CARRIE KELLENBERGER

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Life and Travel in Asia with Chronic Illness by Carrie Kellenberger

Carrie Kellenberger is a world traveler, patient leader, and a Canadian expat living in Taiwan with Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia, and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, among other health issues. 


Hi there! My name is Carrie and I’ve been a chronic illness advocate since 2009. I’m a Canadian expat living in Taiwan and 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).

Living Passionately with Chronic Illness My Several Worlds

This has been my mission statement since January 2007 when I launched My Several Worlds. It has never changed during all this time. 

CarrieLiving life passionately with limitations from chronic illness takes more than many of us might have to give.

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.

I have lived with chronic illness for over 20 years.

These invisible illnesses have shaped my several worlds and have inspired me to support others who are dealing with similar situations.

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.

Red Door

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.

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 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.

Carrie Kellenberger Fibromyalgia

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.

My Several Worlds - Canada and TaiwanAbout 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. It has been recognized as a top blog for Fibromyalgia advocacy three years in a row (2018-2020). 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: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

If you’re interested in hiring me for an assignment, please feel fill out the Contact Form here on My Several Worlds.


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 TimesJPG, and Discover Taipei, to name a few.

24 Hours in TaipeiJPG Magazine: The Pod Village of Sanzhi

Writer and Photography for:

  • Wandering Educators
  • Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site
  • Adventurocity 
  • Waakao!
  • 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)

Health advocacy articles for:

Interviews and travel articles for:

 

Hip Compass EscapesJPG Magazine

Find Me On

Site Development Projects:

  • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (I created and maintain this site for the CCCT 2014 to present day)
  • Walk Your AS Off (2014 to 2018)
  • Walk AS One
  • Naked Food Taipei (2018-2019)
  • Hero’s English School (2019)

DISCLOSURE

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 – 2020 CARRIE KELLENBERGER

 

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

54 thoughts on “CARRIE KELLENBERGER

    Claude

    (January 12, 2007 - 2:45 pm)

    Wow, how nice. What a great picture of you. Oh and by the way it’s 2 -0 for the Ottawa Senators over the New York Rangers in the second period.There you have it, now you should feel more at home. Hugs Claude

    Jo

    (January 12, 2007 - 6:21 pm)

    Beautiful photo Carrie! I like the concept of your blog and how it is about integrating the different physical and spritual worlds that we inhibit.

    Carrie

    (January 12, 2007 - 6:49 pm)

    Claude! How’s the Valley treating you now that you’ve moved out of the city? 🙂
    I’ll be home in mid-May and would love to collect on that hug. Hope to see you soon. Best wishes to you and your loved ones for 2007! Oh yeah, GO SENS!

    globetrotteri

    (January 13, 2007 - 3:47 am)

    Thanks Jo. I couldn’t have explained that better myself!

    xen0bot

    (January 14, 2007 - 5:42 am)

    My sister taught in Taiwan as well and she told me it’s a wonderful experience, though i doubt i’ll ever become an ESL teacher. I hope your adventures there and abroad usher in great memories.

    Bianka

    (January 14, 2007 - 6:50 am)

    Wow… my beautiful Carrie… How I miss you! I am so happy for you. I really enjoyed your blog and I am looking forward to reading more of it. I envy you. You left Ottawa and went for the adventure and this not even thinking twice. You are very strong and very powerful. Please come and visit me in Montreal when you come back? I am looking forward to the day that I will see you again… take care my beautiful friend.

    globetrotteri

    (January 14, 2007 - 11:18 pm)

    BIANKA! YAYYYYYY! I’m so happy to hear from you! We’ve been out of touch for so long. I never know if you’re recieving my emails or not, so I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you a comment here. I will most definitely look you up when I come home in May.

    globetrotteri

    (January 14, 2007 - 11:20 pm)

    Taiwan is a wonderful place to be and I really enjoy teaching here. Thank you for your warm wishes.

