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Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia forum

Severe Peanut Allergy, traveling solo

Posted by benzine4 on 8/8/2015 at 15:06

My best friend wants to travel a few months by herself and her first idea was SEA, now she feels cold feet because she realizes it might not be the best destination when you're stuck a severe peanut allergy and no one to help you if you're having an anaphylactic shock. She is now considering Europe as her second choice. Any thought?

#1 benzine4 has been a member since 27/7/2015. Posts: 10

Posted by MADMAC on 9/8/2015 at 01:52

No matter where she goes alone this is an obvious issue - it's not like Europeans will say "Wow, she's having an anaphylactic shock." Nope, they'll all go "What the hell is going on?" Having a friend, making sure linguistically you have a written message explaining no peanuts or peanut products... What else can I say?

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by exacto on 9/8/2015 at 09:05

My wife had a similar issue travelling in Southeast Asia due to her Celiac disease. Your friend could try researching the food in the places she plans to visit to see if there are foods that would be safe to eat. I imagine there are peanut allergy message boards and support groups that might have more specific information on exactly this topic too.
Peanuts seem to be a big part of Southeast Asian cuisine. I think it would be easy enough to get food without peanut ingredients, but cross contamination may still be an issue, particularly with a severe allergy as you describe.
I imagine your friend travels with an epi pen or two. Are there other precautions available, like enzyme tablets or other medications?
Joining a tour might help put your friend in a safer environment with people around who would be aware of the situation and able to help. But a tour is not that "on your own" experience. Perhaps you or another friend could go along, at least for the first two weeks, so your friend could have someone there as a safety net as they get settled in and figure out how to be peanut free there.
I hope that helps. Good luck and I'd be interested to hear what your friend decides. Cheers.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,840

Posted by benzine4 on 10/8/2015 at 09:40

Thanks, Actually, she is supposed to join us on our last month of our SEA trip so we are considering to improve our cooking skills before she arrives and then rent places where we can cook, that could help a lot.

#4 benzine4 has been a member since 27/7/2015. Posts: 10

Posted by exacto on 10/8/2015 at 23:12

That could help a lot, but be careful of cross contamination if you are in a share kitchen. I know folks who have survived in Thailand eating just fruit - I've done it for several days in a row, but not for a whole month.
Please be sure to let us know how this goes. I'd be interested to learn too if your friend brings epi pens with or buys them in Thailand, etc. Hopefully they won't be needed at all. Cheers.

#5 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,840

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