Rachael Russell, 22 years old living with cystic fibrosis and a 2x Boomer Esiason Foundation Scholarship winner, talks about her recent post-graduation trip to Europe. Fulfilling a lifelong dream, her and friend backpacked across Europe for a month – which is something far more bold than I would ever try to do.
She discusses all of the planning and preparation that went into the trip so that she would be able to take care of herself abroad. Rachael needed to consider electricity conversions for her machines, ordering month-long supplies of medications, how she would sterilize her neb-cups on the go, needing to overcome her “shyness” (as she put it) to do her treatments in public places, like train stations or airports and overcoming some adversity like when her Vest broke the final week of her trip.
She mentions that traveling with friends played an important role in her trip, and ultimately they were able to move at her speed and support her through the “down days” that people with CF know all too well.
When asked if she had any advice for people with CF considering a similar extended trip, she said that it’s important to just jump in and do it!
Rachael wrote a travel blog to share her tips, advice and experiences throughout her amazing trip!