    Gemma

    (January 20, 2007 - 12:18 am)

    What a wonderful Website babe. So good to see you again too! I miss you soooo much, wish you were with us in India but hey I’ll see you in my bridesmaids dress at the wedding!
    With love as always, Gem x

    globetrotteri

    (January 21, 2007 - 5:41 pm)

    Gem,
    Many thanks for your visit. I’m glad you like it and hope to be including more about my life and friendships in China shortly.
    India sounds wondeful. We’re so jealous because we know you’re both having the time of your lives! ))))HUGS((((

    varunnair

    (January 23, 2007 - 6:59 pm)

    Hey,after reading your blogs, i can’t wait to visit Taiwan. Never knew it was so beautiful. And i must admit… u r beautiful too! : )

    otakusv

    (January 24, 2007 - 8:24 am)

    hi! you look soooooooooo cute… i like our pics about asia…, years ago I travel too in thailand, japan,India and nepal

    congrats to you and group of friends there….

    good work…

    Claude

    (January 27, 2007 - 5:22 am)

    Carrie, the Valley is the best move I have ever made,in regards to quality of life. I love and miss everyone in the Glebe though. I’m actually enjoying my work for once. I ‘m enjoying the country life,and am happier over all. Did I tell you my son Dustin is at Nippissing University, studying to be a teacher(1st year). He’s already talking about teaching abroad. Your experinces and tips may come in handy for him later. Thanks!
    Hope you and John are well, and yes I can’t wait to give you your hug too!

    Claude

    (January 27, 2007 - 5:28 am)

    By the way I’m on face book

    globetrotteri

    (January 28, 2007 - 6:43 pm)

    Hi Claude,
    I’ll be sure to look you up on face book. I’m glad you’re enjoying the Valley. What a change! When I read your message yesterday, I couldn’t help thinking back to the good old days at Sassy. I miss your daily visits.

    Then I got to thinking about Justin as well. I can’t believe it’s been that long. I’m glad to hear he’s at Nippissing…not too far from our stomping grounds. Please pass on my email if he has any questions about living and teaching in Asia. I’d be happy to help!

    )))HUGS(((

    Raindreamer

    (February 5, 2007 - 9:43 pm)

    Hi!
    I like your blog too. You write nicely and it is nice to read your stories about taiwanese culture.

    globetrotteri

    (February 7, 2007 - 2:25 am)

    Thanks Raindreamer. I’m glad you like it. There are so many wonderful things to write about, I sometimes have a hard time keeping up with everything! 🙂

    idrewf

    (July 20, 2007 - 4:49 am)

    I spent 6 years living in Japan and traveling Asia quite a bit, I understand your fascination and love for it, look forward to more reading and photos 🙂

    drew

    Erica Johansson

    (August 7, 2007 - 6:38 pm)

    Hi, I just wanted to say that I really like your blog! I haven’t been to Asia…yet, so it’s fun to read your posts and look at all the beautiful pictures!

    Erica

    julian

    (August 22, 2007 - 5:03 am)

    You two are experiencing many wonders only few could ever even imagine …. and i believe it is truly due to the fact that you two have a very special affinity …. and that in itself is most grand. best of luck & well-wishes on all your endeavours!
    ~julian

    Joe Midway

    (August 22, 2007 - 3:50 pm)

    Love your site!…and then I realized you were from Ottawa (by the sounds of it anyway?) How crazy, me too! Anyhow, very interesting site and some great photography. Stay safe and enjoy your travels!

    reefer

    (December 14, 2007 - 2:27 am)

    “Most of our travels throughout Asia have been by motorcycle. It’s a great way to travel and one that I would certainly never do on my own. ”
    — This one stuck to me. If you happen to be in the Philippines during one of those adventures, visit my hometown Dumaguete City. It’s known for motorcycles. People decide not to drive cars there. They have motorcycles instead. So you can rent one easily and go around the beautiful island of Negros.

    Now I sound like a travel brochure. Tsk tsk.

    Anyhow, I love your blog. Love it to bits. I find the way you write about Asian culture sensitive, sincere, and earnest. Hope this goes on and on…

    reefer

    (December 14, 2007 - 2:29 am)

    oh and by the way, you and your fiance look perfect together. your love story is soooo romantic. i wish you all the best in november next year.

    Carrie

    (April 4, 2008 - 1:26 am)

    John,

    I’ve already explained the title of my blog several times. Forgive me for choosing not to include your comment. If you had taken the time to dig a little deeper instead of spending two seconds here and lashing out with an unsubstantiated claim, you’d already know this.

    I’ve written several posts about Pearl S. Buck and her book, My Several Worlds. I used this title because this is my favorite book and it has been a constant source of inspiration since I left Canada five years ago. I’ve also tagged my blog title with A Global Mind in Asia (which is my own creation) so as not to confuse her fans.

