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  • Writer's pictureShani Dhanda

How my rare condition inspired me to travel ✈️

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

"You have to deal with the cards your dealt with in life but you always have choices, you just have to have the courage to make them"

Shani is sitting with her back to the camera on a swing tied to a tree. She is at the beach

I love to travel. Everyone knows it, and my travel blog, when I eventually get around to doing it is going to be epic.

It's all I had to show for in my twenties filling up passports enriching my experience of life and the world. From the age of 16, I worked to #travel because I wanted a life of memories and experiences instead of money sitting in the bank and being unhappy. Don't get me wrong, I have sacrificed other things to have travelled this much, but this is a choice I made for me and my life, and I have no regrets.

One of the main reasons I wanted to travel while being young is because I don't know what my health will be like when I'm older, and I don't want to rely on others to take me places or struggle if I get there.

Over the years people have said they wish they had my life and I would think you don't even know the half of it! But what they really meant is that they too like the idea of travelling loads. I don't think they would wish to be 3'10 and all that jazz. I mean I wouldn't say to others I wish I had your life, marriage and kids. You have to deal with the cards you're dealt with in life, but you always have choices, you just have to have the courage to make them 🦁

As a child, I literally I had no idea what my adult life would be like due to living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. I used to ask myself:

  • Would I keep breaking bones all my life as I did as a child?

  • Would anyone employ me?

  • Would I always live with my parents until I got old and who would die first, them or me?

This is the reality of living with a rare condition and belonging to an Asian community where #disability is a big #stigma but also perceived negatively in broader society.

But I guess all that uncertainty has only made me even more resilient and ambitious in life. I wanted to achieve travelling to 30 countries by the age of 30, but in my late twenties my focus changed, and I got so busy working to create everyday equality and I've achieved it at the age of 31, which is still something I'm immensely proud of.

My thirties have bought an entirely new focus and where I had to use or lose my annual leave (I never thought I'd turn into one of those people), but I'm loving it and embracing every opportunity. I wonder where the next ten years will take me ✈️#JetLife Join me on my travels on Instagram #ShaniTravels


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