Travelling with chronic pain – ‘I wanted to push myself without holding my friends back’

Kate Brayden was tired of missing out. So despite suffering from fibromyalgia and other types of chronic pain, she loaded up her backpack and travelled to Costa Rica and Colombia. Here’s how she got on

Kate (centre) with travelling buddies Kevin and Sarah

Kate Brayden

Coming back from La Guajira desert at the northernmost point of Colombia was probably the trickiest travel day.

My friends and I had a four-day gap in our calendar, and jumped at the idea of a desert tour after spending weeks in humid jungles. Speaking Spanish was vital in a place where the land primarily belongs to indigenous tribes. Starting in the town of Riohacha, we saw sparkling salt mines and the gorgeous Punta Gallinas Lighthouse. In Uribia, Colombia’s indigenous capital, we saw the Wayuu tribe’s famous handwoven baskets and bags, but also witnessed extreme poverty.