I have had a long personal history with being bitten by the travel bug. Raised by a mother whose first language was Spanish and a father who lived in Mexico City as a teenager, my parents loved to travel the globe. When I was nine years old, my mom and dad moved the family from Texas to Dubai to live as expats.
This change broadened my horizons, allowing me to experience different cultures beyond my Tex-Mex roots.
In 2008, my husband and I moved from Connecticut to Texas one month before having our first child. We continued to travel the world. A second little boy was born in 2013.
Then, my oldest son started vomiting.
It began slowly. Once a month, maybe.
Soon, it began to happen more and more frequently.
I went to his pediatrician. I thought something was wrong. I was told sometimes kids just throw up.
But, in 2014, my child started throwing up blood.
I immediately switched doctors, saw an allergist in a different city over 30 miles away and eventually ended up at a pediatric gastroenterologist’s office that finally went to work.
Diagnosis was painful---for all of us.
BUT IT WORKED.
We were left to research EOSINOPHILIC ESOPHAGITIS.
Otherwise known as EoE, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology states that it is recognized as a chronic allergic/immune condition where school-aged children have trouble swallowing and experience abdominal pain and vomiting. For my child, we learned that wheat consumption was basically triggering a bleeding ulcer.
The AAAAI specifically states on their website that the relationship between food allergy and EoE is complex. And, this was indeed true for us. It marked the beginning of a more complicated and combative relationship with food for both the child diagnosed, as well as, the rest of my family.
Mealtime fear was starting to dictate and change our behavior. Eating outside the home became an arduous and scary prospect. Every time we ventured out, I stressed out about cross-contamination and the general lack of knowledge in the food industry regarding gluten and wheat allergies. To play it safe we cut down on dining out and travel. We spent more and more time confining ourselves to the safety of our own home.
But, I really missed sharing the world with my children. And, it turns out, that my kids missed exploring too. We sat down as a group and decided that the anxiety over dining out could no longer control our family.
This time, however, I decided I had to look before I leaped because the health of my child was on the line. Gluten allergies were on the rise and gluten free dining was trending. How hard could it be to encounter gluten free travel and allergen safe dining information on the web?
What I encountered was not organized, targeted or child friendly. I spent many painstaking hours reading through travel blogs. More frustrating was the fact that most gluten free travel blogs were geared toward adult vacation spots and more sophisticated adult food preferences.
Hence, my gluten free child-friendly travel blog was born.