Musings of a High-Risk Wanderluster

Navigating intense wanderlust and cancer recovery at 22

‘hello!’

MY WANDERLUST GOT STRONGER IN LOCKDOWN

I suppose it’s always when we can’t do something, we want to most. And that’s certainly true with me; Being in lockdown, my wanderlust has become excruciating. I find myself sitting in front of travel-related websites more often than is probably healthy, nowadays, and I think about it almost as soon as I start my day. I don’t see it as a bad thing, since it’s something to look forward to, but I can definitely say my wanderlust has gotten a lot stronger during it!

ADVENTURE IS EVERYWHERE

On that note: Adventure doesn’t have to be limited to somewhere abroad. My first big step out into the real world again was seeing my friend Ben, socially distanced and outdoors. We went for a walk and came across a stream, and ended up kicking our shoes and socks off, shoving them in my rucksack, and wading up-river. As a whole, our day consisted of paddling in the river, running around the forest barefoot, climbing trees, accidentally winding up in someone’s back garden (oops) and picking grass out of hair. It was completely unplanned, and it was amazing.

SOMETIMES THINGS JUST SUCK, AND THAT’S OKAY

Now, let’s be realistic — Sometimes positivity is exhausting. Sometimes looking for ‘the right perspective’ becomes tiring. Some days just won’t go according to plan, and as much as I believe that there’s good to be found in everything — it’s okay if you can’t find it. It’s okay if you don’t want to find it. Sometimes things just suck. Looking for a positive approach is always good, but not always sustainable, so make sure not to place unrealistic expectations on yourself and don’t be hard on yourself if you just can’t put a positive spin on things. That’s okay.

‘you cannot pour from an empty glass!’

IT’S NORMAL TO FEEL ANXIOUS AS THINGS REOPEN

I don’t know about anyone else, but I have extremely mixed feelings about things reopening again. On the one hand, I miss airports and travelling. I can’t wait to sit in a boarding lounge again with a cup of coffee and my kindle, waiting for the loudspeakers to announce my flight is now boarding.

SO WHAT ARE MY PLANS?

First and foremost: I am going to visit my best friends. They live in Norway, and I haven’t seen them since January 2020. I was due to leave on the 18th, actually, but due to some issues with the passport office things have been delayed a bit. Probably for the best, though, since I’ve managed to give myself tendonitis in my foot from walking too much!

It’s been a while since I’ve had hair this colour… Or this short!
In the meantime, I’ve been doing some adventuring closer to home. This is from the top of Cavehill!

WE NEED EVERYONE TO DO THEIR PART

As I said — I’m a vulnerable person. My disability may not be outwardly visible, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. I am recovering from advanced cancer, and COVID could be devastating for me. I’ve done everything I can to minimise the risk, both to myself and to others, but there will always be risk to some degree.

22, Northern Ireland, recovering from stage 4 cancer. A small artist with big dreams.🌱