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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Travelling with allergies part 14: A new chapter

After travelling the world for 8 solid months, Stephen gives us his final update and feelings on passing on to pastures new...

“Hello there!

Having spent most of the summer catching up with friends, working and desperately trying to settle back into the somewhat ‘dull’ UK lifestyle I’ve finally found a moment to reflect on the past 8 months which summarised briefly have been the best 8 months of my life learning so many valuable lessons and experiencing so much.
Moscow seems so long ago, I can’t believe it’s approaching the year mark for when we departed…eeek! Reflecting on the trip with friends and family I’ve hardly mentioned my allergies or even thought much about them as although very present throughout the trip they didn’t affect anything I did or ruin any enjoyments for me.

The most common question I’ve been asked is what was the best part and where would you go again? Each country had its own special or unique moment in the trip however New Zealand did come up trumps for overall experience with its incredible geographical features and landscape experiencing glacial walking, Christchurch earth quake rebuilding, 15,000ft skydive and more! Other highlights along the way include the Trans Siberian Railway, Elephant riding and seeing wild kangaroos! I’d also love to return to Mongolia one day and explore it further.

I can only encourage other people like me to get out there and see the world for yourself, however worried you are about your allergies you will be pleased you did it. Of course there is a fair risk in some countries, but life is a risk and as long as you take precautions to minimise the risk then you can get exploring!

I would say translation cards are a MUST, I’ve used them many times before when visiting foreign speaking countries and would be really lost without them. YellowCross provided most of my cards, which are clearly worded and did the trick. A cooling pouch for the warmer countries gave me piece of mind that, should I need my adrenaline Auto-Injectors, they would be in good working condition.

If you are worried about travelling to a foreign speaking country, my advice would be that it is perhaps best to start off closer to home in a place where you feel less out of your comfort zone and maybe go to self-catered accommodation allowing you to eat out if you’re feeling up to the challenge, but also giving you the option cook something for yourself which you know okay.
Overall it was a fantastic trip which I cannot believe has gone so quickly! I can already feel another trip in the wings, perhaps South America in a few years...but for now, the next stop for me is sunny Bournemouth University which I start this September studying Geography – so excited!

I hope I’ve been able to encourage others with anaphylaxis to get exploring!

For now, happy travels…

Stephen :)

P.S. Keep a look out for an update on my experience of studying at university with my allergies…”

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