Unlocking new horizons: How being diagnosed with ADHD helped me set sail on the sea and cure my motion sickness

What have islands got to do with ADHD and motion sickness? More than you might think.

Islands remind us of boundaries – the liminal boundary between land and sea.  The physical isolation and the remoteness can be a metaphor for boundaries we hold within ourselves. 

Each of us is, essentially, an island with boundaries that can make us feel landlocked when waters around us feel impassable.

Feeling landlocked 

Honestly, for much of my life, I felt landlocked, unable to cross the sea. Until something profound changed my life. 

In 2021, aged 37, I was diagnosed with ADHD. While the diagnosis in itself was life changing, the medication also cured my lifelong severe motion sickness.

How my ADHD helped me unlock new horizons 

With newfound freedom from motion sickness, I embarked on a journey to enchanting islands that were previously inaccessible to me. From the Isle of Mull to the secluded realms of The Outer Hebrides, St Kilda, Skomer Island, Grassholm, Cardigan Island, Isle of May, Bass Rock, Isle of Arran, Isle of Cumbrae, and even savouring the delightful vistas of East Yorkshire’s Bempton Cliffs from the sea.

As a nature-aligned brand and lifestyle photographer, this exploration has been a source of immeasurable joy. Immersed in the captivating energy of island life, I’ve documented moments on land, in the sky and beneath the waves, revealing the unique stories interwoven into the fabric of these isolated paradises.

A journey of discovery

Exploring some of the most secluded islands around the British Isles has been an odyssey of revelation. From captivating encounters with seabirds to the mesmerising beauty of the islands and the hidden treasures beneath the sea, the wonders of these remote ecosystems continue to leave me in awe.

Little did I anticipate that my ADHD diagnosis and subsequent treatment would not only lead me to navigate the intricacies of the condition but also break geographical barriers, allowing me to embark on sea journeys to experience something I never thought possible: the enchantment of these islands.

Rewilding our souls and connection to nature 

Islands stand as captivating gems, each possessing a distinct identity and narrative that transcends geographical boundaries.

Living here in the UK, we’re all islanders. 

Here are 5 reasons why I love travelling to islands and capturing their visual story: 

  • A state of being. Islandness is more than a mere geographic feature. It is a state of being that encompasses the spirit, culture and natural wonders of these isolated places.
  • Dance of elements: One of the most enchanting aspects of islandness is the dance of elements that plays out daily, embracing the serenity that comes with being surrounded by water.
  • Cultural depths: Beyond the natural beauty, islands harbour unique cultural threads that add depth to their stories.
  • Biodiversity: Islands are often crucibles of biodiversity, hosting a myriad of unique flora and fauna that have adapted to their isolated ecosystems. Through my lens, I aim to capture the delicate balance of life on islands. These images tell the story of nature’s resilience and the importance of preserving these sanctuaries for future generations.
  • Endless inspiration: Islands are an endless source of inspiration. The interplay of light and shadow, the vibrant hues and the untamed beauty of landscapes provide a palette that fuels creativity. Through my work, I aim to convey the profound connection between humans and the natural world. 

Reconnect with nature 

I believe we’re all part of nature and when we reconnect with this, an untameable shift happens. Disrupting the acceptance of the harmful mainstream narrative in society – bigger, faster, better, more – and emboldening people to keep the protection of our planet at the heart of all that they do. 

Photography is at the heart of telling visual stories of island life. I’ve felt privileged to be invited to share my story at some upcoming speaking events.   

I’ll be sharing about Islandness at the RSPB and sitting on a panel at POW Thanet. I will be sharing my ADHD story, my photography and personal experience, it is a proper pinch me moment.   

As I continue on my own journey, I’m constantly reminded that just like us, every island has a tale to tell, waiting to be discovered and shared with the world. A story of resilience, beauty, and the enduring dance between people, place and planet.

If you’re inspired to know more or would like to book me for a speaking event, I would love to hear from you.  

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