Thursday, September 15, 2011

China, at last!

At last I'll post about my gypsy child's departure for her semester abroad! For the past two weeks she has been happily exploring Beijing with 19 other college students and the family that has gone along with them as guides and guardians.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, she packed and repacked. And packed and repacked! She doesn't eat gluten or dairy, so--she and I did quite a bit of research before she left. She took packets of tuna, protein powder, and lots of snack bars!

We even shipped some ahead for later in the trip. She also has Triumph Gluten-Free Dining Cards in Mandarin Chinese to show waiters and cooks at restaurants to explain what she needs when she orders, and she says those have worked some of the time.  According to our research, China is one of the hardest places to travel gf. One of the blogs we read was called China-gluten-free-hell.  But, supposedly with planning it can be done. I am hoping that is true. After China, she'll move on to Japan, where eating should get a bit easier. Then in Australia and New Zealand it should be a breeze!

Saying goodbye was harder than I'd thought it would be. And I think that back-pack is bigger than she is!
  It was hard to let her go, that far for that long. (She'll be gone until December.) But it would have been harder not to. She has always been my gypsy girl, and she has dreamed of this most of her life. Her group is doing mission work along the way and their communications are limited, but when I hear from her after one of those days, her words are full of joy and delight, and I know that she is doing what she loves-- traveling and serving and learning. She loves people and other cultures and Asia, especially.

The group at a school for the blind in Beijing. These students are musicians and played for our students, and the musicians in our group played for them.  Their teacher is known as the Mother Theresa of Beijing.
And now this to her if she gets to read this: Godspeed my darling girl! I'll resist the urge to wax in any way poetic. Have fun. Seize the day. I love you.

(And I'm just a teeny bit jealous--I'll meet you in New Zealand? I know you want me too!)


Other posts in this series: My Traveler. . .An Update   More from Travelin' Girl! Japan   The End of My Girl's Trip! New Zealand and Australia


  1. "It was hard to let her go, that far for that long. (She'll be gone until December.) But it would have been harder not to." This is almost exactly what I was telling a mom the other day about my daughter. She is 13 and taking her first trip alone this weekend. I am so excited for her because traveling is her life goal. It's hard to let them go but we definitely don't want to cage them in either. Beautiful post that really resonated with me today. Thanks.

  2. I hope she has a wonderful time in China! Despite being a tough place to be gluten free, it is a wonderful place to experience and see. I may end up on that side of the globe with my young celiac daughter again and I'd love to hear about her experiences food-wise. Fingers-crossed I can downgrade my assessment from "gluten free hell" to something tamer!

  3. Thanks Jen! So much appreciate you sharing your experience. Hopefully I'll be able to share soon about her trip so far. Your blog was so helpful to us--there's just not that much out there about China.