Traveling around the world with diabetes: feedback
"Traveling with diabetes", article written by Julie. An experienced traveler and yoga teacher, Julie shares her travel experience around the world with diabetes. Exclusively for Yogis on Roadtrip.
Traveling around the world with diabetes?
An experienced traveller and yoga instructor, Julie shares her experience traveling with diabetes.
During the last 4 years she has visited more than 10 countries and lived in Australia, Indonesia, and the UK.
1 type diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas to be destroyed; preventing the body from being able to produce insulin to adequately regulate blood glucose levels.
22 years ago, I was diagnosed as a diabetic type 1. This not only took away my childhood, but also left me with a life that was dictated by others’ judgement of my abilities
I was not allowed to go on school trips as some of the teachers considered me a liability. I vividly remember my mom fighting to get them to take me on multiple occasions. Finally aged 8 I decided that I won’t let neither diabetes nor others define what I am able to accomplish.
Fast forward, as part of my masters degree, I had to do a 6 months internship abroad. I didn’t hesitate for one second and I picked the furthest place I could go: Australia.
I had never travelled longer than 4 hours flight before and never ever changed time zones!
It is interesting how some people always have something to say! I was not only a woman going on a trip on my own – this is already a no-go for some - I was a type 1 diabetic woman. There were so many reasons why I shouldn’t go. It is dangerous, what if I have a problem with my diabetes over there and what about my insulin? Will it still work? How will I keep it fresh and carry it on the plane? etc…
Do not let the fear of others define who you are !
In case you are doubting your abilities to travel on your own here are
6 reasons to prove to yourself that you can do it:
- You're already managing your diabetes
- You can take up to 6 months of supplies with you, at once
- Jet lags are manageable
- Healthy meals are available almost anywhere.
- You do not have to go far and for a long time, start small, go further and further.
- If I did it, you can do it too
- SO WHY NOT?
When I started thinking about moving to Australia with diabetes I wasn’t really sure how to do it. To be honest I had no clue. I did a LOT of research. As I knew I’d be based in one specific area, I took 6 months of diabetic supplies with me.
Security stopped me at the airport!
My suitcase and my handbag were full of diabetes supplies.
Security stopped me at the airport and despite my protests and a doctor’s letter removed all of the ice bags from my handbag, leaving my insulin at ambient temperature. I wasn’t able give it to the staff so I had to find a solution quickly as I was about to embark on a 24 hour journey.
I ended up using the ice cream from the airplane meal and putting it in my cooler bag. 24 later and very happy to have arrived in my new home, the chocolate ice cream had melted all over the packs, but left the insulin fresh and fine.
Drastic changes of temperature are more likely to damage the insulin than keeping it unopened at an ambient temperature. For your information, some airlines can place insulin in the plane fridge, saving you the chocolate cleaning.
Don't overthink, make a plan !
Sometimes we create our own barriers in our head and start worrying and thinking too much. Of course, it is scary to jump into the unknown. That is why it is important to be prepared. If you believe that you can, you will make it. Trust your gut and shift your mindset, YOU CAN DO THIS.
Still not convinced? Read below.
Traveling with diabetes, 5 key points
- It's not as difficult as you think
It is scary, it seems insane, you feel it inside. There is doubt. This is normal, you are stepping out your comfort zone. Nothing great is never easy. KNOW YOURSELF AND BE PREPARED. .
The key to travelling with diabetes is to know yourself and to be organised.
- You become a master of the organization
Traveling safely and confidently with diabetes has a lot to do with organisation. After planning your trip, calculating how many supplies you need, getting all the paperwork, planning the meals, facing the security airport, explaining why you need the ice bags, and adapting your doses to the situation, the meals and the jet lags, you literally become a master of organisation. You will be able to adapt this to any part of your life, including your workplace.
- It boost your confidence
Embarking on this journey is very empowering, as you will learn to overcome obstacles and think outside of the box (think chocolate ice cream!). It will make you connect with your inner-self and realise what you are capable of. The fact that you are taking this step and starting to ask yourself questions is great. Stepping out of the comfort zone opens the door to new opportunities. If you go, I bet you will be proud of yourself. Who would not be?
- Drastic changes of temperature are affecting insulin more than keeping it at constant room temperature
I was very impressed finding out that insulin is way more resistant than I thought. It withstands temperatures between over 0 ° C and under 30 ° C. A higher temperature is not a big deal as long as it is for a short time. My insulin was with me during all my trips.
High fluctuations of temperature should be avoided
- You’re literally living your best life
You will grow, develop and discover new cultures. You will experience a feeling of freedom and realise that you are stronger than you think. The fact that you've had an experience abroad, something that is out of the ordinary, creates a memory that will last for ever.
If you’d like to stay in touch and or discuss further on how I can help you traveling with diabetes, connect with me on Instagram @ kfr.julie , FB Julie Kfr. I speak french, english and spanish.
Disclaimer: This article is based on my personal experience and research. You must not rely on the information in this article as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.