I Was Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder, but It Hasn’t Stopped Me From Traveling the World
“Passport, meds, wallet, phone…” My packing list looks the same as most people, but my medication is not as easily replaceable as the usual ibuprofen and imodium that most travelers carry. For years I have guarded them carefully in my carry-on, knowing that in some countries they’re not available at all.
While much progress has been made in the US to decrease the stigma of having a mental health diagnosis, many parts of the world aren’t there yet. This brings an extra layer of challenge to international travel for people like me. I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2000, and like many who struggle with mental health didn’t accept treatment immediately. After a difficult two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, I realized that I would not be able to travel and lead the life I wanted without support. Since starting treatment, I have traveled on five continents and am living the life I always wanted.