I have always loved travel and could not imagine it not being part of my life. Nine months before COVID wreaked havoc on the world and the travel industry I began a journey of a different sort. Out of the blue, I was diagnosed with vestibular neuritis, which is, simply put, an inflammation of the inner ear nerve that first manifests itself with severe, room-spinning, vertigo. My brain raced like a cheetah while my body was akin to a drunken baby giraffe. Thinking of challenges in my life, marathons I have run, mountains I have trekked, this vestibular condition has been the most challenging of all. According to Google, vestibular neuritis “usually improves after a few days. However, the symptoms can take about three weeks to subside”. Google is wrong.
Two and a half years later I have reclaimed my life with a few caveats, one of which is constant equalization of my ears; changes in weather, environment, room, temperature, altitude, etc, affect them. The one key piece that I want back is travel. So, the question remains, what is it like to fly? There are a multitude of answers coming from fellow “vesties”, ranging from horrible vertigo to nothing at all. This Wednesday I am getting on a plane to find my answer. This will be my first flight since returning from Thailand in April 2019, which is a whole other story in itself.
When considering my test flight I wanted somewhere far enough away that the plane would get to a proper cruising altitude but close enough that I still have access to the Canadian medical system and, worst case scenario, can return by train or bus. Somewhere new to me, open to explore and a place to rekindle my love of travel. Given what the last couple of years have brought, it will be an emotional journey. I am happy, excited, a bit nervous and so, so grateful for the recovery, both my own and that of the travel industry. Stay tuned, my friends…Destination Winnipeg.
Visit https://vestibular.org/ to learn more about vestibular conditions.