Tag Archives: travel

Italy: Sneak Peek

Hello, friends! I have missed you all. I just got in from Italy last night around midnight, so today has been full of trying to get back on North Carolina time and running errands to prepare to get back to life. I have a feeling I’m going to crash at some point this week…

My husband and I had an amazing time traveling through Rome, Florence and Venice. We saw so many beautiful and historic sites and the food… oh the food. And I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but for now, I think a little more rest is in order. So I will just leave this with this little sneak peek of our trip!

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Ready to fly! (Well, almost…)

In less than 48 hours, my husband and I will be on a plane on our very first trip to Europe. I can’t believe it’s here already. I have been planning this trip for the better part of a year, and it’s crazy to think that it’s actually time to just go for it.

I know you all know how crazy everything has been for me lately, so I’m sorry if I’ve sounded like a broken record. I  knew at the beginning of the year that April and early May were going to be a  busy time with running my half-marathon, planning the CCFA Take Steps Walk and now turning in my final research paper for my grad school class. Very purposefully, I planned to make it through the whirlwind of all that, and then I just wanted to get away. So I planned our trip to start as soon as everything was finished. Thus, we are leaving this Thursday. However, what I did not take into consideration is the fact that I actually need to plan for this trip and I have had no time to really sit down and go through everything and take it all in.

travel suitcaseBut I am getting really excited now, even though I realize how much there is left to do. I spent part of the day talking with the travel agent (yes, I did use one, and yes, they are still relevant, and yes, I’m really glad I did) and letting my credit card companies and phone company know I’m traveling. I haven’t even thought about packing yet. But it’s alright, I have my passport and place tickets and that’s really all that matters.

This is the first major trip I have taken in a long time. When I was 16, I went to Thailand with my church. At 20, I flew to China to study abroad for the summer (had to come back a week later because I was so sick, but that’s a story for another day). And then we went to Jamaica for our honeymoon. The first two trips were completely planned by others and I just had to follow along. And our honeymoon was at an all-inclusive resort, so we didn’t leave the entire time we were there. This will be the first time we are really doing this on our own.

While I’m definitely a little nervous about how everything is going to go and about finding our way around and figuring out how to talk to people, I am so looking forward to some time away from everything and just getting to enjoy a beautiful new country with some real history behind it. I will definitely be posting pictures as often as I can, so follow me on Instagram or Twitter to get the highlights! (I apologize in advance for any annoying food pictures, but I think I might have to! When in Rome… and all that.)

I will definitely be looking forward to filling you all in when in get back, not just about the trip and the country, but this is also my first international trip with my ostomy. I ordered extra supplies this month, just to make sure I have enough. I think I’m going to bring some trash bags for the flight, since it’s about an eight-hour flight. And I’ll definitely pick up a big bottle of water for the plane! And if you have done a big trip like this with an ostomy, feel free to share any tips before I leave!

Now, I guess I better get packing…

Arrivederci, inverno

I will never understand how the months continue to fly by so quickly that you hardly even notice them coming or going. It seems that every time I turn around I’m looking at another month and another set of things that need to be done in the following four weeks.

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On the bright side, however, Spring has finally decided to make its way to North Carolina. And it’s really coming on strong. I believe we got up to 86-degrees today. And while I usually do like a bit of more transition in between my seasons, I am not complaining about the heat because all I care about is the fact that the cold is gone! And I’m just hoping it’ll stay that way.

March was a little sad for me on here. I hate that I didn’t get the opportunity to write more on The Stolen Colon, but things have really picked up around here. But thankfully (and hopefully!) April is my last month, at least for the foreseeable future, where I have more things to do than I have time to do it in. So as long as I can make it through the next 30 or so days, I’ll be in the clear.

I have a few major events going on this month. I actually am heading out-of-town next week for a work trip in Florida and I will be gone for four days. Two days after I return is my third half-marathon race. And just two weeks after that is the Take Steps Walk for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and I am on the planning committee. And during all of this, I am having to conduct my research for my grad school project and getting the information ready to present as a final report. Needless to say, I am a little worried about being able to get it all done.

Usually in times like this, I just take a deep breath and take it a day at a time. But the fact that so many of the things going on this month need a lot of leg work and planning done beforehand, that practice doesn’t seem to be working well for me. I am having to think about three steps ahead and try to get as much done in each day as I possibly can.

There is good news, however. Well, first of all, let me say that none of this is bad news. These are all things that I really love and enjoy and I am so glad to be participating in all of them… I just wish they didn’t happen to be going on all at the same time. But I do have big plans for unwinding afterwards. My husband and I are planning our first trip to Europe!

As soon as we get to May, I have my final paper due that first week and then three days later we will be boarding a plane for Italy. I am so excited! We haven’t taken a big trip since our honeymoon and, like I said, this will be both of our first trips to Europe. And I am so looking forward to not worrying about anything that I need to be doing and just enjoying the history and the food… and the wine!

It’s going to be amazing. Although, I haven’t had much of a chance to really think about it because there are so many other things that need to be thought about right now. But in the back of my mind, I know that all I need to do is push my way through the next five weeks and prepare for an incredible trip.

  • The Stolen Colon
    • Plan things ahead of time so I don’t run out of time and not put up any new content.
  • Grad School
    • Finish research and interviews for my project.
    • Work in small amounts whenever I can so I’m not overwhelmed with too much all at one time.
  • Work
    • Enjoy my first work trip to Florida!
    • But don’t let the trip put me behind on everything else I need to do.
  • Training
    • Finish out the final two weeks of my training strong.
    • Run a great half-marathon! (And hopefully PR!!)
  • Personal
    • Work hard on the CCFA Walk for the next three weeks so we can put on an amazing fundraiser for Crohn’s disease & ulcerative colitis research.
    • Finish up planning for trip to Italy.
    • Find some time to breathe.

Out of the Bag: Flying & Airport Security

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I have written a post before about my experience flying with an ostomy, but in the year or so since then I have flown a few more times  and had a few different experiences. In just the past month I’ve been on a plane twice, so I figure it’s about time for another post.

airport plane gate flying travel out of the bag ostomies advice tips tricks stephanie hughes out of the bag colostomy ileostomy crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd ostomy blog stolen colon ileostomy colostomy urostomyFirst of all, I want to say that I have never had any actual issues flying with my bag. I have heard people worry before about what happens because of the change in pressure inside the cabin, but I have never even noticed a change. I do always empty my bag before getting on the plane, but that’s mostly because I don’t want to have to worry about emptying the bag in the plane lavatory. The pressure change seems to have no effect on my ostomy.

But let’s go back to the beginning of the trip. After making it through check in, the real fun begins: security check. This probably goes without saying, but even if you are checking a bag, always, always, always pack your ostomy supplies in your carry on. I have had the unfortunate experience before of having my luggage not arrive with me, so you definitely want to make sure that your supplies are close to you at all times.

My first time flying, I was a little nervous about everything I needed to bring with me. I even called TSA to ask about my scissors to cut my ostomy bag wafers and was told that surgical scissors (with one rounded edge) are allowed. I always check my supplies to make sure they comply with the 3 oz. rule and I have found that most of the items do. If you happen to have something larger, you can always pack that one item in your checked luggage. I have never been stopped going through security because of my supplies.
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