Welcome to the web’s most inspirational diabetes website!
My name is Jeremy, and I’ve had Type 1 diabetes since December 1982. Over the years I’ve traveled all around my home country of America, and in recent years, all around the world. Since 2004 I’ve lived off and on in Osaka, Japan.
I believe in taking care of diabetes as a way to overcome it. In other words, accept that you have it, deal with it, and don’t let it take on a greater importance in your life than it needs to.
This means knowing your blood glucose, whether you use a CGM or the traditional test strip system.
There is nothing you can do about having diabetes — there may be a cure relatively soon, but there isn’t one now. So grow up and learn to work with it.
The most important thing a diabetic can do is make the effort to have good BG. It’s not the numbers themselves, it’s the striving for healthy numbers that matters.
The American Diabetes Association recommends a pre-meal blood sugar in the 70 to 130 mg/dL range (3.9 to 7.2 mmol/L). Mine certainly isn’t always there, but I always keep it in mind as a goal. When it’s low or high, I correct it, try to learn from it, and just move on.
Ever since my friends and I were old enough to drive, we were taking trips around our part of the US (Georgia) in ever-widening circles. Eventually we were on multi-week trips across the country, and across Canada. I loved the passing scenery, the hunting for restaurants, the changing landscape, and the warm friendliness and curiosity of people we met.
And, of course, the pure challenge and freedom of exploring. Humans were nomadic for far longer than we’ve been domesticated, and wandering the landscape still flexes all the right muscles.
I took my first trip outside the United States in 1998, a one-month trip to Scandinavia. From Helsinki to Copenhagen, I learned how to get around in other countries, to figure out the train schedules and find accommodation, and to move in and out of groups of other travelers I’d meet.
I got the idea around 2003 to live in another country as a kind of super-traveling, and chose Japan since I would be able to teach English there and earn a decent salary. I ended up staying several years, and using it as a base for my other travels.
I love the wandering lifestyle, the resourcefulness it develops, and the experiences it offers. I love teaching English but my eye is always on my next trip.
Diabetes and travel
Traveling with diabetes is a whole lot like not traveling with diabetes. Blood sugar sometimes “behaves”, and sometimes it doesn’t. Poor sleep and the stress of missing the one daily train out of town might affect diabetes, but stress back home in the office can certainly do the same. I always say I’d rather be 350 while hiking around a medieval Czech castle than sitting at a desk somewhere.
I’d rather have a BG of 350 while hiking around a medieval castle than while sitting at my desk in an office.
Finding medical care and diabetes supplies has never been a problem for me. I research as much as I can about a place, take a lot of supplies with me, and start searching for replacements before I run out. I’ve always found a source for medical help — doctors and pharmacists the world over are happy to help; it’s their calling.
I’ve had Norwegian pharmacists sell me insulin without a prescription, had a rural Cambodian hospital’s one English-speaking doctor come in on his day off, and taken an ambulance ride across the Laos-Thailand border. (It wasn’t diabetes-related.) The fear of traveling is the fear of the unknown — when you get somewhere you find that everything is in fact fine and your fears were all lies bouncing around your head.
The 70-130 project is a multimedia expression of my own experiences — videos, photos, stories, and social media events to reach as many people as possible with the message that diabetes can’t hold you back from doing anything.
I write travelogues, thoughts, and experiences on www.70-130.com, and I am on various social media platforms using the hashtag #T1Dtravel. Please connect with me and help spread the 70-130 word.
Remember: fear is in your mind, diabetes isn’t the worst thing, and the world is waiting for you to go meet it!
DISCLAIMER: I am a diabetes patient, not a doctor. I make lots of mistakes and poor choices. Don’t make any decisions based on what I say, unless that decision is “check with your doctor” if you have any questions or ideas about your own health care. 70-130 is all about responsibility and honesty.