Everything Hurts

summer

Traveling Pains

Amanda VinciComment

I've been traveling a lot lately, and like most people, I love it. But unlike most people, traveling can actually cause me to be in more pain than I'm usually in. New and uncomfortable mattresses, long plane or car rides, extra physical activity and an unhealthy diet are all culprits in making some time away mean some time in a flare. I haven't let that threat stop me yet, and although I haven't been able to completely avoid being in pain for traveling, I've got some keys🔑 to being as comfortable as possible during your vacation.

🔑 GET AN AISLE SEAT
Flying on a plane? Make sure to get yourself an aisle seat ahead of time. Sometimes if they're not available the desk attendant can help you out before you board if you say it's for medical reasons! I've found that having an aisle seat means more room to stretch your leg and arm out when someone's not walking by, easier access to the bathrooms and less people touching you unexpectedly. If you're lucky you'll be able to get one that allows the side that hurts the most to get the most room.

🔑 CUSHION IT
Whether you're driving or flying, bringing at least one small cushion with you allows you to prop yourself in ways to avoid pain. Some years ago I purchased this memory foam pebble pillow from MUJI that I always sleep with and travel with. Sadly, I can't find it anywhere anymore, so my old one is one of my most treasured possessions. When I forget to pack it along, my whole trip is out of sync.

Kayaking on Eagle Lake, PA

Kayaking on Eagle Lake, PA

🔑 PLAN IT
I'm a self confessed over-planner. For every trip I go on, work or pleasure, I make myself a Google doc itinerary and save sights and restaurants on my Foursquare. Planning ahead assures me not only that I'm getting to all the spots I wouldn't want to miss, but that I'm not over doing it each day.

I beautiful Airbnb with good mattresses can make all the difference! Austin, TX

I beautiful Airbnb with good mattresses can make all the difference! Austin, TX

🔑 BUDDY UP
Traveling with your emotional support animal can make all the difference in having a comfortable vacation. Contact the airline, hotel or airbnb you will be visiting to make sure you're good to go with your buddy. If you're planning on taking them to restaurants also either make sure they have an outdoor space or are cool with the animal being inside of the establishment. I recently had the most wonderful experience bringing Sneaky Weasel to the Dancing Cat Saloon in the Catskills of NY! They gave him a big bowl of cool water, let him use the rest room and even interviewed him for their Facebook live! 

Sneaky Weasel hits the great outdoors in Eagle Lake, PA

Sneaky Weasel hits the great outdoors in Eagle Lake, PA

🔑 EAT UP
As soon as I touchdown in a new city, I can't wait to taste test the local eats. Planning which places I have to go to beforehand helps me to make healthier choices and assures I'm getting exactly what I want. Being a spoonie often means limited food choices, and can be hard to stick to your diet in uncharted territory. I'm pretty guilty of going way off path, but knowing where to go takes away the stress of finding something edible on the menu.

Delicious Pasta alla Checca (gluten free and vegan options available) at  Hillside Farmacy  in Austin, TX

Delicious Pasta alla Checca (gluten free and vegan options available) at Hillside Farmacy in Austin, TX

Insanely good Chilaquiles at  La Condesa  in Austin, TX

Insanely good Chilaquiles at La Condesa in Austin, TX

🔑GEAR UP
Take travel sizes of everything you use on a daily basis to fight pain in your cargo. Muscle rubs, extra meds, stretch straps and muscle tape always makes it's way into my bag. If you wouldn't go a day without it at home, don't think you can go a day without it on vacation.

My favorite bath bombs and essential oils made tub time at the  Glen Cove Mansion  a sweet escape.

My favorite bath bombs and essential oils made tub time at the Glen Cove Mansion a sweet escape.

🔑TAKE YOUR TIME
I'm a doer, not a relaxer. I'm the first one to get bored laying out by the water or hanging around the hotel room. Something I've been working on lately is enjoying the peace of freedom from the everyday. Your time away should be filled with beautiful sights, culture and adventure, but it should also be about you caring for yourself. Make sure to set aside time to heal mentally and physically and you'll notice the difference when you get back to reality.

Pain Free Summer Shoes

Amanda VinciComment
summershoes.jpg

Just because everything hurts, doesn't mean you can't rock some cute kicks.
Here are my top 6 pain free picks for this summer.

1. These classic Nike Air Max's are the ultimate in retro cool, and the most comfortable sneakers you can buy. They're supportive around the foot and ankle, and the raised heel gives you a nice lift, taking some pressure off of the spine. I wore these for months after foot surgery – they were the only thing I could walk in. Air Max's come in every color combination imaginable, and since they're Nike's you can customize them to your liking. 

2. BARGAIN BUY! And oh man are these sandals perfect. Refresh makes a few styles of these light-weight sling back sandals that I never want to take off. The elastic bands are soft and flexible, making it easy to wear out for the day without worrying about tightness and swelling.

3. Flip flops will never be the ideal footwear for anyone in pain, but nothing says summer like throwing on your favorite pair. If you're going to wear them, make them Havianas. They have a thick sole, and nice wide bands, which help you to feel a bit more sturdy when trekking through the sand. Bonus: all the fun prints and colors there are to choose from.

4. Frye is my go to brand for leather boots, so when I saw that they made a stylish pair of slip ons, I had to give them a try. After wearing them a few times to break them in, I decided they were worth the splurge. They're all leather, which means they're not ideal for super hot or humid weather, and not the best for long walks in the city. They remind me a lot of Tom's, but with more structure and a sturdier sole, and they slip on in 5 seconds flat. 

5. I bought these New Balance 696's right before a trip to California. I knew I'd be doing a lot of walking, and a little bit of hiking, so I wanted sneakers that weren't going to make my feet feel like they were on fire. 696's are light as a feather, with a thick but flexible soles. They're fashionable, but kind of remind me of wearing slippers outdoors. They passed my test of desert exploration, and keep looking cute at my physical therapy sessions.

6. Converse are timeless, but that doesn't mean you should wear them all the time. My therapist often reminds me that they don't qualify as sneakers, so I like to think of them as a more supportive pair of flats. Perfect for light walking or hanging out at a summer BBQ, you'll always feel on point in these all-American Chucks.