Last week, Erin, author of Gluten-free Globetrotter, kindly re-posted my article Eat your way through culture shock. Her blog and interest in my article inspired me to write this post. Thanks, Erin!

While living with food allergies can be challenging, I think that generally speaking, eating consciously and being aware of what we make our body digest seems like a pretty great thing! Self-awareness is a huge factor in dealing with culture shock so food allergies can actually be helpful in various ways!

Use food allergies as travel tools!

  • Use your food allergies as a reason to check out local markets! Fresh unprocessed food right at your fingertips and a great place to chat and meet people!
  • Learn food allergy vocab in the language of the country you’re traveling to. It’s obviously important to make yourself understood in this context and you’ll already know a few words. Both knowing people will understand you and being able to say a few words will be comforting – great for when you’re dealing with culture shock and maybe living outside your comfort zone!
  • Because of our food allergies, we are forced to ask questions about ingredients. That’s a conversation starter right there! We are forced to communicate. Ice breakers, anyone?
  • Why not take advantage of having to make conscious food choices every day and take a local cooking class? Simply adapt it to your dietary needs. Awesome way to become more involved, get to know more people and get an insight into local culture.
  • Find out how people in the country you’re visiting handle food allergies…are there meet-ups? Do they use local ingredients you might want to incorporate into your diet? Are there any restaurants they might recommend? Again, a great way to meet people and dive into enriching experiences!
  • Being forced to pay attention to what we eat is a good thing. People with food allergies need to take care of themselves when it comes to eating…and taking care of ourselves feels comforting, right? This in turns helps when we’re dealing with culture shock…or any other challenging situation!

I’m a big fan of using what you have in any situation and turning it into something positive and useful. You can definitely do both with food allergies!

How do you use your food allergies? Simply leave a comment and share your perspective!

Interested in food and travel? You might like my post on why eating your way through culture shock is a good idea or my post on the positive effects of culture shock!

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