Carrie Kellenberger is a world traveler, chronic disease advocate, and a vocalist living with Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia, and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, among other health issues. She is a health advocate for a number of organizations worldwide. She has been writing professionally for over a decade.
I’ve been a chronic illness advocate since 2009. I’m a Canadian expat living in Taiwan with Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia, and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, among other health issues.
I write about my illnesses and advocacy work on many health sites, including my site, My Several Worlds, a Best Blog for Fibromyalgia in 2018.
I am a patient leader and captain of The Walking Spondies for Walk Your AS Off.
I’m also a Founding Director for Walk AS One, a 501c3 non-profit in the US.
Living life passionately with limitations from chronic illness takes more than many of us might have to give. My illnesses have shaped my worlds and have inspired me to support others in similar situations.
The only life worth living is one that you are truly passionate about… This has been my mission statement since January 2007 when I launched My Several Worlds. It has never changed during all this time.Living life passionately with limitations from chronic illness takes more than many of us might have to give. Click To Tweet Just because I was given limitations in the form of chronic illness and a disability doesn't mean I haven't been able to build on my resilience, passion, and strength to create my legacy. Click To Tweet
I have lived with chronic illness for over 20 years, including Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (some of you might know this disease as Chronic Fatigue), among other autoimmune issues.These invisible illnesses have shaped my worlds and have inspired me to support others who are dealing with similar situations. Click To Tweet
What is My Several Worlds?
My Several Worlds is about the worlds I live in and the boundaries that blur between my worlds as I move through them.
I quit my job to travel the world in 2003 and I’ve never looked back. I started my journey in Asia where I’ve had the opportunity to dream, explore, and live life to its fullest.
I’ve worked as an ESL teacher, a lounge singer, an actress, a model, a jewelry designer, a full time professional writer and editor in the publishing industry, a ghost writer, and a full time business woman. (My husband and I own our own business.)
I’m also a professional bed sitter when I’m flaring from illness, but for the most part, I have been able to continue traveling and learning about new cultures my whole life.
I went on my first trip to South America solo at age 18. My travels have helped me see the world through different eyes and I have cherished every footstep I’ve taken. To date, I’ve seen more than 30 countries in the world and I’ve done my best to record my cultural observations here.
My love for Taiwan is obvious, since it’s here in this tiny island in the Pacific that we chose to settle down. We’ve lived here for over 12 years and I call Taiwan my adopted home now.Despite living within limitations the chronic illness, I found success and learned that life can be beautiful despite the circumstances. Click To Tweet
Incurable – Chronic Illness
My health has been bad since I was a child, but I didn’t start noticing real problems until I was 24. I wrote all of it off to being very active. My father was a coach, so there weren’t many sports that we weren’t familiar with as we were growing up. I spent all of high school in the gym, weight room, or in the library.
In China 2004, I woke up one morning and couldn’t lift my arm. It felt like what I had done to it at age 16 – a full shoulder dislocation. I was treated at the hospital and continued with acupuncture treatments for a while after that. Eventually my arm got better, and I got back on track with my busy life.
In 2009, I got my first autoimmune diagnosis: Ankylosing Spondylitis. It took less than three years for Ankylosing Spondylitis to rob my ability to keep traveling the way we wanted to. It also robbed me of my ability to run and dance, which were two activities I engaged in three to four times a week for years. You can read my story on the Faces of AS.I took my last long-distance run in May 2012. I danced for the last time in July 2014. Click To Tweet
I never dreamed I wouldn’t be able to run or dance anymore. I had Ankylosing Spondylitis for over a decade before we figured out what was wrong. By that time, the damage was done.
We still travel, but we have had to change our traveling style greatly because of my health issues. My body is breaking down on me quickly now. The disease progress has sped up and there is no cure for any of the above-mentioned diseases.My body is a temple, ancient and crumbling Click To Tweet
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2014 as a secondary condition to AS, and after that, we started getting hit with a lot of other serious health issues. Most people would go to their home country in the face of uncertain health issues, but we chose to stay in Taiwan despite the limitations of living with chronic illness in Taiwan because I have quick and inexpensive access to health care.
