in a wooden boat while I wrote some poetry. I didn’t burn all my energy hiking up to the “world peace stupa” as it would’ve been too much for me, instead I gazed at it from a distance, scribbled in my notebook and had a cup of tea.

Then, I hung out at the restaurant at the hotel and watched a group of five Nepali long hair dudes playing cover songs and I became their new pal and hung out with them – can’t buy experience like that.

Meanwhile, all the bars and restaurants down the strip were filled with Australians, Austrians and Americans getting ready for a big treks, downing beers and high-fiving and talking about their home country blah blah blah.

That’s what I have for you at this point. Ask me any questions as I am in the thick of it right now. The good the bad, the happy to sad and all points in between.