My Ugly, Ugly Shoes: A Poorly Planned Holiday
Updated: Feb 11, 2022
My schedule this month is all whacked out, what with a late Easter, a trip this week and all the standard disabled/chronic illness lyf admin, so my history post will be coming a bit later, hopefully still this month! In the meantime, here is some more ramblings from the inside of my head
So I'm going on holiday next week. A real holiday, for longer than 3 days. And I am not prepared at all.
It’s not a beach holiday, like a lot of people class as the only real type, I like to explore towns and cities. But I often have to plan endlessly to make sure I make the most of my functional hours. I can't just go with the flow in the same way as a lot of people, even if that is my natural impulse, which sucks because planning feels SO BORING to me.
It’s another occasion where my personality and body do not co-operate (my prime example being, I am a morning person but my various chronic illnesses are not).
I've been poring over maps of the public transport system in Malta (I've heard both that it's excellent and terrible which was super helpful) and figuring how long it will take to get from the airport to the town we’re staying. But mostly, how long I’ll have to heft a single rucksack with 5 days worth of clothes, free from snacks and medication for before we can check in to our BnB (because my arse am I paying Ryanair an extra £20 for a second bag, how would I even carry the thing? I just bought men’s shorts for the extra pocket storage and I’ll wear all of my other clothes at the same time).
Really, I should have been looking up what things are recommended to do, and how we can do that from our base without exhausting myself so much that I can't do anything the next day, but also not be so cautious that we don’t get to make the most of the time we have there. And of course I want my friend to enjoy it too, she isn’t taking time off work just to hear me complain about accessibility concerns (although that almost certainly will be happening).
So with less than a week to go I have started googling “what to do in Malta??” in a panic and now have a list of names of towns we’ve never heard of before, and I’m not sure what is in any of these places other than old buildings and occasionally, new buildings. We’re staying in an AirBnB, because it was so reasonably priced (I booked it before I knew if my friend could actually get time off work), has a kitchen so I can make myself sandwiches, but also has a host who can give us tips about the local area,
Looking up the supermarkets and the range to fit my dietary requirements, because we've decided to deal with our own food each. It sounds sad that I won't have fancy meals out or try any of the local food but honestly this is better. No anxiety of trying to explain that you can't eat onion, cauliflower, beans, no annoying the staff by JUST MAKING SURE there's no cross contamination, and it'll save me money too, and of course not make me hideously ill.
For that reason, I must say I'm very relieved we haven't got around to leaving the EU yet, for lots of reasons but also, because (and I probably shouldn't admit this) I don't buy travel insurance. This is probably incredibly foolish considering my medical history, but I've always just relied on my EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). And of course travel insurance for me costs so much more, even though I'd argue I'm much less likely to require medical attention than most because I know my issues and how to treat them at home. But that is a different argument for a different day. I have been considering it for this trip, due to ongoing weird things, but I know I’ll be annoyed if I come back and everything was fine! It almost feels like a form of gambling, and if I match 6 diseases and a lucky dip injury I’ll have won the jackpot and justified my investment! It’s difficult when you have all the other extra costs of being disabled, and the numbers are always so big? Our extra costs are rarely £1.50 are they? Typical.
All I’ve really done so far in the way of preparing is bought myself some new holiday clothes (which I definitely did not need), including some trainers which I wore out to wear in and kept showing to people by shouting “AREN’T THEY SO UGLY??” Photo proof attached. In fairness I did need some new trainers. My old ones had worn away all the insole so there was no support and I kept turning over my ankle and hurting my achilles, and OF COURSE because I’m a UK size 9/10 (but with very narrow feet) I’m restricted in where I can buy from. Usually I wear Dr Martens with a thick insole and thick socks, but apparently Malta is a bit too warm for those massive boots, even in April. I’m trying to come up with what I think Gok Wan called “a capsule wardrobe”, to make the maximum number of possible outfits with the least amount of actual items to improve my chances of not being shouted at by Ryanair, but it’s entirely in my own head so far.
I’ve still yet to solve the problem of how to get to the airport and back without either taking extra clothes which I then have to carry around for a week, or freezing my nips off waiting for a bus to Bristol airport at 6am in shorts and a cardi, so if anyone has ideas on that one, please let me know.