New year, new Pathfinder spotlight! Kicking off 2019 we caught up with Carrie from For Gluten Sake who talks us through life on the road with a dietary restriction.
Give us the lowdown on your blog…
My name is Carrie and I have celiac disease, and I have yet to let it stop me from travelling the world. For Gluten Sake is all about showing you that, if you have the right tools, it is more than possible to travel the world as a celiac. My website has the largest list of 100% gluten-free spots around the world, gluten-free city guides, gluten-free tips, hotel reviews and so much more!
Describe your travel style in three words…
Food-centred, flexible and adventurous.
Top three places you’ve visited?
Hanoi, Rio de Janeiro and Patagonia.
How has being celiac changed the way you travel?
If I’m honest, it hasn’t changed it that much. I’ve always been one to carry food on me and can easily get ‘hangry’ if I don’t have snacks! That said, it still has changed in terms of needing to be more proactive and I can’t always be as spontaneous as I’d like to be. Food is definitely at the centre of my travels now, but I refuse to let celiac disease stand in the way of seeing the world.
The whole reason I have a website in the first place is to empower others in a similar fashion. I was also finding that many celiacs were not wanting to travel unless they could eat at 100% gluten-free spots, which is why I launched the listing of 100% gluten-free places in 41 countries and counting!
Which destinations most surprised you in terms of gluten-free hotspots?
Both Brazil and Tokyo. In Brazil, everything at the supermarket has to be labelled if it has gluten in. It’s amazing! And much of the Brazilian diet is naturally gluten free (think açaí and tapioca crepes, which I’m forever obsessed with after that trip). One of my current dreams is to open up a tapioca food truck. Tapioca crepes are now becoming popular all over the world.
Tokyo now has six 100% gluten-free spots. I was there this summer and went to all five (the sixth opened after I was there). This is huge, as Japan can be challenging to navigate with celiac disease because of all the soy sauce.
What one piece of advice would you give a traveller who has a dietary restriction?
Do your research and don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. There are so many amazing websites, Instagram posts, and resources out there now to help you travel the world with dietary restrictions.
And if I can give two pieces of advice, the second would be: don’t let it stand in your way. Decide that you can still travel with a dietary restriction and change your mindset to use your dietary restriction in a positive way. Although it can feel limiting and challenging at times, I have found a ridiculously supportive community online through my website and being an advocate for celiac disease that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ve also been able to meet up with other celiacs around the world, not to mention getting to interview over 70 owners of 100% gluten-free spots (many of which I have done in person too).
If you’re a member of our Pathfinders community and would like to share your story, drop us an email at email@example.com and tell us what exciting things you’re up to on your blog.