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My name's Branwen Defren and I'm an avid traveler who's been to 35+ locations worldwide since I was born. The reason the name of this blog is "Chronic Wandering" is because I have an undiagnosed chronic illness, but I still continue to wander around the world, whenever I'm able.
It was about 5 years ago that everything changed.
The first semester of my college career, after being healthy for 18 years (only minor flu's and coughs, etc.) - I got mononucleosis aaaand things kind of took a major turn for the worse. For some people, mono is miserable for a bit and then everything's fine, but for others - it's not. But, my story doesn't end there.
A month later on January 24, 2014, while laughing (and coughing from a respiratory infection), I felt a huge jolt in my side, and I haven't lived a day free from pain since.
The rest of my second semester of college I spent in and out of the emergency room. Every week, multiple times a week. I was throwing up 7x a day, had intense pain in my right side and nobody could tell me why. This has continued to today in 2019.
That first year of college, I had to drop out of international university trips including a volunteer project in Mexico, Birthright in Israel, and studying abroad in Australia in a matter of months. I was devastated and even more so because I had no answers.
5 years later, I still don't have a diagnosis.
However, things have gotten a little better. I don't get sick multiple times a day anymore, those 4.5 years are almost behind me (fingers crossed!) But my pain has grown steadily worse and has spread to my back and down my leg, making it incredibly difficult to be mobile and active - to do all the things I love to do, like travel.
However. . .
Since getting sick in December 2013, I've been to Canada, England, Wales, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Aruba, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Austria, Hawaii, Florida, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Arizona, Texas, California, North Carolina, and more.
There are times I've had to be physically carried to make it through or need to visit the local hospital, but I still see it to the end. I don't ever want to stop seeing this magical floating rock we call home.
Anyways, that inevitable "oh my god what am I going to do with my life?!!" knot in my stomach has formed so I'm attempting to quell it by doing a little something. Even if all this blog winds up being is something to look back on, it'll be time well spent.
So, if you are reading this, dear stranger, I hope you enjoy my personal stories and guest posts. Whether you're laughing at crazy experiences, spotting places you'd like to travel to, or just wanting to learn more about the world & those in it, I sincerely hope you enjoy my site!
So much love.