Backlash, Hate, and Ignorance – The Risk of Blogging

I don’t blog about blogging very often – it’s just too meta. But blogging for me is essentially wearing my chronic illness on my sleeve and anyone who has ever done that in any form knows that it’s a risky business. I strongly urge you to be open anyway, because for every negative experience I promise you’ll have a meaningful, positive impact on someone else who’s suffering, whether you find out about it or not. We all need to know we’re not alone.

But like I said – bad stuff will happen. Coworkers, friends, and even family will make snide remarks, try to tell you it’s all in your head, or worse. And while the majority of the time these things are said with good intentions, they still sting.

Then of course, there are things said with the intent to wound, and those sting too. They’re a bit easier to shake off, though, at least to me. I’ll never forget my first “flame” comment. “Flaming” or “Trolling” are internet terms for users who comment with the intent to provoke, often using profanity and personal insults. The term “Don’t feed the trolls” comes from the idea that if someone directly opposes what you post in a volatile and argumentative way, the best course of action is to do nothing. They’re trying to get a response and you can only win by not responding.

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My first flame comments were all from one user, Continue reading

Chronic Travel Bug: Tennessee

First stop, Nashville:

After a longer than anticipated stop in Arkansas, we arrived in Nashville very late at night. We were really way too tired to do anything, but we wanted to get dinner and hear a little live music if we could find anywhere open. Even though it was raining, I still really wanted to see Nashville’s “Broadway” honky tonk street, so we set out hoping a bar somewhere was open.

Imagine our surprise when we arrived downtown to streets packed with people, gridlock traffic, and live music blasting from every lit-up bar.

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Why was Nashville pumping at 1:00 AM on a Thursday night? And oh God, why are so many of these women in leotards? Continue reading

Chronic Travel Bug: Arkansas

When we were planning our trip, one of the first things we did was check out the tourism websites for each state we’d be passing through. The most disappointing one was Arkansas. We didn’t know much about the sate, and this website didn’t seem to either. It was like…. “Yup, we’ve got trees and stuff…ummm….you know, some parks.” Nothing that you’d travel specifically to come see. So we planned on making a quick stop in Texarkana and winging it the rest of the way.

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Now, a little bit of history. Continue reading

I somehow left this out of my road trip post. No road trip is complete without passionate sing-a-longs. Disclaimer – don’t do it in the pouring rain like I did, haha.

Also, there is such a thing as road trip karma. I remember thinking at the sunny outset of our trip how odd it was that out of the many road trips I’d taken growing up, it had never once rained while we were driving. As you can see, this was rectified. It caused a LOT of traffic. Pair that with the fact that we managed to choose a route that was nothing but construction all the way and we had a lot more driving hours than we planned for.

Interesting point, too – when we were planning this trip months ago, google maps warned us of the construction but we thought they’d surely be done before we left. So it’s worth re-routing, even early in the game, if you notice construction on your route.

One last note: this was the first road trip I’ve ever taken that was almost exclusively through forests. Driving through the mountains was nice, but the trees got monotonous. Part of the reason you do a road trip is to “find America” as Simon and Garfunkle say – but I had a hard time seeing America for the trees. ;)

State-by-state breakdown coming soon! In the mean time, join me on Twitter today at 3 PM ET for a #hachat about traveling with illness! Sign on for some great tips and share your travel dream destinations!