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Although I’ve done a lot of big trips throughout the past few years, especially when I was studying abroad in France and traveled to a dozen different countries, I’ve done a lot of the same thing in all of them. By that I mean, they were pretty much all big cities–Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Prague, Amsterdam, Rome, Lisbon, etc. and there is a kind of basic plan most people follow when they get to one of these big cities: Get a map, get a drink and then Choose Your Own Adventure–visit the famous museums, parks, monuments, mountains; drink the famous coffee, beer, liquor; taste the famous pastry, cheese, meat. I’ve gone on a lot of walking tours and I’ve seen a WHOLE LOT of cathedrals. My friends and I were study abroad students; we were broke so we ate street food and walked everywhere and booked RyanAir flights and stayed in hostels and saw Europe on a shoestring and loved every second of it. We were always squeezing trips into long weekends or short school breaks, so we never had enough time to *really* dig much deeper than the quintessential city offerings.

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Doing Diabetes Like A European

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I bake in grams. I weigh in kilograms.

I count time in (what Americans call) Military Time.

I pick my outfit and plan my day in Celsius.

I walk, run, and cycle in kilometers.

I go shopping with Euros, or a Chip & Pin debit card.

I grocery shop in Dutch. The kids speak to me in Dutch. Sometimes I respond in Dutch, although I try to respond in English, because the goal is for them to learn it. I’ve half-learned a third language, and I didn’t even plan to.

But in the few years I’ve lived abroad, the one thing that has never been touched or altered by European measurement is my diabetes management. Until now.

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