Turning Tough Nos Into Transformative Yeses for the T1D Community
FROM T1WT FOUNDER, SAVANNAH JOHNSON:
I’ve joked that my two most essential travel items are my passport and my insulin. When you hear this, you might think I’ve been traveling forever, but I didn’t start traveling until I was 19, when I told my parents that I was burnt out, taking time off college, and going to Southeast Asia without a plan. I had attempted to travel prior–as a high school student, I applied to a handful of summer programs boasting rugged outdoors adventures and road less traveled itineraries. I wanted to see the world, to know the world, to discover my potential to impact it.
I wanted to see the world, to know the world,
to discover my potential to impact it.
I didn’t see any limitations to doing so, but my diabetes was cited time and time again by the travel companies as reason I couldn’t enroll. The environments were “too remote,” the access to reliable healthcare or refrigeration “inconsistent,” the staff “ill-equipped to handle” it. I was diagnosed when I was two years old, in great health, and my diabetes management had become second nature. Those rejections were impossible not to take personally.
To date, I’ve studied, worked, lived, and traveled to 42 countries. All because, during my first travel experience, I learned that I could.
The idea for Type 1 Way Ticket was initially born in 2016 out of a conversation with a colleague who thought she and her boyfriend couldn’t travel at all due to a presumed lack of diabetes-friendly food options abroad. A few years later, I was compelled to create an eponymous diabetes travel-focused Instagram account after meeting a mom and her middle school daughter who had never had a sleepover due to concerns about managing diabetes away from home. In both of these moments, I felt an urgency to showcase the boundless possibilities of life with diabetes.
My initial urgency to showcase soon morphed into an even greater urgency to create opportunities for T1Ds to LEARN EXACTLY how unstoppable they are...
My journey of going from novice to experienced to professional traveler has encompassed myriad health insurance debates, pump mishaps, and insulin scares, just as yours will. But unlike mine, with the support of Type 1 Way Ticket, yours will have a smaller learning curve and less trial and error. And like mine, yours will encompass phenomenal growth, self-discovery, and some of the most beautiful people and places in the world, all of which will make any challenges more than worth it.
I am who I am because a travel company said yes to me, igniting a domino effect of turning devastating nos into transformative yeses. And I do what I do to say yes to you and show you the world is your oyster.
Type 1 Way Ticket surrounds you with the community, resources, and experiences to empower you to live life to the fullest. We embrace the curveballs and factor diabetes into each day so that you can grow as an independent traveler who just so happens to have a faulty pancreas and a whole community of new friends and program leaders to lean on.
I know first-hand how nerve-wracking it can be to have doctors and loved ones caution you from doing things like hiking trips in remote areas, living at high altitude or without access to refrigerators, SCUBA diving, or traveling entirely. Type 1 Way Ticket offers you the optimism and the opportunity to bring T1D abroad in the company of people who fully get it and prove to yourself that, with the right amount of preparation and grit, you can truly do anything, anywhere–with diabetes.
with the right amount of preparation and grit, you can truly do anything, anywhere–with diabetes.
On behalf of the T1WT team, we can’t wait to travel with you,