The Hidden Side of Travel: Epilepsy and Tourism
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Previous tourism research has examined the barriers and travel experiences of people with physical/mobility and sensory impairments. This paper advances tourism knowledge by revealing the travel experiences of people with the invisible and stigmatising condition of epilepsy. The study employed a phenomenological approach to explore whether, and how, the hidden neurological condition affects the travel experience. Analysis of the data revealed three main themes relating to the experience of travel for individuals with epilepsy: seizure episodes; invisibility of the condition; and managing anxiety. The paper illuminates the hidden side of travel for people with epilepsy and its social stigma, and problematises the socially constructed nature of travel as mostly visible, an escape from normality, independent and authentic.