This week marks my three year anniversary! It’s gluten free cake time! Three years ago this week my doctor told me I had something called celiac disease. Three years ago this week I found out I could never again eat gluten. Three years ago this week I went from Laura, the Scottish chick who travels a lot to Laura, the gluten free traveller.
It’s interesting to look back at the post I wrote two years back when I was just one year into my gluten free journey. I feel so much more knowledgeable and comfortable about gluten free living than I did back then. These past two years have been a huge learning experience. I wasn’t even on Twitter or Facebook back then. 🙂
Am I happy? Yes!
Am I healthy? Very!
Do I miss gluten? Nope! I thought I would but I really don’t. It’s extremely rare that I find myself starting at a gluten filled donut or sandwich and wishing I could eat it. I guess it’s hard to miss something that will kill me.
What do I miss after three years without gluten?
Variety. Whilst there aren’t really any specific products I find myself longing for, I do miss being able to go into a store and choose anything I want. Similarly I miss being able to eat at any restaurant and choose whatever I want from the menu. Sometimes I feel like I’m always eating the same things and eating out at the same restaurants because I know they are safe.
Spontaneity. This is probably the thing I miss most and the reason I started this website in the first place. I miss not having to be prepared all the time. I miss the ability to decide I’m hungry when I’m out somewhere and sitting down at the first place that looks good. I miss being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want.
Not being able to eat anything before asking ‘Is this gluten free?’ I hate always being ‘that girl’, the one who has a question to ask the server at a restaurant, every time. I hate having to call companies to double check their products are safe for me to eat. I hate that I can’t even try a sample that a store is giving out before checking that it’s gluten free.
Not being able to enjoy the complete cultural experience, food wise, when travelling. In my travels before I had ever heard the term gluten free, I ate haggis in Scotland, poutine in Canada, tortas in Mexico, baleadas in Honduras,waffles in Belgium, baklava in Greece, cous cous in Morocco and so the list continues. When I travel now I can’t try anything I want. I can only eat the gluten free food which is available to me. This doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the food of a new country but it does limit me to some extent.
What great things have come from three years without gluten?
The support of the gluten free community. When you’re dealing with something as big as celiac disease, you need a strong support network. My friends and family are fantastic about it, especially my wonderful husband, John, but it’s also great to be surrounded with a bunch of people in the same position as me. It’s great to be able to help others going through the same thing and also to be able to have a community with which to share experiences and ask questions.
New gluten free friends. I have met so many different, amazing people on my travels as a result of my celiac diagnosis and my site. I love meeting up with fellow celiacs or gluten free-ers and I look forward to meeting many more!
Gluten Free Traveller. Two of my greatest passions have always been travelling and writing so how strange that being diagnosed with what at first seemed like a terrible condition has given me an outlet for my writing. I travel, I eat and I write about it. I adore it. Now if only I could get someone to pay me for it..
It makes me so happy to be able to help fellow celiacs to travel the world without gluten and more of you than I ever imagined are interested in what I have to say. Thank you for your support and here’s to the next three gluten free years!!
Happy gluten free travels!