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What would you do if there's somewhere you really want to go, but are worried you'll be extremely allergic to something there?
Go anyway, but avoid it as much as possible (ie eat every meal at Maccas) 33%  33%  [ 2 ]
Avoid the country altogether, safe in the knowledge that you can eat pretty much what you want in an English-speaking country 67%  67%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 6
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:48 am
Posts: 2
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Hubby and I are planning a world trip for 2010, but think we'll have to avoid some places because of my (highly annoying :x) food allergies.

I'm allergic to mustard, pepper, chilli and most (but not all) spices.

Obviously things are going to be some countries where it's just going to be a lot easier to avoid the country, rather than the food in the country. India, Thailand etc.
But what about other places? Tibet etc? I've read that Tibet's food is 1/2 Chinese, 1/2 Indian. Chinese I'm ok with! Indian, on the other hand...

Does anyone have any tips for travel? If you've been somewhere with a non-English-speaking lackground, how did you cope with allergies and the language barrier?

I've found a site that makes food allergy cards with translations, but they're a bit pricey. http://www.selectwisely.com/
Does anyone know where to get these cheaper (free'd be great!), or how reliable these things are?
Obviously there a difference between spices and spicy, and that's where I don't want any confusion :? .

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--Nat--


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Montreal
Your poll is a bit weird, because it mentions 'English-speaking country'.. Well, I don't think language is the problem at all!
Some of the spices you mention are too easily hidden to trust anyone who doesn't really care or who is knowledgeable - regardless of language.

You can go to any country and live off bread , fruits and yogurt. Not fancy fare, but you'll stay alive and see the sights.

I know someone who, even though he was in Asia, would only trust Italian restaurants. Bland pasta with cheese is safe, (well not for everyone, but in his case) all over the world.

_________________
11yo boy - peanuts nuts chickpeas
8yo daughter - peanuts, nuts, mustard, eggs, sunflowers (new! ), oral allergy syndrome
husband - pollen of all kinds
me - seafood,, oral allergy syndrome


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:48 am
Posts: 2
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
I perhaps should have explained my poll question better. I don't have any bias towards non-English speaking countries (quite the opposite, which is why I want to tour the world in the first place), but being English speaking myself, I can thoroughly explain my allergy and repercussions (and yes, I realise that it's never 100% foolproof). If I can't speak the language and they ask me questions, I'm pretty much stuffed!

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--Nat--


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
Is it possible to spend time in another country and cook your own food?
Granted I wouldn't want to walk in an open air market during traditional meal times when many venders are cooking with the spices you might be allergic to. That time might be better spent sight seeing.

I think there are ways to safely visit without putting yourself in harms way.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:37 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Ottawa
I would suggest you plan your trip to spend longer times in a few places and stay in places with a kitchen so you can prepare most of your own food and do day trips. It may feel like you are missing out on local food experiences, but you gain the experience of grocery shopping in a foreign country. I am more comfortable in countries where i speak the language or am with a friend who speaks the language, but you have to decide what your comfort zone is.

As far as the allergy cards go, you can go to the embassy of the country you are going to and ask them to translate something from english to the local language if you don't want to pay for the allergy cards. There are other allergy card translation services as well, but I don't know the prices.

As far as tips for travel, see my articles "Have kitchen, will travel" in the winter and summer issues of allergic living.

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9 yr old daughter - no allergies
7 yr old daughter - allergic to peanuts, nuts, sesame, kiwi, soy


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:05 am
Posts: 1
Really interested in your post - you are the first person Ive come across who has the same allergy as my son (pepper chilli and most spices). He will be going on a gap year soon and I am worried about how he will manage. Slightly off topic but how do you manage on a daily basis - can you use restaurants etc., we have avoided them because of air borne black pepper etc., but for a teenager its a BIG disadvantage


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
I agree with what most people are saying about cooking/bringing your own food. It really is the safest bet and although food is part of the experience in different countries, it surely is not the most important part. The history, the people, the art are definitely just as important,if not more, and being able to experience all of those will make up for missing out on the food.
On a side note, if you're travelling to Italy let me know and I can translate some stuff for you (for free obviously) and if you plan to eat in restaurants let me know because I need to give you some advice about how things work there.

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Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


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