    This addition prevents publishers from coming after me and allows me to pay tribute to one of the greatest writers who has ever lived.

    […] Guest Article Powered by IP2Location.com Today we are very happy to bring you a guest article by Carrie Marshall, of My Several Worlds. Quite frankly this is a little embarassing for us, but we’re going to […]

    The Asian Traveler

    (September 20, 2008 - 9:09 am)

    I’m so happy for both of you. Anyway, best wishes and looking forward to your wedding day! I’m sure you’ll be the most beautiful bride. Maybe you can share your wedding pictures here. 🙂

    Keep on sharing your travel adventures!

    Carrie

    (September 22, 2008 - 5:09 am)

    Asian Traveler,
    Thanks for dropping by! Blog Catalog is such a rewarding site when it comes to meeting like-minded individuals. Your travel site is terrific and I’m looking forward to hearing about your next travel adventures. I will be posting wedding pictures for sure…along with our trip photos from North America and Mexico.

    Alan Limebeer

    (October 19, 2008 - 6:29 pm)

    I can’t wait for you to get home! When do you arrive?

    Carrie

    (October 20, 2008 - 5:44 am)

    Hey hun,
    November 11th. I’ve got less than a month to go. Woo-hoo!

    marco

    (December 25, 2008 - 9:34 am)

    wanted to say congrats on the marriage and welcome to the club!

    ps. merry christmas and thanks for the refers from your page 🙂

    much love,

    m.

    Nivin

    (March 22, 2009 - 2:37 pm)

    Hi Carrie,
    Nice to meet you and your several worlds. Its good to see that you guys are living your dreams.Its Awesome! BTW Wish you a very Happy Married Life.
    I’ll keep in touch. Tc
    Nivin

      Carrie

      (March 25, 2009 - 5:30 am)

      Hi Nivin,

      You’re a new reader, aren’t you? Wow. Thanks for all of your comments. I can tell that you really took the time to poke around My Several Worlds. I tried to return the favor earlier this week and wasn’t able to access your site. I’ll be sure to keep trying. Thanks again and don’t be a stranger!

    Nivin

    (March 25, 2009 - 1:57 pm)

    Hi Carrie,
    Yes I’m a new reader, Yea I took some time to look around and seems worth it! Still havent finished! Dont mention it.. I’ll be sincere with my comments. We are not strangers anymore. I’m very new to blogging (photoblogging)..and it seems really cool,a way to make some friends around the globe with a similar interest to share with.
    Sorry I typed it wrong, here is my site..
    http://www.wollreflections.wordpress.com/
    That self portrait is simply awesome. looking forward to see more of those.
    (sorry if repeated..)

    Nivin

    (March 29, 2009 - 9:08 am)

    Hi Carrie, I'm a fan of photography for sure, inspired by National Geographic photography since childhood. Brief about myself:: Yeah! my site is a photography site.. to share and improve my photography skills and to make new friends too. My artworks are mainly charcoal/pencil sketches mainly portraits, an occasional painter too. I love to travel around de globe, and photograph every bit; a bit adventurous too(lol). I do collect toy cars & coins. I love to design things, no matter what.
    follow the link to one of my work, just to show you–never published!
    http://wollreflections.wordpress.com/favorites/
    Give it a go and lemme know what you think about it..

    Carrie

    (April 3, 2009 - 5:36 am)

    Thanks for replying, Nivin. I'm sorry for my late response. I'm always curious about were people are coming from, especially if they like to comment, like you do! I really enjoyed poking around your site last week. I'll stop by again this weekend for another peek.

    Jack Fussell

    (May 4, 2009 - 5:08 pm)

    Great site, found your site through DPS. My wife and I are also expats from the US currently living in North Africa. I'm adding you to my blogroll and looking forward to seeing and learning more through your blog.

      globetrotteri

      (May 6, 2009 - 7:21 am)

      Hi Jack,

      Welcome to My Several Worlds, and thank you for your comments regarding my photography. North Africa! I’m on my way now to check out what prompted you to move there. I’m sure there’s a story. I took a brief look at your site yesterday and I must say, your photography is captivating! (But I already expected that.) Thanks very much for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon.

    Michelle Gosse

    (November 6, 2009 - 4:25 pm)

    Just wanted to say amazing work as usual

      Carrie

      (November 8, 2009 - 8:39 am)

      Thanks Michelle!

