Today’s post is number 200. This is a big milestone for this website. I never really knew what to expect when I launched Gluten-Free Globetrotter in 2011. I was in the Czech Republic and thinking “If I have celiac and can travel the world, why can’t everyone?” I wanted to share my love of travel and my experience of doing it while maintaining a 100% gluten-free diet.
In the past four years, I have met fellow Gluten-Free Globetrotters from around the world! Thanks to celiac disease and being gluten-free, I have gluten-free friends from all corners of the earth that all share my passion for travel while staying gluten-free. I love emailing, tweeting, Facebooking, and even talking on the phone to each and every one of you. I appreciate all of the positive comments, interesting travel tips, and international gluten-free restaurant recommendations.
My hope is that this Gluten-Free Globetrotter travel website encourages just one person to step outside their comfort zone and book their first vacation. I love hearing about your gluten-free adventures. You all inspire me with your travels.
Where are you off to next? Leave me a comment below!
Thank you to all of you who listened to the live National Foundation for Celiac Awareness webinar on March 19th. I had a great time talking travel with Anna from GFJetSet and Rachel from the NFCA. A special thanks to all of you who followed up with me via email, Facebook, and Twitter after the event. It is so great to hear that people were inspired to travel by our talk!
Last year, I put together a fun post called 15 Reasons Why You Should Love Someone with Celiac Disease for my Gluten-Free Fun website. The post was very popular in the gluten-free community and went viral two years in a row. I wanted people to appreciate those of us living with celiac and show that there’s a lot to love!
This year, I had a great surprise when Gluten-Free Globetrotter reader Alicia Olivares Romo asked if she could translate my post into Spanish. Alicia is part of the Facebook group Celiacos de Mexico, a group that posts information about celiac disease in Spanish. If you are a native Spanish speaker, this is the group for you! I am currently taking Spanish classes and my boyfriend Victor is a native Spanish speaker, so this post came at the perfect time for me to practice my reading. Muchas Gracias, Alicia!
15 razones del por qué debes amar a alguien con la enfermedad celiaca
Hoy es día de San Valentín así que pensé que sería una buena oportunidad para reflexionar en todas las razones maravillosas del por qué hoy y siempre debes amar a una persona con la enfermedad celiaca. Por favor no duden en agregar sus razones en la sección de comentarios abajo:
1. ¡Somos poco comunes! Solo el 1% de los americanos tienen la enfermedad celiaca. Menos personas africanas, hispanas, asiático-americanas tienen la enfermedad celiaca. Somos menos de uno en un millón y serías afortunado si puedes encontrar a uno de nosotros.
2. ¡Somos únicos! La enfermedad celiaca tiene más de 300 síntomas. La enfermedad se manifiesta de diferente forma en todos y cada uno de nosotros. No hay dos celiacos iguales.
3. ¡Conseguimos que se logren hacer las cosas! Fue la comunidad celiaca la que se manifestó hacia la apertura de las conversaciones del etiquetado libre de gluten de la FDA y subsecuentemente ayudo a que estas leyes se aprobaran en el verano del 2013, logrando que la compra de alimentos seguros sea más fácil para nosotros.
4. ¡Somos persistentes! En promedio, toma de 6 a 10 años obtener el diagnóstico de la enfermedad celiaca. Nosotros no aceptamos a los doctores que no ofrecen una respuesta u ofrecen diagnósticos vagos. Nosotros seguimos buscando una respuesta y no nos damos por vencidos hasta que la obtenemos.
5. ¡Conocemos los mejores restaurantes de la ciudad! Pregúntale a un celiaco donde ir a comer y ellos probablemente te enumeraran rápidamente una lista de restaurantes libres de gluten y que sean seguros en un radio de 50 millas a la redonda. Nosotros investigamos con tiempo y probablemente el gerente y el chef son nuestros “amigos”. También nosotros dejamos buenas propinas. (Debes hacer esto, si no es que ya lo haces, especialmente si fuiste bien tratado y se te ofrecieron alimentos seguros).
6. ¡Nosotros no discriminamos! Compartimos nuestra enfermedad celiaca con hombres y mujeres de todas las edades y razas. Somos güeros, castaños, de ojos azules, de ojos grises, bajitos, altos y muchas cosas más.
7. ¡Amamos la comida! Actualmente nuestra única “cura” para la enfermedad celiaca es la comida libre de gluten. ¡Sí, nuestra medicina es la comida! ¿Cómo no te va a gustar eso? algunas de las comidas más decadentes en el mundo son por naturaleza libres de gluten. Con toda confianza nos pueden consentir con vino, chocolate, caviar y trufas.
