Barcelona: The City That Brought Me Back to Life

I went to Barcelona the year after I never went anywhere. That was the year I suffered two prolapsed discs in my lower back, condemning me to four months stuck at home on a cocktail of painkillers and daytime television. It’s strange how being housebound can affect you. As someone who loves to travel, I still struggle to get my head around how fearful I became of leaving my own front door. 

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona,where I managed to forget about being in pain.

When you’re getting over the type of physical pain that people tell you they can actually see on your face, it’s easy to become frightened of simply bumping in to someone when you’re out and about. You worry that the slightest thing will hurt you all over again. In my case, it meant that the real me went into hibernation. And despite being inactive for such a long time, somehow I managed to lose a lot of weight, because I just couldn’t sit up to eat a meal.

Eventually boarding a plane and taking off on a trip to Barcelona, somewhere I’d always wanted to visit, was an unbelievable feeling. And it was there, in Barcelona, that the travel bug bit me again.

Feeling happy to be back out in the world. It might have been too cold for a dip in that pool, but I didn’t care.

My lower back pain has never completely gone away, but I don’t complain. Things can always be a lot worse. And it doesn’t stop me travelling. I won’t let it. Those flights can get uncomfortable, but a rolled up scarf tucked in to the small of my back (my fashion/ function saviour), works wonders.

Nothing will stop me from seeing the world

Not since Barcelona brought me back to life.

Has an injury or illness ever stopped you from travelling? Has any one place really made a difference to you, or brought you back from something? If you’d like to, please share your story in the comments.



  • you go girl, glad you are feeling better ! an injury or illness has never stopped me from traveling so far but the opposite it provides me more reason to enjoy life and see the world.

    • Hi Freya! Thanks for your comment! I think you’re so right! Getting over an injury should always mean more reason to make the most of life and travel. I’m lucky, really. Other people suffer much worse pain and injury – but there’s nothing like being stopped in your tracks to make you appreciate the really important things.

  • Aggy says:

    Great post Clare!
    So sorry you had to go through all that pain but I am glad travelling did good for you. I have a terrible muscle pain this summer from carrying too much luggage when I was moving country, I had terrible pain and wanted to just laze out all day. But I didn’t let the pain from travelling, I did a lot of work out and took some pills and finally was able to travel though now I can’t bring heavy bags. You are true, nothing can ever stop me from seeing the world either! Lovely read!

    • Clare says:

      My back problems have definitely taught me the benefits of travelling light! Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the lovely comment.

      The most surprising thing about being housebound for a while no matter what makes you ill is how you can lose your independence which is frightening. But getting back out there is the only cure for that.

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