Are you totally exhausted with all the NO that comes with food allergies? No, you cannot have that cupcake. No, we cannot fly on that airline because their policies around food allergies are not safe for us. No, we cannot go to the dinner party at that friends’ house because they refuse to not serve our allergen while we are there. No, you cannot go to that sleepover just yet. No, you cannot eat pizza with your friends after the game. And on and on and on…
Well, we are over it. OVER. IT.
Do NOT get me wrong. I am about as Type A, OCD, tightly wound of a food allergy mama as you will ever meet. We have strong rules about how we live our life carefully and safely and with lots of guardrails to keep our boys safe. And it works. I am not afraid to say no, and I do not even feel any social pressure or stress about it anymore. But constantly looking at the NO and the things we could NOT do was just getting old.
So, we made a change. We took a chance, and we broke free. We got on the road and spent two months exploring the west. If you read my Top Ten Food Allergy Travel Tips on the FARE blog (or my blog), you know that I did a ton of research and work to make this trip as safe as possible for our family. I researched hospitals at each destination, found grocery stores nearby, brought an entire suitcase of allergy-friendly non-perishable foods, scoured each rental house for allergens, and had an armful of antibacterial wipes and safe snacks everywhere we went. And that was just for food allergies! Of course, we also happily followed all COVID safety rules including wearing masks, keeping our social distance, and doing all activities outdoors.
And… we said YES. ALL SUMMER LONG.
At each stop, we tried hard as parents to say YES to everything that was safe for our boys. We felt that we ALL needed a HUGE YES after 100 days in strict quarantine, and in my opinion, the likelihood of a long, socially distant winter ahead of us.
We specifically sought out activities and adventures that were FOOD FREE. And there are a LOT of things in life that are food free! Any time we did an outing with professional guides, we told them about our allergies in advance to ensure they did not bring our unsafe foods. Everything still required a lot of planning and communication, but we were able to successfully have a happy, much-needed SUMMER OF YES!
I would love to show you all our YES in photos from our trip. Here are a few of our adventures!
Have questions about food allergy travel or just want to connect? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Would you like to see more of our travel pictures or follow our everyday adventures as a food allergy family? Follow me on Instagram @hillarytollecarter.