DIABETES ABROAD IS ABOUT CREATING A COMMUNITY OF Travelers who have the inspiration and resources to go explore.
We all live busy lives yet daydream about the same thing – to travel anywhere at any time. I am fortunate to live a life dedicated to this mission.
What many do not realize is that for someone like me, who is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, that there is an extra hurdle to simply pick up and leave. If my lover says “hey babe, let’s go!” I have to grab a backpack of clothes and a separate duffle bag for supplies – syringes, insulin bottles, diabetic pump supplies, AAA batteries. And enough of them too.
The first time i set off by myself...
...was to study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was supposed to be for the semester, about six months, but I fell in love.
I fell in love with my goofy host dad, his autistic son, and going on bike rides throughout the city. "You have to see this city in the summer." So I did.
So that meant asking my parents to ship diabetic supplies abroad – medicine to keep me alive. The shipping was $90 for them and $90 for me. Ouch. When they visited I asked them to fill up suit cases with infusion sets, reservoirs, and Novolog (if none of this sounds familiar don't worry). Eventually, I entered the Danish healthcare system and had these supplies delivered to my door!
This trip caused a snowball effect. As you may know, I studied international environmental policy and became curious about what it meant to live in a "globalized" world. So I went. And I went in an order that makes no logistical sense:
The Horn of Africa to build a national park; Italy to drink cappuccinos with my girlfriend; Prague to visit the Christmas markets (magical); back home to New Jersey; back home to Denmark; Easter in Ireland; then Portugal, Thailand, San Francisco, New Zealand to hike with my best friend, back to Copenhagen to run my first marathon, and finally home to New York. Something like that...
These few moments are only a drop in the bucket. We all have learned lessons along the way, picked up tips here and there, and have witnessed breath taking moments that can inspire a community to go explore - all while being safer and smarter.
The work that goes into this project is dedicated to my grandfather. He was diagnosed in 1940 and lived to the age of 82 with this disease. He is proof that we can all live a full life.
Have you started packing your bags? All are welcome.
Let's explore the world together,