When I was in college, I always wanted to travel the world. Different cultures fascinated me, and no one could hold me back from learning more about them. During my junior year, I decided I was going to go to Europe…on my own. Yikes. Understandably, my parents shuttered at the idea, but they knew there was no way I’d sit back wondering “What if?” for the rest of my life. So they did what every diabetic’s parents should do, they asked me about my medication plan.
Let me say one thing, if you have type 1 diabetes and plan on going anywhere for more than a month, it takes more organizational skills than you might think. I called my endocrinologist, gave her the scoop, and got my ducks in a row. We ended up putting together a stash equating to nine months worth of medications, (you know, just in case) and I went on my merry way.
I lived in Nürtingen, Germany. If you don’t know where the heck this tiny town is located, all I’ll say is that I’m not surprised. This itsy, bitsy town in South West Germany was my safe haven, a home base during my wild adventures to Ireland, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Austria, England, France, and Italy.
Of course I was the only type 1 diabetic in the dorms, so everyone was naturally curious—especially this dreamboat Lithuanian with deep blue eyes and a mysterious personality. I was in love faster than you can say “oopah!” at Oktoberfest. Turns out, his brother also had type-1 diabetes. Oh my gosh, this super cute European man understood my afflictions and—me! In fact, he became my family away from home as he aided me through the late-night lows, kept my exercise regimen strong, and made sure I remained organized with my T1D. He was literally a miracle.
Looking back, his help really made this six-month trip amazing, and my T1D was just as controlled as ever. I was truly lucky to have a supportive family, an understanding doctor, and a man who truly cared by my side. Diabetes didn’t hold me back; it was only another small part of the day in all reality. I felt just like any non-diabetic spreading their wings and flying into adulthood! It was a trip that absolutely changed me forever. “But what happened to this Lithuanian stud?” you might ask. Let’s just say “I do” was in the cards.
Just remember guys — anything is possible. Even a type 1 diabetic backpacking in Europe for six months while finding the love of her life. Always shoot for the stars!