Food Allergies in the world
It doesn't matter where you are today in the world, you're going to run into people with food allergies. Which is great for those of us who are new to the the experience of traveling with food allergies. But you're always going to run into issues with regardless of the places you are.
Food Allergies may not be a new thing, but they certainly are a misunderstood thing. That is why it is very important to take steps or certain precautions when traveling, dinning out. or going outside of your comfort zone.
I know when I first traveled away from Canada, I had my doubts about the food labeling system of other countries. Putting "may contain" may be a staple here but what if it's not somewhere else. The first step to being prepared for travel is researching where you are going. What is there common food, oil, fruit, etc. Do they have any laws in place for people with food allergies? If so what are they?
Once you are more familiar with the food allergy protocol of the place, look into places you may want to eat before hand, or where there are safe food providers around they area you are traveling. Accessing safe food should be your number one priority. Once you've found out where you gain safe food, it may be smart to stock up on easy travel size food like granola or something if you feel your access to safe food may be limited. I realize this may be a big hassle but it's better to be bogged down with food then be hungry and take a risk.
Another useful tip is to learn some helpful phrases in the language of the area. "I have a food allergy to X" or "Is there X or Y in this?" "I am allergic to X can I eat here safely" "Where is the closes hospital?" Some of these phrases may come in handy. If you're not good at remembering or plan of travel to a lot of different places, try making cards or having it written down to show someone.
As anywhere it is always a good idea to travel with your medical I.D. bracelet the image is universal and recognized almost everywhere in the world. If you're having trouble explaining to someone, showing them your medi-alert may make your point more clear.
Traveling is an amazing experience that everyone should have the opportunity to have, Regardless of your food allergy or dietary needs. But, in order to make sure you are safe during your travel you have to take the right steps. I know it is a burden and seems unfair, but in the long run it is well worth it.
I have the opportunity to travel to many places, and I have run into my fair share of terrible service. But it is the success stories, and the wonderful people that make me want to move forward and spread food allergy awareness. Those who take time to understand, or make me feel comfortable have made my journey all the more great. Like a tour guide in Barbados who took me directly to a chef to see if it was safe, who then, let me watch as prepared my food. People like this make it worth traveling.
If you are unsure of traveling, need some more pointer, or just need someone to talk to about your uncertainty or worries, I am available for mentoring on the subject. I'll get you ready for your trip the best I can. Because your safety is my concern. So please feel free to contact me.
Remember, Stay alert out there on the road!