Traveling with a Hidden Disability

Marika Devan photo

What’s is like traveling with a hidden disability?

Meet Marika Devan, a self-described clumsy Californian with an obsession for exploring the world. Marika started a blog called Clumsy Girl Travels. But, truth is, Marika isn’t clumsy.

Marika was born with a degenerative neurological condition called Ataxia. Ataxia is a hidden and progressive disease that affects a person’s ability to walk, and use fine motor skills. Symptoms mimic clumsiness and drunkenness such as slurred speech, stumbling, falling, and incoordination are caused by damage to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that is responsible for coordinating movement. Complications from the disease are serious and oftentimes debilitating.

“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”

Anne Frank

That is why Marika says that it takes months for her to plan her travels. But Ataxia hasn’t stopped her. She has been traveling solo for many years and she’s fulfilled some bucket list adventures—all while fighting the many challenges that her hidden disease has presented. Marika says that she doesn’t want Ataxia to cheat her out of enjoying a fulfilling life. As she tells us, she wanted her clumsy adventure stories to be a source of inspiration to others.

Join us as we learn what it is like to travel the world with a hidden disability.

Marika Devan sm

Marika Devan is the mastermind behind Clumsy Girl Travels. She shares her “clumsy” adventures around the world that incorporates unique and offbeat places. Marika also shares what it’s like traveling with a hidden disability called Ataxia.

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