8. ¡Somos estupendos comunicadores! Realiza una búsqueda en Google y encontraras cientos de blogs libres de gluten, nombres de usuarios de Twitter y páginas de Facebook dedicadas a vivir siempre la mejor vida celiaca. Nosotros seguramente creamos nuestros blogs para compartir las investigaciones que hemos hecho en nuestro camino hacia nuestro propio diagnóstico, con otros que están luchando con la misma búsqueda. Simply Gluten-Free tiene una muy buena lista de blogueros libres de gluten en nuestra comunidad celiaca.
9. ¡Somos empresarios! Algunos de los mejores productos libres de gluten vienen de aquellos de nosotros que vivimos con la enfermedad celiaca y que no se conforman con el sabor horrible de algunas comidas libre de gluten.
10. ¡Somos sociables! Después de nuestro diagnóstico, a menudo sentimos que somos los únicos viviendo con la enfermedad celiaca. Para resolverlo, buscamos grupos de ayuda, comunidades en línea y otros recursos que nos conecten con otros viviendo con la enfermedad celiaca. Meetup.com es un buen lugar para conectarse con otros que viven con la enfermedad celiaca.
11. ¡Somos globales! La enfermedad celiaca no conoce fronteras. Existen organizaciones celiacas tanto nacionales como internacionales alrededor del mundo. Estas asociaciones a menudo están deseosas de ayudar a los turistas americanos a navegar dentro del mundo libre de gluten cuando viajan a su país. Gluten-Free Globetrotter tiene una creciente lista de organizaciones celiacas internacionales.
12. ¡Sabemos cocinar! Muchas personas con la enfermedad celiaca eligen no salir fuera de casa a comer, lo cual hace una necesidad el ser creativos en la cocina. Existen cientos de recetas en línea que por naturaleza son libres de gluten y nosotros estamos ansiosos de probarlas todas.
13. ¡Somos fieles! Cuando encontramos una marca o restaurante libre de gluten de buen sabor y son seguros, tendemos a ser clientes repetitivos. Estamos emocionados de contarle a los demás de nuestros descubrimientos libres de gluten y continuamos comiéndolo y siéndole fiel a ese producto.
14. ¡Somos meticulosos! Probablemente le toma a un celiaco lo doble de lo normal hacer las compras del supermercado, pero esto es porque nosotros leemos las etiquetas de cada producto que compramos. Buscamos señales de alerta tales como “hecho en instalaciones donde se produce trigo” o “puede contener…” Prestamos atención y somos muy cuidadosos acerca de todo lo que comemos.
15. ¡Somos agradecidos! Un gesto tan simple como el comprarnos un brownie libre de gluten que sea seguro, un nuevo libro de recetas libres de gluten o incluso el enviarnos por mensaje de texto una foto de algo libre de gluten que te hizo recordarnos significa mucho para nosotros. Seremos muy felices de que estas consciente del mundo libre de gluten a tu alrededor y que quieras compartirlo con nosotros.
¡Mucho amor para ti y tu celiaco favorito en este día de San Valentín!
Today Costa Rica is playing the Netherlands in the World Cup. After a wonderful week at Arenas del Mar in Manuel Costa Rica, I am definitely rooting for Costa Rica today. The happiness of the Costa Ricans (also known as Ticos) was so obvious throughout the whole country both with life and with soccer. Although I missed their tie with England because I was zip-lining through the jungle, I could feel the excitement and Costa Rican pride throughout the resort.
I have so many favorite moments from my trip including the gorgeous views, the spacious rooms bigger than my apartment, and the monkeys… OMG MONKEYS!! It was the first time I saw monkeys outside of a zoo! I was like a little kid when David, the owner of Arenas del Mar, came running up to me at breakfast to say there was a “troop” in the trees.
I only saw a tiny sliver of Costa Rica, but I already know I want to go back. I want to see the volcanoes, cloud forest, Osa Peninsula, and Arenas Del Mar again! While I usually stick to my “no repeats” clause when it comes to traveling to the same place more than once, I am giving Costa Rica a pass. There is so much to see and do there. I barely scratched the surface! With more than 600 photos, and the majority of them of food at Arenas del Mar, it was hard to pick my favorites. Here are just a few!
