When I was diagnosed with diabetes this past January, one of the first things I thought about was how my travel plans would be affected. Not only was I boarding a plane for a business trip the very next day, but I also was planning a spring trip to Thailand.
My business trip turned out to be pretty awful. I was in complete shock about my diagnosis and really didn’t know anything about diabetes at that point. To make matters worse, I had a long, scary list of directions on when to go to the emergency room from my doctor.
In the weeks following my diagnosis, I started reading a lot online about traveling with diabetes. Similar to the “emergency room list” I carried with me on my business trip, many of the articles I came across were full of overwhelming advice. Not only would I need to pack extra medication, testing supplies and glucose tablets, but I also would need to inform practically everyone I encountered that I am diabetic, learn how to say “I need sugar” in various foreign languages and check my feet daily for possible infections. After reading tips like that I wondered how in the world I would travel to Southeast Asia alone with this scary new disease.
I now know that those articles don’t say everything they should. There are a lot of things that diabetics need to think about and prepare for when traveling, but it’s also important to remember that we can lead normal lives and take awesome trips. And that’s exactly what I intend to do in 13 days.