Healthcare on the open road

Healthcare On the Open Road

By Kathleen Morrison
Wisp wants you to be able to get the healthcare you need any time, any place. That includes when you’re out camping, on vacation with friends, taking a work trip, or on that long-awaited romantic getaway — you deserve the peace of mind that comes with the ability to get treatment through the press of a button, no matter where you are. No one knows the importance of 24/7 healthcare access like those who travel and live that #Vanlife. But there’s no need to take our word for it: we went straight to the source to ask some Vanlifers about their healthcare challenges while living life on the open road and for their best health tips. Our favorite? “Happy vagina, happy life.”

Jessie Coalter Price

Jessie Coalter Price (she/her) is a 30-year-old illustrator, photographer, and content creator living in Southern California with her Yorkie pup Petey. She travels in her self-converted Promaster Ram Cargo Van part-time with her best friends. She’s an athlete, a vocalist, a mental health advocate, a feminist, and she has a passion for living a plant-based lifestyle.
Find her: @jessiecoalterprice on IG
​​I have wanted to take on the journey of living on the road and building my own home on wheels for almost 4 years. When I got laid off from my job due to COVID-19 in April of 2020, I took advantage of my newfound time, and my savings account, to build out my own camper van. I’ve been taking long and short trips throughout this year and hope to live in my van full-time by the end of this year. During my trips, I find that one of the health challenges I face is my anxiety. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2018, and though I have learned to manage it with therapy, meds, and time, I still struggle with the unknown. 
This lifestyle tends to be unpredictable at times. If a parking spot that I had planned on staying for the night is closed or unavailable, I have to relocate and find something new. Timelines often get compromised by traffic and/or weather. Not having a toilet in my rig (yet), can get very tricky if I’m alone out in the middle of nowhere, and I really need to go. Worrying about my dog being alone for too long is a big stressor for me.  Most of the time, I can comfort and problem-solve myself through my anxiety, but there are things that can trigger my anxiousness, and I spiral very quickly.
Luckily, I have a great group of friends that I often travel with that provide comfort when I am struggling. They are fully aware of my needs and triggers and are supportive in allowing me space to meditate, strategize, and cope to move forward.
Hot Health Tips: My advice to those struggling with anxiety on the road is to use your resources, prioritize your meds (if your doctor has prescribed them), and don’t forget to ask for help. When you are anxious or feel a panic attack coming on, let your friends/partner/family know, even when they aren’t around. Have a circle of trusted humans that you know you can confide in to talk you through it. Also, if you are a planner (like me), have some back-ups and options, especially when contemplating a spot to park for the night. This way, you can avoid panic when an issue arises.

Blix & Bess

The pandemic inspired Blix (they/them) and Bess (she/her) to sell all of their things and move into their converted camper van with their two dogs and travel around the United States. They have been on the road for 8 months.
Find them: @blixandbess on IG
One of the biggest health challenges that we face while traveling is prioritizing our physical health. Living in a tiny home on wheels, doing mostly city Vanlife, and driving long distances can really impact our bodies. While we regularly stretch and take our dogs on walks, we have learned it’s really not enough. We have prioritized going to the gym and making sure we do physical exercise to make our lifestyle on the road sustainable. We’ve also come to learn that keeping up with our physical fitness has helped with our mental fitness, which often goes hand in hand.  
Hot Health Tip: We definitely recommend folks to find a way to get out and sweat! Moving your body every day can transform your life. And if you travel, it’s a great way to keep a routine within the ever-changing scenery of things.

Charley Majeski

Charley is an extroverted van-dwelling lover of all things outside, also a huge taco enthusiast. 
Find her: @charleymajeski on IG, @charmajeski on TikTok
Hot Health Tips: 
  1. We all know the rule about using the ladies' room after sex. Living in a van most commonly means a toilet is not always easily accessible. Remembering to use the restroom after sex is something I always do, even if it means popping a squat outside the van. 
  2. I don’t have a shower in my van, so that means a lot of baby wipes. Unfortunately, 9/10 times I’ve bought “ph balanced” wipes, I’ve paid the price with a UTI. Oddly enough, I’ve found that baby wipes for actual babies work the best for me.

Courtney Stephenson

Courtney (she/her) is a freelance writer who has been living on the road full-time for a year in a 1999 Ford E150.
Find her: @court_kneeeeeee on IG
The biggest health challenge I face traveling is finding easy access to birth control and sexual health providers. Being a freelancer means my health insurance is not covered by my employer, and it was a struggle to find affordable birth control and medications that were also easy to receive while constantly traveling to new states. 
Hot Health Tips: Before I took off on my journey, I made sure to book in-person appointments with my healthcare providers and came prepared with a list of questions about my health. I also made sure to stock up on basic emergency medications like Plan B and antibiotics for UTIs (I love backpacking & UTIs are common on the trail) so it was less stressful to take care of when those flared up on the road.

Courtney Lanctot

Here to encourage YOU to be the YOU-est YOU by being the ME-est ME.
Find her: @tatertotbot on IG
I am privileged to say that my biggest health issues while traveling are keeping my body looking how I feel and finding it sexiest to me. Also, if I am meeting up with romantic or sexual interest, I don't do so without having access to a shower. This has stopped me in the past, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 
Hot Health Tips: My biggest tip will always be to deeply learn and understand how your body feels at its best and happiest and then always strive for that at least 80% of the time. Also, "happy vagina, happy life" 🥰
If you’re making plans to travel or start your own Vanlife journey, having wispcare in your back pocket (literally) is never a bad idea. Get same-day prescription treatment wherever you are and message a doctor any time. You’ve got this!

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