2018 was another big year for Gluten-Free Globetrotter. I went to six countries, traveled via air and car around 100,000 miles (if not more), and moved back to New York City from California via a cross-country road trip. One of my favorite trips of the year was an unexpected work trip to Singapore. What a beautiful and interesting country. I also loved my cross-country road trip with my mom and South Dakota was a surprise fave from the drive. I also went to Mexico, France, and Germany and yes, I still need to write about all of those trips too!
With all of these adventures, I did a lot of gluten-free eating but also met a lot of wonderful people across the globe. Honestly, meeting fellow celiac travelers is always a highlight of travel for me. These women (always women, go figure!) never let their diagnosis and gluten-free life stop them from seeing the globe. These are my people! I get giddy when I have another gluten-free “blind date” with these celiac friends from near and far… and some of these meet ups were very far from home.
Here are some of the amazing Gluten-Free Globetrotters I met in 2018!
Rachel of The Sightseeing Coeliac
I was flattered when Rachel asked me to meet up during her birthday trip to New York City. She has a wonderful blog full of gluten-free travel guides and stories from around the world. Traveling from the UK, Rachel randomly spotted me on the busy streets of Times Square on my way to meet her. What are the chances?! I could have listened to her travel stories all day long but she had a busy agenda during her time in NYC including visiting the Rockefeller Tree and seeing shows on Broadway.
Anna of Live Free Canada
Anna has half of the dynamic sister duo behind Live Free Canada. Along with her sister Pam, the ladies share food, lifestyle, and wellness tips on how to live with celiac disease and other food allergies. I first “met” Anna via phone when I was featured on their Live Free Canada podcast at the end of the summer. When she suggested a gluten-free breakfast meetup in NYC, I couldn’t say no! Next time, Pam needs to come too.
Cecile from Because Gus and Diana from Travel Far Gluten Free
This was an especially fun meetup since it was in Paris, France! Diana is a gluten-free vlogger and flight attendant from Las Vegas who was going to Paris the same time as me in November. Cécile is a celiac blogger and founder of Because Gus, living in Paris. Cécile and I first met back in 2015 and kept in touch via social media ever since. I thought a gluten-free breakfast date with these ladies would be a great way to chat all about celiac travel over GF pastries in Paris. Both of these ladies have lived in some amazing places (Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and more!) and never let celiac disease stop them from seeing the world.
The Midwestern Celiac
Laura and I first met on Twitter, sharing tweets about both gluten-free travel and politics. (and lots of DMs and Twitter eye rolls) We finally met up in person during her visit to New York City this fall. Laura currently lives in Minnesota, runs a celiac support group, and has lived across the globe. She has some great tips about gluten-free travel.
Selina, the founder of HairAid
Selina and I actually met many years ago though mutual friends who wrote a gluten-free cookbook but our celiac connection and social media has kept us in touch. It had been at least 6+ years since we had seen each other. Selina is an Australian-based power house who started an amazing organization called Hair Aid. This group trains people in third-world countries to cut hair. Sounds simple enough, but this organization really changes peoples lives. Having a skill like hair cutting can feed a family, save a person from a life of drugs and prostitution, and so much more. Her story is fascinating as are her travels and I was so happy to catch up with her over a gluten-free meal on her latest trip to NYC.
You must visit the HairAid website to learn more and to make a donation.
Karen from the Singapore Celiac Group
Meeting up with Karen just goes to show you how small the global celiac community can really be. I met a woman named Lisa (founder of Bien Cuit GF) in Paris three years ago. She had been living in Singapore before France and told me about her friend and co-organizer of the Singapore Celiacs named Karen. When I started planning my trip to Singapore in May, Karen was the first person I reached out to. She quickly became an invaluable resource and friend. She helped me plan my trip and even met me when I was at my crankiest, jeg-lagged self my first afternoon in Singapore. (Thanks for that!!) Karen quickly oriented me to Singapore transit and we enjoyed dinner together. Karen kept tabs on me during my trip to make sure I was ok and I truly appreciated having a new friend in a faraway land. At the end of my trip, Karen invited me over to her home to make gluten-free dumplings with others from her Singapore Celiac group and this was seriously the highlight of my week. Thank you for your hospitality Karen!
Visit Karen’s amazing new resource Gluten-Free Singapore.
Amy, the Family Chef
Ok, if you know me and you follow me on Instagram, you know that Amy and I have been friends for a few years now. But as I looked through my photos from the past year, I realized Amy is the blogger I have seen the most in different places across the country. I met up with Amy in New York City at the beginning of the year as she was wrapping up a year-long round-the-world adventure with her family. We then reunited in Half Moon Bay, CA when she returned from her trip. I took a brief detour to see Amy in Lake Tahoe, CA as I started my cross-country celiac journey in July. Amy has become a dear friend and someone I can talk to for hours. She had a bit of a rough year health-wise but she has kept a positive attitude and keeps herself busy in the kitchen. Hugs to you, my friend!
P.S. I introduced Amy to Karen (from Singapore) when I found out they were both going to the Generation GF retreat with their daughters in Florida this past summer. I love connecting my global celiac friends!
Thank you all for being such wonderful and adventurous celiac friends. You are all truly inspiring and I can listen to your travel stories for hours. Wishing you all safe gluten-free travels in the new year!