Hello friends! It’s been brought to my attention that many of you may not “ know” me personally, so I figured that I should remedy that
First, the basics … my name is Ann Fantini. I’m an extremely proud Mom to three amazing adult children and one pretty awesome daughter in law. I’ve been married to a wonderfully supportive guy that also just happens to be handsome, hysterically funny and deeply kind for just over 33 years. Proof that you can find lasting love at a college keg party! We’re also parents to a very lively, rambunctious Black Lab named Rosie.
So, why am I doing this? Starting a travel/ lifestyle blog at this stage of my life? There is no one answer, so I’ll give you the most relevant and meaningful ones. The first reason is my incredible passion for travel and exploration. I’m one of those somewhat crazy, obsessive travel planners. I basically start planning a trip in my head every time I see or hear of a destination that’s new to me. At any given moment, I have 3 or more trips either in my head or actually physically mapped out.
The next reason is that I feel my perspective on travel and life in general may inspire others to explore the world around them and open themselves to new possibilities. Helping others plan trips and adventures is incredibly rewarding to me. I’ve been doing it for friends and family, so why not broaden my horizons and help YOU?
What many don’t know about me is that I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease in 1983, at the age of 21 ( in case you’re wondering my age ). Sjogren’s Syndrome is a disease that typically attacks the body’s moisture producing glands and organs. It’s known mainly for its classic symptoms of dry eyes and dry mouth but it can affect so much more. I’ve been very fortunate that so far, I do not have any major organ involvement . My symptoms have been for the most part manageable but they do still affect my daily life. In addition to Sjogren’s, I have fibromyalgia and a host of musculoskeletal and orthopedic issues. These issues have led to 2 major surgeries within the past 4.5 years. I’m a multilevel lumbar spinal fusion warrior and I’ve had a fully torn hip tendon anchored back the bone.
I’m sharing all this, not for sympathy or praise, but to raise awareness of invisible illnesses and also to help you understand my perspective on the things that I will be blogging about. My physical issues do affect me, but I refuse to let them DEFINE me. We all have our struggles, it’s how we face them and handle them that defines us. As humans, we are so much more adaptable and resilient than we sometimes realize. The underlying message for me is to try and stay focused on what you CAN do rather than what you can’t. Look for the victories in your everyday life.
One last thing to share is my passion for giving back. I am so grateful for the life that I have and feel very fortunate to have the time and ability to give back to my community. As a young mother I was always involved in my children’s schools and sports activities. I was still volunteering in our local kindergarten up until a few years ago when my physical issues made crawling on the floor or being climbed upon too difficult for my body. But as they say, when one door closes, another opens. That new door was the opportunity to work with Uncommon Threads. Uncommon Threads is an amazing women’s empowerment program that serves disadvantaged women in our local community and surrounding areas. This cause is near and dear to my heart . I’m so thankful for the chance to work alongside such a special group of kind, caring women and to help make a difference in the lives of so many❤️.
I think that’s enough about me for now. I’m really not used to talking about myself, I’d much rather hear about you! If you have any questions at all for me, whether about travel, lifestyle, chronic illness or anything at all…please reach out! I would love to hear from and get to know you!
Ciao for now!
I will get back to you soon!
Ciao for now
I'm excited to connect with you!
You are an amazing individual and must admit that we have no knowledge of the Sjoegren’s illness. You have such a very positive attitude, which is fabulous. Your family is not only beautiful but also seems very supportive. So happy you will be able to enjoy a relaxing getaway on St. Kitts. Enjoy your visit and our beautiful island. Please let us know if we can be of help. Sincerely, Buzz and Lisl Pinckard
Thank you both so much for the kind words! We are all so excited to visit St Kitts and your beautiful home!
Thanks for sharing, Ann! Your story is an inspiring one – looking forward to following your adventures!
Thank you so much Bethany, I’m excited to follow you and your travels as well!
You’re such an inspiration, Ann! I had no idea you have Sjogren’s. I was recently diagnosed with it. Apparently it comes with lupus a lot of the time. I admire how positive you are and how you let nothing hold you back from the life you want to live!
I never knew about your struggles. I have always seen you as energetic and fun loving. Having Tommy as a student with his his best friend, A.J. was a gift. Keep blogging, I am so impressed.
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