The Arslanbob Village Experience: A Diabetes Eye Opener

Posted by sean on Tue, 05/07/2013 - 13:08 in


Check out this video to learn more about Sean’s experience with the culture and people of the Arslanbob Village.

One of the main reasons I create these community components on all my expeditions is to keep myself humble. Those of you with type 1 diabetes know it’s hard to live with diabetes everyday…going through the same steps over and over and over. As I always say in my motivational talks: Diabetes is like the movie Groundhog Day—the same thing over and over.

I often find myself thinking, Why me? Why diabetes? But visiting with the local families in Arslanbob was an eye opener. Seeing the simple ways they live and the simple things that make them happy from day to day (including skiing!) was a humbling experience for me—knowing how blessed I am in my life.

To give you some background, for many years the Arslanbob village had an extremely high unemployment rate in the winter months. The majority of the people there work in farming, and in the winter, work is sparse. So, a group of local residents got together and established a CBT (Community Based Tourism) chapter in the community. They started to build back a tourist scene after the collapse of the Soviet Union in order to attract Europeans to the area.

The cool part? It worked! Unemployment has started to go down and the community has a small flow of tourists coming through the village year round. Home to incredible backcountry skiing possibilities, kind people and the world’s largest walnut forest, Arslanbob is a destination for all seasons.

Experiences like ours in Arslanbob keep me grounded and keep me always counting my blessings in life. I hope that you can find that outlet.