Navigating the Globe with Confidence


Hi everyone, long time no blog.

If you’ve been following my journey for a while, you’ll know that I love to travel. If I’m not jet setting to NYC, swanning round a Disney Park somewhere or climbing mountains – I’m not happy.

Nathan leaning on a railing at a marina in a tropical country wearing shades, a black vest and black shorts and looking relaxed

Travelling is a liberating experience that enriches our lives with unforgettable memories and cultural exchanges. However, sometimes for people living with an ileostomy, like me, the thought of embarking on a journey can be accompanied by apprehension. Nevertheless, with careful planning, preparation, and a positive mindset, traversing the globe with an ileostomy can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.

One helpful step before jetting off is acquiring a stoma travel certificate. This document, often provided by your ostomy supplies delivery service (thank you SecuriCare) provides vital information about your medical condition. It can be immensely beneficial when passing through airport security or seeking medical assistance abroad. Ensuring you have this certificate can help alleviate any potential stress or confusion while travelling.

Another essential step is obtaining comprehensive travel insurance. While no one anticipates encountering medical emergencies during their travels, having appropriate insurance coverage can offer peace of mind. When selecting a policy, it's crucial to disclose your ileostomy to the insurer. I haven’t noticed the price of travel insurance go up dramatically because I disclosed that I have an ostomy and it gives me peace of mind.

Planning extends beyond the stoma travel certificate and insurance; it also involves meticulous packing. Alongside your usual travel essentials, remember to include an ample supply of your usual ostomy products. It's wise to pack these items in your carry-on luggage to ensure easy access during your journey or if the worst happens and your suitcase gets lost!

Back in the beginning, I thought I would never be able to swim again. Thankfully, this is not the case. Make sure you find an ostomy bag that you trust, I also like to use an ostomy swimming waistband for added security and confidence while in the water. These waistbands are designed to conceal your ostomy, they can help to prevent leaks and ensure you can fully immerse yourself in swimming activities without worry. Whether you're diving into the ocean's depths or lounging by the pool, swimming with an ileostomy allows you to embrace the joys of travel without limitations.

Nathan lounging in a swimming pool and smiling wearing a black stoma bag and blue swimming trunks

When it comes to exploring new food, I recommend being cautious. While indulging in cuisines can be a highlight of any holiday (especially for a foodie like me), it can trigger some discomfort or a different pattern in output. Just be mindful that you may need to empty your bag more than you do back at home. Additionally, staying hydrated is essential, especially in warm climates, to prevent dehydration and maintain optimal stoma function. I often take electrolyte drinks with me on holiday especially when traveling to hotter climates. Without these I get very lightheaded, and often get cold sores, staying hydrated seems to prevent that from happening.

While travelling with an ileostomy may require additional planning and consideration, it should never deter you from living your life and your dreams. With proper preparation, an adventurous spirit, and a supportive network of fellow ostomates like us blog writers, exploring the world with an ostomy is 100% doable. Embrace each destination with open arms and an open heart, knowing that your ileostomy is simply a part of who you are, not a barrier. So, pack your bags, embark on your next adventure, and enjoy every moment of your journey.

Make sure you share your travels with me. I want to see them all! Tag me on Instagram (@thatsNathan) and show off your best photos of travelling with an ostomy.

Can’t wait to write again soon!

Nathan xx

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by Nathan Wheeler

Nathan Wheeler

About the author

Hello - I'm Nathan Wheeler! I'm a YouTuber and I've had an ileostomy since 2007 when I was just 17, so I have a pretty good idea about how to deal with the struggles of a stoma! I want to share my experiences with you and bring a light-hearted approach to all the questions that no one wants to ask! You can follow me an Instagram and YouTube.