In 2010, just six months after we got married, Sarah was diagnosed with an incredibly rare, incurable (and often fatal) disease called LAM. We were devastated. Life was a bit uncertain. We had a trip to Spain planned a few months later. We almost didn’t go because we were still reeling from the diagnosis and scared of what might happen. The logistics were also complicated (to us) as Sarah would need to fly with an oxygen machine. But we went, and it was the best thing we could have done. For the first time in months, we stopped mourning what we thought we had lost and started enjoying the life we had, together. Almost immediately after we got back, we booked our next trip. And from then on travel became our number one priority.
In 2016, we quit our jobs to travel full-time. We were tired of living vacation to vacation and we didn’t know how long Sarah would be healthy enough to travel. After months of planning, we set off in June (coincidentally on the date of Sarah’s diagnosis). We spent 13 months traveling to 27 countries. We went to places we’d only ever dreamed of visiting like Australia and New Zealand, and places we wanted to get to know better like Germany and Japan. We also raised awareness for Sarah’s disease and connected with members of the LAM community throughout the world.
When we came home, we knew we didn’t want to stop. We relocated from New York to the Netherlands so we could travel more easily. And we started a business – Accessible Itineraries – that helps people with accessibility needs travel to Europe.
Sarah has a rare lung disease called lymphangioleiomyomatosis (more easily known as LAM).
When we set out to travel (some of) the world, raising awareness for LAM was a huge part of our trip. We met with people in the global LAM community including women with LAM, heads of foundations, and doctors and scientists searching for a cure. A large section of this blog is dedicated to raising LAM awareness and helping people understand what it’s like to live with LAM (or any chronic disease).
about travel breathe repeat
This blog started as a way for us to document our year of travel and inspire others in similar situations to see the world. But it’s evolved. We still write about the places we go and the fun things we do. But our main goal is to provide inspiration and tips around three topics we know a lot about: accessible travel, round-the-world trip planning, and traveling in the Netherlands.
Justin is the creative mastermind behind our travels, brainstorming our unique itineraries and figuring out how to actually make them happen. Sarah is the creative mastermind behind the blog, writing and photographing most of what you see here to bring our travels to life.
Though we try to write about accessibility as inclusively as possible, we know that our experience is just that… ours. To diversify our accessible travel content, we also welcome guest authors who write about their own unique experiences.
If you’re interested in working with or writing for Travel Breathe Repeat, please get in touch.