Being an expat abroad that is chronically ill has come with its own challenges, but there are many of us out there living life passionately despite our challenges.
I’m still writing and I’m still traveling, but I am also spending a lot of time writing and talking about health advocacy.
In 2017, we had to take take some drastic measures to reduce my work output.
From 2016 to 2018, I had the honor and privilege of being Chairwoman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. This position was one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever done. I learned so much in this position. I’m sad I had to let it go, but I will continue to volunteer with the Chamber because I believe in its mission statement and I love being able to represent my homeland in my adopted homeland.
I am also a founding Board Director for Walk AS One, which was another amazing feat I was able to assist with along with four other amazing individuals. We all have Ankylosing Spondylitis, but that didn’t deter us from making a yearly awareness event into a full fledged non profit organization in Maine, USA!
Now that I have a little more time to myself, I’m ready to take on new assignments while I let my body heal at home. If you have an inquiry, feel free to drop by Carrie Kellenberger.com or view my CV on LinkedIn for details on the kind of projects I’ve worked on.
You can use my contact page to get in touch with me directly.
My Several Worlds was born in January 2007 as a basic travel blog documenting my travels and adventures in Asia.
Founded by Canadian expat Carrie Kellenberger, My Several Worlds is an Asian travel guide that focuses on destinations, cultures and attractions in Asia, and a information site for ESL teachers and individuals who are considering moving overseas.
Carrie is available for speaking engagements, awareness campaigns, and press inquiries.
She is also actively accepting freelance writing assignments again after finishing her term as Chairwoman with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan, where she has been working for four years to facilitate bilateral relationships between Canada and Taiwan.
If you’re interested in hiring me for a writing, speaking or modeling/singing assignment, please feel free to fill out the Contact Form here on My Several Worlds or head over to my portfolio website at www.carriekellenberger.com for more information about the kind of work I do.
Carrie Kellenberger: Published travel articles and photography
You can find my written work and photography in a number of print and digital publications including: Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Unearthing Asia, Wandering Educators, Hip Compass Escapes, The Taipei Times, JPG, and Discover Taipei, to name a few.
Writer and Photography for:
- Wandering Educators
- Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site
- Taiwan Photographers
- Digital Photography School
- Travel +Leisure Asia: Insider Taiwan and Travel Photography
- Writer, Editor, Photographer for Unearthing Asia
- Hip Compass Escapes Travel Magazine
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan
- Creaky Joints
Health advocacy articles for:
Interviews and travel articles for:
- Exploring the World with Carrie Kellenberger (2009)
- Expat Interviews: A Canadian Globetrotter in Taiwan (2007)
- Phottix Photography Journal: Writer, Editor, Photography: Carrie Kellenberger (2009)
- Jet Set Citizen (2009)
- Happy Hotelier (2009)
- Be My Travel Muse – Interview with Carrie Kellenberger (2012)
- The Carey Adventures (2009)
- Go! Overseas (2009)
- Solo Female Traveler – Interview with an Expat (2009)
- You Can Teach English (2010)
- The Guardian – Teaching Abroad and What To Expect (2014)
- Best Female Kick-Ass Blogs on Susan Shain (2015)
- World First – Moving Abroad
- Canadian Travel Bloggers You Need To Follow – Wagjag (2016)
- GoAbroad Interview on Teaching English Abroad (2017)
- Why Giving Makes Us Happy – Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (2017)
This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. The thoughts, intentions and plans are my own opinion. For questions about this blog, please use the Contact page. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. I believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. I welcome reader comments. You can challenge me or disagree with me in the comments section of each blog entry. I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments).
COPYRIGHT 2007 – 2018 CARRIE KELLENBERGER