I don’t know what it is about this spring, but it just feels different. Maybe because we got bombed with snow all winter long. Or maybe because it is the second spring during the COVID pandemic. Or maybe it is because I am vaccinated and most of my family is getting theirs too. Whatever it is, I am loving this season. It feels like a reawakening and I am feeling a bit more hopeful than last spring.
I am still not traveling but with the days getting longer, my walks are getting longer too. I live near many beautiful parks here in North Brooklyn, so I’ve been exploring near and far (but only as far as Manhattan since I am still not traveling at the moment.) Brooklyn feels almost “normal” with everyone emerging from their winter cocoon. The parks are packed, outdoor dining has resumed, and shops and restaurants that have been closed for a long time are slowly reopening. Everyone seems to be more optimistic.
This Thanksgiving is probably unlike any other Thanksgiving we’ve had in recent memory. The world feels upside-down right now. I feel like I am stuck in that movie Groundhog Day and I can’t move forward. The days are flying by but the actual forward momentum feels like I am walking in glue. I know so many of you can relate as you have shared via email, tweets, and direct messages. There is something strangely comforting in knowing I don’t feel alone.
As you can imagine, post-COVID New York City is quite a different world these days. Stores are closing, people are moving out in droves, and we are basically adjusting to a new normal way of life here. (Although, is it really normal?) I personally haven’t been on the subway in almost 6 months and have only been into Manhattan a handful of times, always driving. I live so close yet feel so far.
While New York City is still officially on “PAUSE” and the inability to travel at the moment, I want to connect with the gluten-free community in a new way. When two of my favorite people on Instagram both approached me to go “LIVE” with them, I jumped at the opportunity.
I know I have a bunch of new readers and subscribers, so I thought the new year would be a great time to (re)introduce myself to you all.
My name is Erin Smith and I am a lifelong celiac. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in the 1980s way before “gluten-free” was a trend so I have a unique perspective of growing up gluten-free. I was in the trenches searching for gluten-free food long before it was available on supermarket shelves, before the Internet was invented (yes, I was alive then!), and before many of the national celiac associations even existed. Next year is my 40th anniversary of my celiac diagnosis but until then I am 39 and holding! 🙂
In 2011, I started Gluten-Free Globetrotter after a wonderful solo trip to the Czech Republic. I had my first gluten-free beer on tap at a 100% gluten-free restaurant in Prague and I wanted to shout this news from the rooftops. I knew I wasn’t the only person with celiac disease that wanted to travel the world and so this blog was born.
Nine years later, this blog has brought me so much more than I could have ever imagined. I have met wonderful gluten-free travelers from across the globe. I’ve made gluten-free dumplings with the Singapore Celiac group, had gluten-free pastries with fellow celiac travel bloggers in Paris, planned gluten-free vacations for more than twenty families, and spoken at numerous events about how to be a Gluten-Free Globetrotter. The opportunity to connect with and inspire so many others living with celiac disease has been the most rewarding part of this journey.
Five Facts About Gluten-Free Globetrotter
I have been to 3 continents, 23 countries, and 37 states all while being 100% gluten-free and living with celiac disease. You can see a list of my travels with links to posts here.
I drove cross-country twice, once on a southern route and once on a northern route. I have so much sympathy for those with celiac living in the middle of nowhere! I realized on my trips how living in New York City I was spoiled with gluten-free options.
I have shared my Gluten-Free Globetrotter travel tips with over 1,000 people at gluten-free expos and celiac disease national conferences in two countries.
While 2019 was a slow year for travel but busy in other ways, 2020 promises to get me back into the travel groove. I have a bunch of upcoming blog posts planned for this year as well as some city guides and exciting events in New York City.
What do you want to see from Gluten-Free Globetrotter in 2020?