I love travelling. I love being somewhere with different sights. In that I’m not that different from my NT (neurotypical) sister. But I have a checklist that relates to my Aspie nature as well as my Arthritis, my Irlen Syndrome, my PTSD, my Asthma, and my Endometriosis that others wouldn’t even think about.
If I’m travelling I need to look at the following:
- Am I going alone? If so can I avoid being in crowds for too long? If not, will I be able to find somewhere to escape to before the Sensory Overload kicks in?
- How much pain medication am I likely going to have to pack?
- Which pain meds do I bring?
- Can I access want I want to do with my walking stick or crutches?
- What are the potential triggers I face on this trip?
- Do I have enough antidepressants and anti anxiety meds?
- If I am going with someone can they recognise the signs of a meltdown and do they know how to handle it?
- What sort of air quality am I facing? Do I need both inhalers? Have I packed my asthma card in my wallet in case I get hospitalised?
- Do I need travel insurance? If so does it cover pre-existing conditions? How much of my holiday budget will that take up?
- What sort of lighting do the places I want to see have? And will my tints be enough? Should I pack my baseball cap too?
These are the things I look at before I even book my tickets. As an adult I have less meltdowns but I still stim. I’ve stopped caring what those stims look like to others. But there was a time I would have factored that into my list as well.
You would think that cities are ruled out by that list. But they aren’t. Even somewhere busy like London has quieter spaces. The Starbucks I’m sat in as I write this is calm, lit softly, relaxing. I’m here with my sis but able to retreat into my quiet calm space after facing the crowds. And I know should I go into a meltdown, have an anxiety attack, a flashback, an asthma attack, or go into sensory overload, she knows what to do.
I can enjoy travelling in my own way. But I will always be grateful to return to the comfort of my own home at the end of the trip.