Stories from a life traveling with T1D.
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Today is Day 49!
Follow my nearly year-long, open-ended backpacking voyage through the friendly and unbelievably beautiful countries of Southeast Asia. This is what you can see – and how you can handle diabetes, keep insulin cool, and find new medical supplies – in some of the most welcoming and culturally varied areas in the world: eleven months in Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam!
Sa Pa is the best of northern Vietnam in winter: cold, rugged, with nice guesthouses and a mystical feel. Here's how it inspires you to continue traveling.
Between Thailand and Cambodia lies the town of Poipet, a rough and chaotic place. Most travelers pass right on through but I stuck around to check it out.
Visit Sukhothai, Thailand to feel the instant and warmly welcoming embrace of 800-year old ruins lying with beautiful inevitability under the golden sun.
How much insulin do you need for chicken feet? I had the chance to explore this dilemma in Udorn Thani, Thailand, but my stomach was having none of it.
Out of the hospital and eating more and more, the last week in Nong Khai, Thailand has gotten me over my weird tropical illness. Time to continue the trip!
The gory tale of how I got so sick with a mystery illness in Laos that I had to take an ambulance across the border back into Thailand.
Vientiane is not chock-full of amenities but we have managed to find wi-fi, coffee, riverside meals with new road friends, and even some thyroid pills.
On Day 180 of this long SE Asia trip we entered only our fourth country: Laos, and its capital of Vientiane. A busy day of trains 'n' tuk-tuks.
Long-term, open-ended travel allows you to explore obscure sights in a big city at your own pace. For example, these places in Bangkok, Thailand.
Do you prefer big cities or smaller, unknown places when you travel? Here are some reasons the smaller places might offer you a better experience.
A day in Chumphon has become a month – I've restocked my insulin, joined a bike rally, seen ladyboy shows, and even fixed my MacBook with a toy keyboard.
When several keys on my money-earning MacBook stopped working in Thailand, I thought I'd have to end my trip. Here's how I fixed it (I think).
I ran out of insulin in small-town Thailand and had to find more somehow. I couldn't find my usual so I bought another type. It worked out fine, luckily.
As it happened, Day 100 of this Southeast Asia trip was Songkran, the Thai new year when people squirt water and smear chalk all over each other.
We were persuaded to extend our stay at Kae's Guesthouse in Thailand to see a ladyboy show. We didn't know what that was but we sure found out!
Trang, Thailand is pleasant with a typical Thai feel but with amazing temples hidden amongst the trees on the periphery. Plus, my insulin stayed cool there.
Thanks to some miscommunication, we ended up staying overnight in Hat Yai, Thailand where bombs had killed people at locations all around our hotel. Gulp.
Some "local tours" are just crass, dull visits to trinkets dealers. This one in George Town, Malaysia was a particular waste of money. Here's what happened.
Traveling slowly means you can see everything a place has to offer – like the Jungle Walks and waterfalls in the green hills around Tanah Rata, Malaysia.
A day in central Malaysia turned out to be a kind of trip to Britain and to Tamil India. Every day should be as illuminating and varied as this one!
About a trip we took into the mystical deep Malaysian jungle to visit a primitive Orang Asli community and get to know about their lives among the trees.
Sometimes a mix of international culture, rather than local color, makes a place interesting. Malacca, Malaysia is one such place. But bring enough insulin!
Your traveling pace can be super fast or super slow, or somewhere in between. Read about how we killed 22 days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and loved it.
Klang's Indian food gave me high blood sugar, but still I want to go back because it's one of those places you pass through without seeing properly.
Monkeys and human-sized lizards are just some examples of the bountiful wildlife in and around the town of Kuala Selangor, Malaysia.
Lost in rural Malaysia without a place to stay, we were offered a ride by a guy named Muhammad Ali. The kindness of strangers always comes when you need it.
You can't keep your balance in the "Crazy Weightless Room" in Malaysia's national planetarium, which looks vertical but is actually on a steep angle.
Tips about not getting your ATM card info stolen over public wifi, based on this real story that happened to me at a Malaysian Starbucks.
Sometimes a regular day turns into a crazy, unique, and unexpected experience. That's how I ended up petting elephants in central Malaysia one afternoon.
Unbelievable tourist scam story from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Would you play a card game for money with a stranger on your first day in a new country?
Kuala Lumpur offers a very potent dose of multiculturalism, and it's not just limited to Chinese, Malays, and Indians but includes many others.
How do you switch from being at home to being on a long trip? It helps to open your eyes to small but significant events along the way.