arthritis foundation, conference, juvenile arthritis, travel

How being on the beach helped me feel amazing

While T and I were in Florida, we tried to hit beaches when we could. It wasn’t just because these beaches actually bordered an ocean instead of a lake.

I was almost six when we got my misdiagnosis of leukemia. I had to make a bucket list during that time – nothing that a child should have to do, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to do so. At that point, my list consisted of things like going to the fair, seeing a movie, and going to the beach.

Part of the reason I loved the Oregon coast so much was that it is where the Sea Lion Caves are. If you’re ever in the area, it’s a must-see.

Regardless, the coast was always my happy place. The coast in the Northwest is almost always cold and windy, but beautiful nonetheless. I loved walking in the sand, exploring the caves, and playing in the water.

We never did get to go too much growing up, so one of the things T and I did when we were out in Oregon in 2010 was spend the better part of a week on the coast.

Getting back to the bucket list idea… I never really thought I would make it out to Florida. Of course, there’s the draw of Disney World and the other parks, but we were poor and that family couldn’t be bothered to drive an hour to the coast. I doubt any trips to Florida would’ve been in our futures.

Oregon will always be home to me, but there is something so beautiful about traveling and exploring the amazing things in the world. We hit up a couple of beaches in Florida and got to catch some great pictures.

It was interesting though. Many of the days we visited the beaches, we went later in the day because we had done something big earlier in the day. I should’ve been exhausted and passed out in my bed, but here I was at these beaches seeing turtles and turtle nests and beautiful storms roll in.

It reinvigorated me. It gave me the energy to keep going so we could go get dinner or drive more or whatever it was that we had to do.

Maybe that’s why I wanted to go so much when I was little and so sick. Maybe, somehow, nature helped me to feel my best even when nothing else could.

While I’m in California next week, I definitely want to visit at least one beach. I hope that you’ll join me on my MedX journey Sept 24-27! I’ll be live-tweeting the whole time so hit me up @kirstie_schultz, catch the live streams at the Medicine X website, and join in the conversations using the tag #MedX.


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