I am Carla Cat Carlson, also known as a Cat of all trades.
Like Stephen Tonti at TEDxCMU did, I have tried a whole lot of things in life, a perk we kids from the Autism spectrum have.
Since a decade now, I learned that I am autistic (Asperger’s syndrome ) and have AD(H)D and around the same time I got early retired into disability pension.
In mid 2017 I had a bigger surgery and was also diagnosed with Endometriosis . Late 2019 I got another big surgery, this time also on my abdomen but for some other reasons but partially also due to Endometriosis.
Afterthe autism diagnosis, I moved to Norrköping, this wonderful coastal city,
just 2 hours car drive south from the capital of Sweden, Stockholm.
The years after the “doomsday” also known as, the diagnosis day, have been rather passive and this doesn’t go well with my mindset.
Even though I am not quite capable of working self-providing level, there are still many things I can do within the limitations that are given to me.
This site is my dream come true, it is the portal to my world and it is the platform where I tell my story.
So what do I do and how do I do it?
Travel and Photography style
In terms of labels, I would say I am a part-time nomad.
I am an explorer and I am just a traveler. Solo traveler. When I can.
My preference is to roam from place to place for months rather than touristic traveling.
Utilizing hitchhiking, hospitality exchange, hiking, gathering/hunting/farming,
dumpster-diving and anything low budget, I find it by far the best way to explore
the world, not to mention Eco-friendlier and cheaper.
When I travel I feel free and happier, less sick and generally more motivated.
I am also my utmost self when traveling.
My photography consists mostly of contrasty pictures. As much as I love landscape photography, it has shown I simply dont have the eye for that. Alas, I am still in development and growing.
Due to my autistic tunnelvision, sometimes photography is a struggle but a welcome one as it makes me grow.
I try my best to plan my shots but I am an avid capture the moment (candid, not to be mixed with snapshots) and it always so fun to see the world.
As a privilege and courtesy to Norrköping’s municipally, during weekdays I “work” at foto and film studio called Studio 59, which is one of the municipality’s Daily Activity Center for people with high functioning Neuropsychiatric disabilities.
Disability awareness and coping
I have to live with my conditions until the day I die. There is no rest-day from that fact.
By being open, it does make it easier when I travel. The pressure is less and I get less sick.
Sharing is caring, by being open does also means I might raise some awareness and get to
work against the many prejudices about invisible disabilities there is.
At best, I might even inspire someone out there.
Even though I am outgoing and social, it usually drains me fast, also pain is an re-occurring daily struggle.
Therefore, I prefer solo travel which gives me more freedom to cope with my own
demons and problems without outside pressure.
While not at home I try my best to get as much rest/downtime possible and
when I get home I can spend a large amount of time recharging in isolation (and maybe planning for my next escape).
Generally, I have been a cold-kid since childhood. Heat doesn’t do me good.
That said, due to recent surgeries (2017 and 2019) this has become a little more of a hurdle, as my new healthy lifestyle requires some heat (at least locally on my body) or Ill end up in pain…<
To cope with this little dilemma I just am outdoorsy during fall and winter, heat I can manage with pads.