To travel or not to travel?
This is a common question.
Newly diagnosed people may be fearful of trying it out. I would encourage you to be prepared, take snacks and go. Celiacs and those with varying food allergies should experience life, see the world and travel too. My motto is always “celiacs need sunshine” and that doesn’t often happen in the midwest in January.
There are plenty of travel friendly foods that you can pack your suitcase with, just in case. Of course, the fall back is always salad. No, it may not be ideal but it will be sustenance. I can reference plenty of travels I have had that have pleasantly surprised me with not just good but great eats and I have had those that were emotionally and tastefully upsetting. But traveling is worth the chance and in the end you will not starve.
From the overly abundant oceanside of Seattle with fresh and tasteful options for those with allergies to the hills of Tennessee where everything is breaded and fried, I still managed to eat.
You do have to be cautious, be prepared and use cool apps like “Find me GF” as a source of reference (please note, all restaurants listed are not necessarily gluten free). But with proper planning and a whole lot of communication, you will get to experience something new and feel even more accomplished because of the allergies.
Recently, I took my twelfth cruise. I have had varying experiences on ships as this travel seems to be among the most challenging, due to the confinement and lack of resources outside the norm. I must say Norwegian was not my favorite. They were equipped with gluten free options but frankly, unwilling to get creative. On my first day I located a Sous chef that was willing to make fresh and tasty waffles for the whole family. Sadly, thereafter he was told not to make special arrangements for us and sent us to the dining room. There they were unwilling to make anything from scratch.
Alas, I saw more of the world but I ate eggs and bacon every day. Dinners were better as we took the specialty dining option and paid up to try specialty restaurants where they took good care of me but general dining, as well as room service was a disappointment. For the record, my trips on NCL, Regent, and Holland America fared better in the dining department. Six food allergies is a lot to plan and prepare for. But with the creative culinary expertise they have on ships, it seems they would have been far more accommodating.
Regardless of the degree of culinary satisfaction, I encourage everyone to travel. Occasionally you will be overwhelmed with the warm, understanding expertise of a chef that considers it an honor to prepare something with a challenge and you will be delighted you stepped out of that comfort zone and tried something new.