It’s been five years since I started my travel blog Arimo Travels. To celebrate the occasion, I decided to write this little summary about things my site and I have gone through during the last five years.
After a night at a concert in February 2016, I woke up with ringing in my left ear. As the tinnitus continued, I visited a specialist two times. The doctor told me my ringing should disappear by itself.
I had no time for more visits to the doctor. In May 2016, I started a 2-year trip around the world. Before the journey, I launched Arimo Travels to write about my travels.
Asia, Australia, North America, South America… I spent the whole year on the road. My tinnitus continued, but I assumed I got some sort of hearing damage during the concert. I switched the focus of Arimo Travels from my own experiences to more general travel tips.
During the last months of my trip, I got a few bouts of vertigo as I went to lie down. This only happened a few times, and after 777 days on the road, I finally returned back to Finland with long hair and a scruffy beard. I got back to my psychology studies and I started working as a part-time teacher. I hitchhiked home from work twice a week and I love it.
I went to see a doctor about my tinnitus as soon as I could. I went to a hearing test and I learned that I’ve lost some hearing on my left ear. The doctor sent me to more comprehensive tests.
I decided to re-brand Arimo Travels to focus on sustainable travel. Later I put Arimo Travels on an indefinite hiatus.
In May, I finally learned the reason for my tinnitus, hearing loss and other issues. The doctors discovered a rare tumor (acoustic neuroma) inside my head. Acoustic neuroma is a rare type of tumor squeezed between three nerves: one for hearing, one for balance and the third for facial muscles. This explains all my symptoms. The tumor is not cancerous, but it had grown into the size of a golf ball. I heard very little on my left ear anymore and my left cheek was feeling a little numb.
I had a brain surgery in October. It was a success. My left ear went completely deaf (except for the tinnitus), but the doctors managed to remove most of my tumor. After a week in a hospital bed, I got back home. I felt happy when I realized I could still ride a bicycle.
Well, we all know how this year went. The world entered lockdown and nobody went anywhere. In other news, I accidentally broke my blog’s website. Instead of trying to fix it, I left Arimo Travels in a broken state.
This year I made a quiet return to travel blogging. I was able to fix my blog’s previous issues. I revamped the site and gave Arimo Travels a new layout and a new logo. I’ve also written several new blog posts about sustainable travel routes and other things. I’m busy working full-time, but I enjoy writing for the blog during my spare time.
In other news, I’m dealing pretty well with my acoustic neuroma tumor. My left ear remains deaf and I have some other minor issues, but the tumor has not grown and I’m able to live a normal life.
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Today marks the fifth anniversary of Arimo Travels. By a weird coincidence, this date also marks the beginning of Acoustic Neuroma Awareness Week. I’m now living with a benign tumor in my head, but I’m glad I’m still able to do the things I love.
Who knows, if the global pandemic eases in the near future, I might start traveling abroad again. Until then, I am enjoying a more settled life here in Finland.