I got back from China just 3 days ago and boy do I have a lot to share! I went with my boyfriend Hong who was born in China and still has uncles, aunts, cousins and grand parents there. The two of us had gone with his best friend 3 years ago and had a blast. My parents and his parents joined us on the trip (yes we both have great relationships with our families!) and it was my parent’s first time going. I feel like I went for a month since we did so much touring around, so many cities, so many dinners.. It was really only 16 days. I think I will have a few posts broken up randomly so that I can get this all written down without feeling overwhelmed. There’s a ton of pictures to go through so after the posts I’ll share some Facebook albums. I don’t have pictures for the traveling there part, since I was pretty focused on packing and then was drowsy from motion sickness drugs for most of it! There will be plenty coming in the next few posts though.
Flying on SCD
I was feeling a bit nervous about the flight because of food availability. I don’t like airplane food and don’t trust that my stomach will like it either. Some people just don’t eat on the plane, but my flights spanned 16 hours so I knew I couldn’t go the whole time without eating. From my house to the hotel in China, it was about 20 hours. In my carry-on I brought a couple of Larabars, 4 hard boiled eggs, 6 frozen lamb meatballs, some beef jerky, individual snack sized hard aged cheese encased in wax, bananas and apples. Freezing the meatballs ahead of time meant they lasted quite a while at room temperature. They also kept the eggs cool while they thawed out. I highly suggest frozen meatballs while traveling especially for people who are sensitive to eggs. The cheese worked out well too and kept at room temperature for the entire 2 weeks since they were encased in wax.
There’s a lot of food I would have brought if it weren’t for the frustrating liquids restrictions in carry-ons. What I would give to be able to bring my yogurt on the flight. At least what I brought was more than enough to get me through the 16+ hours of travel. I did pack some yogurt and coconut oil in my checked-in luggage for when I arrived, along with enough Larabars to have one each day. I wasn’t going to have access to a kitchen or fridge at all for the first week so I didn’t plan on bringing food for then. The yogurt I finished in the first day there. The Larabars lasted the entire trip. My new favorite flavour has to be the coconut cream pie. I love that it has some coconut fat in it for energy and the flavour is really nice! I don’t normally eat Larabars at home, but rely on them heavily while traveling.
I ate a big bowl of beef stew with zucchini before leaving my house the morning of travel. I ordered the gluten-free airplane meal option which is never SCD legal as they almost always give rice, potatoes and put questionable sauces on stuff. Oddly enough, Hong got fresh fruit with his meals and I ended up trading him some weird fruit cup type food for that. They also gave me margarine while he got butter, so I stole his butter and ate it plain. BTW the margarine was not just vegetable oil suitable for someone with dairy allergies, it was “hydrogenated vegetable oil with milk proteins” blech.
Motion sickness was also a big worry of mine as I get really nauseous on planes. I tried homeopathics, ginger and Sea Bands but nothing worked. The first flight was only 1.5 hours but left me so nauseous and dizzy I couldn’t carry my bags when we landed. For the next 12 hour flight I had to rely on dimenhydrinate known in Canada as Gravol every 4 hours which put me to sleep immediately for at least 2 hours at a time. I really don’t like taking any medication but knew this would only be for flights so I tried not to worry about it too much. My entire flight there was literally sleeping for 2 hours then stuffing my face with the food I brought, then sleeping again. One thing very noticeable, this was my first ever flight without feeling pressure, cramps and gas in my stomach. Flights used to be uncomfortable to sit through but this time I felt nothing other than the motion sickness.
We arrived in the late afternoon and went to the hotel briefly to change. We had dinner that was as close to SCD as possible, with stir-fried plain looking meat and veggies, and a bit of rice which I had done ok with in a test before leaving. After a nice dinner we returned to the hotel for showers and were in bed by 10. I did fine sleeping and didn’t feel too jet-lagged. Traveling to China always seems to be this way. We arrive exhausted in the evening, eat a big meal and sleep through the night. The travel home is a bit harder.
So I made it, safe and sound with a happy tummy ready for the touring ahead. Stay tuned for the next post which covers the sightseeing in Beijing.