Welcome to Gluten Free Traveller!
My name is Laura. I’m originally from Scotland (hence the British spellings throughout this website). I was diagnosed with coeliac disease in August 2009. I cannot eat gluten ever again and even the tinniest crumb will make me sick. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye but it’s not as simple as just avoiding bread, pasta and beer like some people might think.
Unfortunately gluten finds it’s way into so many things and that’s what makes sticking to a 100% gluten free diet so challenging. Would you ever think ice cream, yogurt or soup could contain gluten?
Staying safely gluten free can be difficult enough when you’re at home in your crumb free kitchen never mind when you’re travelling somewhere new. Each country has their own unique gluten free labelling laws, different gluten free products and varying levels of awareness of coeliac disease and gluten free dieting.
Travelling is arguably the most arduous area of gluten free life for coeliacs hence my decision to start this website. My biggest passion in life is travelling and from now on I’m going to have to make sure that all of my adventures are free of gluten!
My love for travel started at a young age when growing up my parents, my brother and I went on various domestic and international adventures together.
My passion grew during the summer after my second year at university when a couple of my best friends and I decided it was time to explore Europe. We saved up as much as we could, filled our backpacks and took our first Easy Jet flight to Amsterdam. We were young, adventurous and we made some amazing memories on that trip. We also saw a lot in 5 weeks and we did it all by train. Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, Rome, Milan, Florence, Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Paris.
I was hooked! My feet would forever be itchy to explore. The following summer another good friend and I spent 3 weeks exploring France and Switzerland.
After graduating from University in 2004 my best friend and I jumped on a plane bound for Toronto, Canada where I would live, work and travel for the next 18 months. This was my first experience of living in a foreign country and I couldn’t get enough. Before heading back to the UK some friends and I travelled west to Vancouver, south to Seattle then back east to Chicago then Toronto via almost everywhere in between. This whole journey we did by Greyhound bus. :/
I then decided I wanted to teach English abroad and chose to spend a year in South Korea. I was 22 years old and I was all alone headed off on one of the biggest adventures of my life! I lived and worked in Seoul but got the chance to explore the rest of the country as well as Japan and Hong Kong on my days off. As if my time in Asia wasn’t adventurous enough I also managed to spend a long weekend in North Korea, a trip I only told my parents about once I had returned safely.
I’ll give you the short version of the rest…
I met John (who is now my lovely husband!) in South Korea. After Korea we travelled over land from Iowa to Honduras for 4 months, spending extended periods of time in both Mexico and Guatemala.
We then moved to Glasgow, Scotland for the next three years. (It was at this time when I started to develop symptoms of what would then turn out to be celiac disease)
During our time in the UK we visited 29 European countries plus Morocco.
Somewhere in the middle of this travelling I was diagnosed as celiac but I couldn’t let it stop me from travelling so we continued. It’s a lot more challenging now and I always have to do my research, be prepared for every trip and be a lot more cautious but I get really excited when I come across gluten free products and restaurants in the most random of locations. It happens way more often than you would think!
In 2010, we moved to South America for 6 months to live in Buenos Aires, Argentina and to explore Patagonia.
In January 2011 we moved to San Francisco, California which is where I am right now. Don’t worry, my feet are still very itchy! We just returned from a trip to Singapore and Malaysia and I’m always planning gluten free trips so I’ll be updating you with information, tips and stories on travelling the world, gluten free…
As a gluten free traveller, when I decide to go somewhere new, I’m always on the lookout for tips on where to eat safely and how to help make my trip as stress free as possible. I’m writing this website to use my research and experiences to help fellow travellers who are just like me. If you want to go everywhere and see everything but don’t want to spend any more time than you have to searching for safe places to eat then I’m writing this for you….I want you to spend your time making wonderful travel memories, not searching in vain for something safe to eat!
Happy Gluten Free Travels,