Epilepsy and Travel, Part Two

In just a few days, I have planned to go on a trip. Not a little trip. Not a weekend trip, or even a week long trip. I am going on a trip FOR A MONTH. A month. An entire month of travel. We are talking travel. Not an all-inclusive, or to one location. We aren’t even talking two places. THREE.


The plan is to start by flying to Halifax for a week-ish to run a couple of races (approximately 4,800 kilometres from Calgary).


Then, since I’ll already be halfway there, I plan to fly to Scotland to do a race at Loch Ness (approximately 4,200 kilometres from Halifax), then get down to Edinburgh. So a couple weeks in Scotland.


Then, all the way back across the Atlantic Ocean and Canada to Victoria (approximately 7,100 kilometres from Glasgow) to run a marathon. So a few days on that island.


I am so excited. So excited. I get to eat on both sides of the Atlantic, and both coasts of Canada. I’ve never even been to the eastern part of Canada. I’m going to eat everything everywhere. I won’t be running as much as rolling across the finish lines. It’s been 8 years since I’ve gone anywhere internationally as well (outside Canada and the US) so that’s super exciting. If I successfully complete all of the races, I will have run 78.3 kilometres (plus any training in the meantime). I will have travelled over 17,000 kilometres.


Somehow I have to plan and pack clothes for a month (including a lot of athletic gear) into a backpack. I still have to decide where I am going to stay for a couple nights in Scotland and book a room (or just sleep in the airport, I’ve done it before). As my usual process, I’ll probably pack too many pairs of shoes (although this time they will be running sneakers) and not enough shirts. The worst problem I have is actually just that I own athletic wear, t-shirts from concerts, races and breweries, and formal work stuff.


I was chatting with a co-worker today and she asked me what would happen if I had a seizure in the airport? That’s a good question. Hopefully I won’t hit my head. Hopefully it will be tiny and no one will notice. However, if it is a tonic-clonic seizure, I will likely be taken to a hospital and miss my flight. What that means to me, is that I will have to purchase another flight for another day. This has happened before and I’ve written about this before. The reality of being a person with epilepsy means that there is always that risk when travelling. I’m not going to stay home to avoid having seizures in airports. Or on trains, because I will be taking a train to get into the Highlands and taking a train seems like just the coolest thing ever.


I am travelling alone for a portion of the trip as well. Potentially a questionable decision on my part. However, if the option is to stay home and not travel because no one feels like going to the Highlands with me, or to go alone, I’d rather go alone. I would rather anything besides just accepting the situation that I am in as a limitation. Everyone has things in their lives that they value. One of the things that I very strongly value is travel. I am absolutely not going to let my condition, “the way things are”, stop me from experiencing the way they can be.


I’m running on this trip because I love to run. I am celebrating on this trip because I have had a very rough few months and recent circumstances have made things more challenging. I am going to eat so much food I will weigh more for each leg of the journey.


There are times, lately especially, where I feel like I live in a world full of “no”. Where it’s all about the things I “can’t do”, or “shouldn’t do”. Where I have to accept things the way they are because that’s the way they’ve always been. Maybe things have always been that way. Maybe I shouldn’t do certain things. Maybe I can’t.


And maybe, juuuuuuuust maybe, the little adventures like this are my way of reminding myself that I can. That I can, and that I will. The question should instead maybe be whether or not I’ll come back.

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