    Daena

    (May 2, 2010 - 12:08 am)

    Carrie!!! I miss you!! I admit I don’t spend much time online reading blogs but it’s great to be able to hear your stories here 🙂 I hope I get to see you soon. Hugs xo

      Carrie

      (May 6, 2010 - 7:37 am)

      Daena,

      I miss you too. I wish I could keep you personally updated, but since we only connect on Skype rarely, blogging really is the next best thing. xx

    Michelle Gosse

    (August 13, 2010 - 4:16 pm)

    just wanted to drop by to say how inspiring you are, miss you. Hugs

    Ray

    (February 28, 2011 - 7:06 pm)

    Hi Carrie,
    Bet you are missing all this snow we have this winter.
    Hopefully I get to meet John next time you make it home.

      Carrie

      (March 29, 2011 - 8:04 am)

      Hi Uncle Ray,

      I’m so glad I got a chance to see you and Aunt Barb this summer. It really wasn’t enough time though, was it? I will be sure to bring John back soon so you can meet him. Hope you are both staying well! xx

    Eric Leonardi

    (May 28, 2013 - 5:27 am)

    I have fun navigating through your several words pages. Are you on twitter Carrie? It’s easier to follow what you’re up to via twitter. Thanks.

      Carrie

      (May 30, 2013 - 10:22 am)

      Hi Eric,

      Yes, I am. You can find me under @globetrotteri. I look forward to tweeting with you!

    Shruti Chopra

    (June 11, 2020 - 10:01 pm)

    O’ I am so glad to be reading this – I was probably going to start asking you questions that were already answered in this post. It’s so nice to know you Carrie – it really is. Feels like such a privilege and I’ve experienced such an increase in strength whenever I have read your posts. Big Hug.

      Carrie Kellenberger

      (June 14, 2020 - 2:00 pm)

      I don’t think we have visited each other’s ‘About’ page. That thought occurred to me last week when I was on your site while I was poking around trying to learn more. I’m always happy to answer questions, even about things we’ve already talked about. Sometimes those answers change depending on how we’re feeling that day. It has really been an amazing month meeting all of you in the group and knowing that I have friends around the world who support me. I hope you know I am in your corner and supporting all the way! You’re a lovely, remarkable person. Proud to be your friend, Shruti!

    Katie Clark

    (June 11, 2020 - 10:33 pm)

    You really amaze me, Carrie. Your courage to venture out into the world. I have that longing, but I have gotten timid about it in the past few years. You are inspiring me to explore this world of ours again. Thank you for all you have done and are doing to advocate for those who have invisible illnesses. Truly, I’m so thankful to have met you online and hope, one day, to meet you in person.

      Carrie Kellenberger

      (June 14, 2020 - 2:02 pm)

      It has been so wonderful to meet you too, Katie! I’ve found the community to be so supportive and understanding. It really helps so much to have a team in your corner cheering you on. I never thought I’d be away from Canada this long and I never thought I’d find another place to truly call home, but I did, and it has been an incredible experience. Despite chronic illness, I’m still focusing on venturing out into the unknown as much as I can – I’m just doing it MY way now. Within my own set of limitations, but always with an open heart and a willingness to learn.

    Claire

    (June 12, 2020 - 4:27 am)

    It’s been so lovely getting to know you Carrie! I love how you advocate for yourself and others 🙂

      Carrie Kellenberger

      (June 14, 2020 - 2:07 pm)

      And with you as well, Claire! Sheryl has created something special for us and I think we’ve all done a great job of taking it the rest of the way. I’m so grateful for friends around the world who get it. So when is Through The Fibro Fog coming out with a cookbook? No pressure or anything! 😀

    Sheryl

    (June 13, 2020 - 11:54 pm)

    Love that sexy pic of you in the red cheongsam 🙂 and also the pic of you looking so alive and vibrant with all the health issues around it. Really illustrates the invisibility of it all. Sending love to you Carrie! x

      Carrie Kellenberger

      (June 14, 2020 - 2:12 pm)

      I love that photo too! That was 2006 – feels like a lifetime ago! Back then I was doing a lot of tv work and stage work. They loved putting me in traditional costumes! 🙂

      And yes, I was going for that. This is what invisible illness looks like. It doesn’t look like anything at all for most of us!

      Sending spoons to you too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *