Last week was my “travelversary.” Six years ago this month, my friends were either too poor, too busy, or too married to leave NYC with me for an adventure. I decided the only way I was going to see the world was to go by myself. Instead of throwing a pity party, I took matters into my own hands and booked a week-long trip to Sedona and Grand Canyon, Arizona. It was one of the scariest things I ever did, but I have no regrets in the world.
I decided to start my solo travels in the United States for many reasons, the biggest being language. As a Celiac, it is always a little bit scary to try to communicate that you cannot eat wheat, rye, oats, and barely in English let alone in another language. I figured staying in the US would allow me to talk easily to restaurant staff and get safe meals. As I traveled to the Grand Canyon, I dined at the famous El Tovar Hotel overlooking the majestic Canyon. I explained (in English) to my server my dietary needs. Besides being my first solo trips, this was also one of the very first times that I ate alone in a restaurant. I was not that comfortable and felt like everyone was looking at the lone diner but I kept myself busy with my postcards and journal. Dining alone is something I got used to as I continued to travel alone.
After my first solo trip in 2005, I continued to travel alone over the next 6 years. I went to California, Seattle, Vancouver, New Orleans, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico (those last 4 were via a cruise), Turks and Caicos, and most recently the Czech Republic. All solo, all with gluten-free language cards, maps, and more in tow. I also traveled to Las Vegas, Miami, Italy, and Canada with others without a problem. I never was glutened and although at times I sat in my hotel room eating cheese and gluten-free crackers, I never went hungry on any of these vacations.
I love to travel and I am 100% gluten-free. To many, this is a scary combination. To me, it is a challenge that I love to research, plan and execute. If this blog helps to encourage one person to travel while living a gluten-free lifestyle, then I consider this website a success.
I have some really exciting things happening over here at Gluten-Free Globetrotter. I hope you stick around to see what’s to come and join me on future gluten-free travels!