I have spent the evening researching lots of things to do in Bolivia, because I am excited and I like to have an idea of what I am getting myself into before I enter a country. I think it's important to know customs and cultures so as to not offend. But...as I was looking, my thoughts turned to, am I nervous about going? And my honest answer is, Yes. This is the biggest challenge I will undertake with my type 1 diabetes so far. I love to travel, but I have never attempted a 4 month stint, and I keep thinking about all the things that could go wrong...such as all my insulin dying...someone stealing my pump/handset/backpack with supplies, getting so ill I can't get my bloods under control and I fall super ill...etc. These are all very real possibilities, especially for me, where my body is a little temperamental. But then I thought to myself, is there any situation I can't fix? No, if my insulin dies, I can buy more, it may be annoying and a struggle, but I can get more. If my pump gets stolen, well it's back to good old pens, and I have a spare. Someone steals my backpack? Bradley has supplies too, and if I fall extremely ill? Then I do all I can to get better, and if I can't? I reschedule. I realized I can't let these things make me nervous and apprehensive to the point I get scared and doubt my abilities. Life is such a journey with new challenges every day, and how we measure our success in life, is how we deal with those challenges. I could back down and say it’s all too much risk, or I can realise it's been done before, and there is no reason why I can't have an amazing time. I have dealt with stolen items/insulin dying in previous countries, and I lived to tell the tale so I know I will live to tell the tale again.
I am a super strong, determined individual, but I do have my doubtful moments, and that is okay. Just like everyone else has their moments of self-doubt. It’s about talking it out, or writing it down, and moving past it. You come out stronger than you thought, and you achieve things you never believed you would. I love this quote, and I think it defines how I am thinking…
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”
I have the chance to inspire as many fellow Type 1’s as I can to follow their dreams, no matter what that may be. Diabetes is draining, and it’s easy to give up and fall behind, I have been there countless times, but it is learning from them difficulties, and shaping them into opportunities. I have the chance to raise money for the fellow type 1s in South America who can't afford insulin, or test strips, or monitors. I have the chance to make a difference, and you all have the chance to make it with me!
So...South America, Bring it on.