Four years ago I was 24 years old and seemingly had the world at my feet and was in the prime of my life. I had finished my university degree and just become a CPA, had a good job, was extremely fit and dedicated to training and enjoyed a hectic and fun filled social life.
Coming up to Christmas 2008 I started to experience unexplained tiredness and was generally feeling unwell. Two months later I found myself totally confined to bed or the couch by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, barely able to even care for myself and with constant excruciating pain surging through my body as a result of fibromyalgia. For a period of time I was so overwhelmed with a bone crushing fatigue that I had no ability to even watch television, speak for more than 2 minutes and the biggest achievement of my day would be making it the 5 metres to the toilet and back from my bed. I thought that life could not possibly be worse.
It was during this time that my life priorities totally changed. My quest to be financially secure and “get ahead” in life meant nothing without my health or the ability to function as a normal human being. I decided that if and when I got better I would go on adventures, travel overseas and take risks rather than play it safe and be concerned about money.
Very slowly my health began to improve and after eight months off work I had recovered enough to return to work one day a week for 3 hours per day. This was the limit of my capacity to be able to focus and concentrate on work related tasks before I would be totally exhausted and unable to continue. My abilities gradually increased until I could start to entertain the idea of going on the travel adventure I had dreamed of when at the peak of my illness.
In September 2010 I set off on a round the world trip with my housemate David to Europe, the UK & Ireland and the USA. One of the early highlights was hiring four wheel motorbikes in the Greek islands. Sitting on the bike on top of a cliff in the unbelievably beautiful scenery of Mykonos with pristine weather and a long neck beer in hand will forever be one of the best moments of my life. I can only hope that everyone gets to experience something like that.
Since the 2010 trip I have taken another two overseas trips and in two months will be embarking on my second round the world trip. My health is continuing to improve and I am now able to work four days per week and regularly play social sports and workout in the gym. Coming from the lows of my illness I now appreciate much more the chances I get to have fun and look forward to many more perfect moments like that day in Mykonos on my future travel adventures.