A Little Background
My partner Kelton and I met on Halloween in 2017 and quickly formed a bond over our shared love of travel. We met through the app Bumble and I was instantly impressed by his photos in Paris and Venice – it was a quick “swipe right” on my part!
He’d been to quite a few more international destinations than I had, and I was eager to begin the somewhat impossible task of catching up to him – impossible that is unless I were to take some solo trips, or we revisit all the places he’s been so far without me.
Skip forward a few years and amazing trips together to January 2021, when everyone was really starting to feel the pandemic fatigue. Kelton launched his blog and wrote his first post, Why 2020 Was The Best Year Ever, to “show the good that can come out of a bad situation – that struggle begets growth.”
A few months later, life threw another curve ball and he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Rather than allow this life-altering diagnosis to derail him, he has learned how to stay on top of managing this disease, adapted to the changes it has made in how we travel, and provides value on his blog to others who are facing the same challenges.
So that you can get to know him a bit better, I’ve asked him some questions about his travels, living with diabetes, and his plans for the future.
Q&A with Kelton Goes
1. What are the main ways being diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic has affected the way you travel?
There’s a lot more planning involved now. Every step I take has an abundance of questions that come with it – how long am I going? What will I be doing? What will the temperature be? Is refrigeration available? I have always been the kind of person that could say “okay” to a last minute suggestion, but now I have to think about all possible outcomes of a situation before going. I also have to devote a lot of space to medical supplies. Key tip though: TSA allows those who travel with medical supplies to bring an additional bag that doesn’t count towards your personal item or carry-on.
2. What has been your favorite travel experience or moment?
In 2018, I had been traveling for nearly 24 hours straight on every mode of transportation you could think of. I was exhausted. Our boat pulled into Koh Tao and we were met at the docks by a super nice staff member from our hotel. She drove us up the hillside. Up, up, up we went above the hustle of the beachside strip below, where the songs of birds and bugs competed with the roar of the truck’s old engine. We pulled into our hotel and were warmly greeted by the entire staff. They handed us wash cloths saturated with the fantastic aroma of lemongrass. My body was kicking back to life as we were led through the gate to our room. As it swung open, my gaze shot up from the crystal clear infinity pool in front of me to the incredible view of the Gulf of Thailand that would be our home for the next few days. These moments make the tediousness of travel well worth it.
3. Are there any experiences or moments you wish you could change?
Is it a cop-out to say no? Past experiences, whether they went as intended or not, happened and contributed to the person that I am today. I can only use them to help grow into the person I want to be tomorrow. That being said, I probably won’t wear a Juventus soccer jersey in Naples again, haha… I couldn’t get service from anyone I tried to buy from that day.
4. What is number one on your travel bucket list?
It’s so hard to come up with a number one. I’m incredibly squirrely so my interests change by the day and I would be super happy to do a lot of new things. Okay, I got one… This probably won’t happen in the near future, but I would love to snorkel at Jellyfish Lake in Palau. I am fascinated by jellies and think the experience of swimming with them would be so cool. It’s by no means a hidden gem, but I think it’s off the path enough to provide a rewarding challenge, as well.
5. What is the best meal you’ve ever had while traveling?
Oooh, now that’s a good one. A few dishes come to mind – my first bowl of Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, mouth-watering tacos in the Yucatán, or buttery escargot and grilled frog legs in Paris. Meals can be very subjective. After driving in a car for hours while passing no towns, a simple gas station veggie burger could taste as good as a Michelin-starred restaurant with a two-month waiting list. One meal that stands out to me was pretty simple.
It was my first trip to Europe and I had a day layover in Brussels. After mis-navigating the metro stops, we ended up in some cobblestone back alley where you couldn’t tell where one shop ended and the next began. It was a cluster of tables, tourists, locals, and barkers all dancing around one another to get to where they were going. We found a basic restaurant with a Menu of the Day offered in English. I sat down for some mussels, fries, and a pint of beer for €10. Despite being clearly marketed towards tourists such as myself, it was my chance to sit and observe the European lifestyle from a chair-height point-of-view.
6. What goals or hopes do you have for the future of Kelton Goes?
I’m just having fun with the process of it all. As a youngin’, I loved to write. My friends in elementary and middle school would all read over my fantasies and see how I fit their characters into a new story. I’m trying to tap back into that passion. Stories are the building blocks of a rich life and I’m just trying to share mine. On my blog, you’ll see me bounce around different subjects and styles of writing. While I want to have a keepsake of memories to look back on, I also want to make sure I’m providing value to those who may come across the site, whether it be through education, inspiration, or just a little entertainment.
Watching Kelton’s blog grow to where it is today (he recently wrote his 100th post) was a huge motivator for me to start The Virgo Voyager, and it’s been so helpful to have his guidance, encouragement, and support.
Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to Kelton Goes so that you can benefit from his unique perspective on our future journeys!