What Your T1D Travel Friends Want You to Know

Traveling with a friend who’s got type one diabetes? Here are the thoughts that cross his or her brain!

Not your grandma’s diabetes.

Thanks for the sympathy, but no, my diabetes is not the same as your grandma’s. When most people hear the term “diabetes,” they think of type 2 diabetes–after all, 95% of diabetics are type 2. But that’s not me. T1D requires constant, fine-tuned adjustments. I produce no insulin whatsoever; my pancreas flunked that course. Result? I run all the calculations for a stable blood sugar manually–food, current blood sugar, activity level, illness, and insulin active in my system translates to food or insulin needed. It’s a background app constantly running in my brain; if I close out, I die.

Fun thought, but there it is. Continue reading

Deodorant, Dairy, and Fear: What I Learned about Worry after Living in Japan

by Ashleigh Frix

Worry and fear shouldn’t stop you from leaving your comfort bubble to see what’s outside. Travelers and explorers aren’t all Gryffindors unconscious of fear. After seven months abroad, I can certainly say worry has been a very real part of my life.

Life in Fear

Deodorant, Dairy, and Fear: What I Learned about Worry after Living in JapanBefore I came to Japan, I worried.

I worried about finding a job, graduating school, my future, having no money, my desire to travel somewhere at some point despite the fact that I had no money, what people thought of me, how my clothes looked, if my car had enough gas, if my conditioner bottle had anything left in it—I worried about everything.

Then, I determined to move to a foreign country. A country whose language I didn’t speak and geography I didn’t know. I had no knowledge of where I would live, nearby resources, or how I would possibly survive. Continue reading

Life in China: Bugs, Marriage Proposals, and Local Celebrity

Life in China-It’s my privilege to present to you Brittany Hoppe: an intrepid foodie, adventurous teacher, gregarious friend, and all around charming human being.

Straight out of China, here are her thoughts on travel, tradition, and adapting to life in the East.

What’s your current country count?

Six! United States, Canada, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

What draws you to travel?

What draws me to travel is the need to see, eat, and experience things that are new and foreign. I love the feeling of being in a place so different from what I am used to. I love the mix of nervousness and excitement that comes with traveling. When you get to a new city or country, you’re powerful in that you’re full of options and decisions, but you’re also so vulnerable to the culture and the people. Continue reading

In the News: Cuba, Disability Travel, and Pub Dogs

From Cuba  to London, here’s a quick look at this week’s travel news!


US signs agreement with Cuba–Pres Obama to visit

coffee-cup-mug-drinkFor the first time in half a century, the US and Cuba okayed US commercial airlines to offer direct flights to Havana and nine other Cuban cities. Good news for anyone planning a trip to the Rome of the Caribbean.

President Obama intends to kick off the newly-budding romance with his own Cuban excursion sometime in March.

The downside? Many critics point out that lifting sanctions and rekindling US relations with the Communist nation rewards a government known for squashing free speech and infringing on human rights.


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App Spotlight: Instapaper

Instapaper logoNot sure about you, but I constantly battle my 10+ open browser tabs-of-good-intentions. Articles like, “Back to prep[osition] school,” “I sold out to China,” and “Bucket lists are a good way to ruin the experience of nature” start feeling unloved after I let them dwell in a distant tab for weeks on end.

Do I want to read those tabs? Absolutely! Do I think I’ll ever get around to them on my computer? Probably not.

Hence, Instapaper.*

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Travel with the Trapps


“The more one travels, the smaller the world seems to be.” Maria Trapp

Face it. Most of us have imagined throwing our arms wide and belting out “the hills are alive with the sound of music!” atop a grassy mountain. Especially in the US, The Sound of Music is our first exposure to Austria–much to Austria’s chagrin.

But if Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music piqued your interest, Maria Trapp’s The Story of the Trapp Family Singers–and its sequel, A Family on Wheels–will convince you to book the flight. But not only to Austria. Continue reading

Packing the Family Photo

In honor of my family’s recent group photo session with Gig Harbor’s Sunrise Photography, I thought I’d share a few pieces of advice I’ve picked up through the years.

Packing the Family Photo

UelandFamil2014_3197The traveler seizes opportunities to interact with families in every culture, to learn their values and observe their dynamics. Seize the opportunity to do the same with yours. Family photos document the growth of your clan, large or small. The best part? Photos travel well, especially digitally on a phone, tablet, or laptop.

And a picture’s worth a thousand words.
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Culture Guilting, Patriotism, and Indifference

TravelerThere’s something magical in exploring the world. Visiting other countries, continents, even just cities can widen a person’s outlook on the world. It helps to draw people away from the self-focused mania in the US. It removes the traveler from their sense of normal and can grant a better perspective on the world. And yet, this thing which provides escape from normal has itself become normal. Everyone travels, be it international or across state lines. It’s thanks to travel that America is overflowing with enlightened and wise people with a balanced view of the world.


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7 Ways to Explore the World Between Trips

For most travelers, 24/7 exotic travel isn’t always an option. Here are a few ways to alleviate the travel itch while you’re home.

1. Keep up with the latest news.

Keep up with newsDon’t limit yourself to your favorite travel bloggers; follow the news from your dream destinations. When you finally touch down in Shanghai, Quito, or Reykjavik, you’ll know what concerns and celebrations occupy the minds of the people you encounter. You eliminate the need for cramming before you take off, and you’ll have a plethora of conversation starters ready to go!
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