I am thrilled to share today’s guest post with my readers. Today’s post comes from Candice of Embrace G-Free. I randomly “met” Candice through a giveaway on my Gluten-Free Fun blog a few years ago. We kept in touch after her win, finally met in person after many emails and Tweets, and she soon started her own blog: Embrace G-Free. Candice is a strong and encouraging young woman who recently took her first gluten-free trip outside of the United States. In her guest post, Candice shares her stores of a service trip to El Salvador. I am so proud of Candice for overcoming her fears of gluten-free travel and thrilled that she shared her story with us today. I highly encourage you to follow Candice’s blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Her posts are very honest, emotional, and inspiring. Thank you Candice for today’s post!
Embrace G-Free in El Salvador
Since I was little I have always had aspirations of traveling and seeing the world. I am blessed to have parents who love to travel and have been fortunate to travel to many breathtaking destinations both domestically and internationally.
Traveling is one of my many passions, and I have a list of places I want to see. However, my ultimate dream is to travel to Italy, and I want to go on a cross-country adventure, since one of my goals in life is to see all 50 states.
Another passion of mine is to engage in service activities. Service became a huge part of my life in high school, but was then fostered by my Jesuit education at The University of Scranton. Throughout my undergraduate career I engaged in many domestic service activities which all have made an impression on my life. In engaging in many service opportunities, I have not only had the privilege to serve others, but they have taught me so much about life, myself, and have helped me develop an understanding about cultures that are different from my own.
Since I step foot on Scranton’s campus I knew I wanted to be apart of Campus Ministries’ International Service Program. However, after being diagnosed with gluten-sensitivity during my sophomore year, this dream seemed unreachable.
How could I safely follow a gluten-free diet, while being immersed in another culture?
Not only did going on an international service trip seem daunting, but traveling in general seemed like a stressful task when I first received the news that I had to be gluten-free. However, as time moved on and I began to gain more confidence I began to realize that just because I had to be on a gluten-free diet, did not mean I had to stop chasing my dreams.
It took a lot of support and encouragement, but four years later, during my first year of graduate school at The University of Scranton, I succeeded in my dream of participating in Scranton’s International Service Program (ISP) and traveled to El Salvador this past May. To say this was a trip of a lifetime is an understatement, and I can’t fully express how wonderful this trip was.
Traveling to El Sal was different then any other trip I had taken. Unlike many of the travel posts you read on Erin’s blog, I can’t provide recommendations on the best gluten-free/ accommodating restaurants to eat at when traveling to El Salvador, because as part of ISP we were immersed in the culture and lived at Casa Voluntariado Santa Rafaela Maria (Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus).
That being said, I was able to enjoy many authentic Salvadorian foods which was made by the outstanding cooks each night. My favorite meal which the cooks made were Pupusa, which is a traditional Salvadoran dish; tortillas are stuffed with pork, beans, and cheese – when made this way they are called “Crazy Pupusa”. However, the cooks only made theirs with beans and cheese. This was a naturally gluten-free meal, however, they made me a special Pupusa with just beans, since I can’t have dairy. Although I was not able to eat all the same meals as my group I was thrilled I could have a Pupusa, plus the rice was amazing! My host site was more then accommodating and Sr. Gloria (our host) was always making sure I had enough to eat!
When going on a trip like this, preparation was key! I worked well in advance with the ISP program director to select a host site which would best accommodate my needs. Everyday we were at work sites during lunch so we all made PB & J in the morning. This made it easy because all I needed to do was make sure I traveled down with plenty of gluten-free bread, almond butter, and many gluten-free snacks. Schar Deli Style bread traveled well in my suitcase and is great because it has a longer shelf life. Additionally it was helpful to travel down with individual almond butter packets from Barney’s Butter. I also made sure I brought down my Triumph Dining card and made an allergy card on Allergy Translation, which was a great suggestion by Erin for my additional food allergies. This helped tremendously with the language barrier!
Overall, the biggest message I want you to hear from this post is just because you have celiac or gluten-sensitivity doesn’t mean you can’t travel or go on an immersion trip like I did. Although food is central in so many of our experiences, it doesn’t always have to be the center of your attention. To me traveling down to El Sal (and taking a day trip to Guatemala) was so much more then the food I ate. It has only been 2 months since I took this trip and honestly the memories of the food I ate are not as clear, but the memories of the people who I met grow stronger everyday. I saw more beauty in a week; in a place which is so impoverished, then I have ever seen in my lifetime.
After traveling to El Salvador, I can honestly say that although nothing will compare to my first international service trip, seeing a country in this way is something I want to do again. This trip and overall planning experience was a blessing in so many ways. Not only did I get to combine my love for travel and service, but overcoming my worries to pursue this dream made me truly believe that my traveling aspirations don’t have revolve around my dietary restrictions. I promise you, with a little extra planning and preparation it all works out!