Planning to go on holiday abroad this summer? Here's a new project that should be of interest to any of you travelling with diabetes: Sweet Trip's Travel Guides specially designed by and for people with diabetes!
This weeks guest post is from Laura, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in her mid twenties in 2015. We all know the challenges of traveling with diabetes. When Laura was diagnosed this was a huge concern for her because she loves traveling.
She created her website, SweetTrip.org to help other travelers with diabetes to navigate the 3 cornerstones of diabetes-management: local traditional food, medical and healthcare system information and active tourism to keep lowering your blood sugar levels while on holiday.
I asked Laura to tell us a little about her diabetes story and more about the SweetTrip.org Travel Guides. She has also very generously offered Thriveabetes Readers a 25% discount. See more details at the end of the post.
NEW TRAVEL GUIDES SPECIALLY DESIGNED BY AND FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES
WHO IS BEHIND THE PROJECT?
My name is Laura. I'm a 29-year-old French travel addict. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I came back from a big trip in South East Asia in 2015, when I was 27.
By that time, I had already visited 20+ countries and planned to keep on doing so my whole life. What a shock when the diagnosis came...
One of the first questions I asked the doctors on my hospital bed in Paris was if I would still be able to travel as much as I'd like. Picture my face when they told me that it was not so advisable, or at least not alone, and not in "unstable" countries. Had I to rethink my whole life and find something else to do and be excited about? I surely wouldn't be able to accept that idea.
Two months after the diagnosis, I went to Georgia with my friend and my backpack. To try and see what it would be like to travel to an unknown country with my new condition.
Before departure, I looked for a lot of information on the Internet about how to manage my diabetes in that country. I remember writing an email to the national Georgian Diabetes Organisation to ask them about where to find insulin, what to eat over there, and a few more questions. But no one had been able to provide me with valuable, concrete information about that specific country.
And then I realised that it was the same in other country. The internet is full of general tips and information for travelling with diabetes, but no one really tells you what to eat in Indonesia, how to see a doctor in Mexico, or where to find your insulin in Italy.
The month I spent in Georgia gave me time to think about it, while I was learning myself how to travel with diabetes. And by the time I got back to France, I came to these 3 clear conclusions:
- Diabetes poses no barrier to travel
- It only requires a bit of preplanning and organisation
- I am going to seize that opportunity and create what I think can help others: travel guides specially designed for people with diabetes.
And that's how the Sweet Trip project was born!
I quit my job as a Human Rights Lawyer and jumped into this new exciting adventure, with my boyfriend, our laptops and our backpacks!
A year later, SweetTrip.org is here and our first travel guides are now published and available for anyone who needs them!
SO, WHAT'S INSIDE THESE TRAVEL GUIDES EXACTLY?
We try to provide the most valuable and precise country-specific information to anyone who's traveling with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Following the 3 cornerstones of diabetes-management, our guides are organised into 3 different chapters:
LOCAL TRADITIONAL FOOD, CARBS AND NUTRITION:
We encourage any traveller to discover traditional food and explore local gastronomy by ranking the most typical dishes, desserts, and drinks, using a special "carbometer". It gives you an idea about the most diabetes-friendly dishes you can find at your destination, and how to balance out your local meals in the best and tastiest manner. We provide tips, nutritional info, local vocabulary to order and eat what you like, healthy addresses and, of course, plenty of curious cultural facts and tantalizing pictures!
MEDICAL AND HEALTHCARE SYSTEM INFORMATION:
In that chapter, we focus on providing you with all the necessary information at hand to quickly deal with the slightest diabetes-related medical mishap during your stay. You'll find everything about local medical services, diabetology, pharmacies, and laboratories. And it comes with plenty of useful addresses, a medical dictionary to help you communicate with medical staff (even if you don't speak a word of their language), and local support and tips to travel in that specific destination with diabetes.
ACTIVE TOURISM TO KEEP LOWERING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS WHILE ON HOLIDAY:
Here, we're taking you on walking and cycling discovery tours of your destination. Staying fit and keeping exercising, even on holidays, is probably the best way to manage your diabetes. And what a better opportunity to exercise than discovering a new city? Plenty of walking and cycling itineraries (from 30 min to a full day) will take you to the most interesting sites, and are illustrated with detailed maps, data sheets, and large-scale pictures. It's also full of compelling cultural facts that you won't find in regular travel guides!
WHERE CAN YOU GET SWEET TRIP'S TRAVEL GUIDES?
All of our guides are downloadable on our website: www.sweettrip.org in both PDF and EPUB format (compatible with any of your devices). Paper versions are soon going to be available soon!
As a member or a reader of thriveabetes.ie, you're entitled to a 25% discount on any of our guides. You simply need to use the discount code THRIVEABETES when checking out (the offer is valid until August 31st 2018)
If your next holiday destination is not yet available, don't hesitate to write us an email and ask for your destination of choice: we'll cover it if demand is high! (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Have a Sweet Trip :)
DISCLAIMER - There is no payment of any kind offered or received in exchange for this post.