Carrie Kellenberger – My Several Worlds
Carrie Kellenberger is a world traveler, experienced and recognized patient leader and advocate, and a Canadian expat living in Taiwan.
Disabled and living with: Spondyloarthritis (more commonly known as Ankylosing Spondylitis), Psoriatic Arthritis, fibromyalgia, MECFS, IBS, chronic migraine, and chronic tension-headache.
Hi there! My name is Carrie and I’ve been a chronic illness advocate since 2009. I’m a Canadian living in Taiwan as a permanent resident. My Several Worlds is about the worlds I live in. This site is dedicated to my life in Asia, my travels, and what life is like being chronically ill in Taiwan. I’v I write about what it is like to live in Asia as an expat who is chronically ill.
I write about my illnesses and advocacy work on many health sites, including my site, My Several Worlds (MSW).
I have lived with chronic illness for over 20 years.
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.
Just because I have limitations in the form of chronic illness and disability doesn’t mean I haven’t been able to build on my resilience, passion, and strength to create my legacy. If anything, being chronically ill has made me stronger in many ways!” These invisible illnesses have shaped my several worlds and have inspired me to support others who are dealing with similar situations.
What is life like living with multiple chronic pain conditions?
A 2011 report by the US Institute of Medicine recognised a cluster of chronic pain conditions that predominantly affect women and frequently co-occur. They were dubbed “chronic overlapping pain conditions” by the US Congress and include: vulvodynia, temporomandibular disorders, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and chronic tension-type and migraine headache and chronic low back pain.
Who is Carrie Kellenberger?
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, a businesswoman who owns her own business, and as a volunteer board director representing Canada with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan.
I’m also a professional bed sitter.
My passion for learning about new cultures and people and my travels have helped me see the world through different eyes. I have cherished every step I’ve taken. I started traveling at age 18 on my first trip to South America. To date, I’ve seen more than 35 countries.
My love for Taiwan is obvious, since it’s here on this tiny island in the Pacific that we chose to settle down. We’ve lived here since early 2006. Taiwan is my adopted home now.
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 it off to being very active. My father was a coach, so there weren’t many sports that we weren’t familiar with growing up.
I was a gym rat in high school, and I spent the rest of my time in the high school library head buried in books. I’m a voracious reader. Visit my World of Books section if you’d like to know what I like to read.
It Started With A Virus
At age 14, I caught mono and eventually developed chronic EBV, which means it keeps coming back. We think that was when the virus kicked my immune system into high gear and caused an avalanche of health problems that grew progressively worse over the years. Strangely enough, it started with constant ear infections and nose and throat infections, but as time went on, the pain built up and I thought it was normal to feel that way. Whenever I mentioned pain, everyone attributed it the amount of sports I was doing and the time I was spending in the gym. No one suspected it was more sinister.
In China 2004, I woke up one morning and couldn’t lift my arm. It felt like an old sports injury 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 to 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 activities I engaged in three to four times a week for years. It turned out that 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. The disease progress has sped up and there is no cure for any of the above-mentioned diseases.
My Fibromyalgia and MECFS diagnoses came in December 2014 along with several other related health complications. Earlier than year, I spiked a major fever and another infection. That seems to be what kicked Fibro and MECFS into high gear for me. Nothing has been the same since.
Most people go home when facing the uncertainty of severe health issues, but we chose to stay in Taiwan because of its excellent health care system as well as easy access to it. Additionally, our company is here. We couldn’t leave it.
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 took drastic measures to reduce my work output. Now that I have a little more time to myself, I’m ready to take on new assignments while I heal. You can use my contact page to get in touch with me directly.
About My Several Worlds
Founded by Canadian expat Carrie Kellenberger, My Several Worlds was established on January 6, 2007.
This site originally got started as an Asian travel guide that focuses on destinations, cultures and attractions in Asia.
I started writing more about my journey with chronic illness in 2009 when I decided to take on more advocacy and awareness work.
Awards and Accolades:
MSW has been listed as a top blog in Taiwan since 2007 and a top world travel blog since 2009.
HEALTHLINE: My Several Worlds has been recognized as a top blog for Fibromyalgia advocacy three years in a row (2018-2020).
CARRIE KELLENBERGER – WEGO HEALTH FINALIST
My health and advocacy work has been recognized by WEGO Health several times. In 2020, I was nominated into five categories for recognition. I was a finalist for Lifetime Achievement Award. WEGO Health has an average of 13,000 nominations each year and they whittle all of these nominations down to 96 finalists across 20 categories. I was one of six finalists representing Lifetime Achievement Award.
My Several Worlds is also recognized by other health organizations around the world for advocacy and awareness work with invisible illnesses.
I’m available for speaking engagements, awareness campaigns, and press inquiries. I also accept freelance writing gigs and WP development work.
Connect with me on LinkedIn page to learn about my skill set and how I might be able to assist you.
Find me on:
If you’re interested in hiring me for an assignment, please feel fill out the Contact Form here on My Several Worlds.
Carrie Kellenberger – My Several Worlds
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.
- 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
- Centered on Taipei (2019)
Interviews and travel articles:
17 Amazing Things To Do in Taiwan (February 2020) Nomadic Matt
Why Giving Makes Us Happy – Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (2017)
- Canadian Travel Bloggers You Need To Follow – Wagjag (2016)
- World First – Moving Abroad
- Best Female Kick-Ass Blogs on Susan Shain (2015)
- The Guardian – Teaching Abroad and What To Expect (2014)
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)
- GoOverseas (2009)
- Solo Female Traveler – Interview with an Expat (2009)
- You Can Teach English (2010)
Find Me On
Site Development Projects:
- The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (I created and maintain this site for the CCCT 2014 to 2020)
- Walk Your AS Off (2014 to 2018)
- Josambro.com (Author blog for Joshua Samuel Brown 2015 – Present)
- Walk AS One
- Naked Food Taipei (2018-2019)
- Hero’s English School (2019)
- Flight Path Immigration (2020)
- Raw Chef Prish (2020-Present)
Carrie Kellenberger – My Several Worlds
This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I am not a medical professional. I am a patient expert and I share my experiences from a patient perspective. The thoughts, intentions and plans are my own opinion. Please consult a medical professional if you need help. For questions about this blog, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get in touch with you.
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 – 2021 CARRIE KELLENBERGER