One to Grow On

April 4, 2010

Silence Explained

Filed under: children, Food Allergies, parenting, travel — midway2go @ 2:07 am

Blogging is kind of a tricky thing.  At least, it is with me.  Just about every post I’ve written has been delayed.  Maybe I was writing and posting about that day’s events in Japan, when we were young and enthusiastic and the internet connection was fast and free.  Ever since then the delay has waxed and waned like the moon.  And, now, here I am, with six weeks of No Blogs, and three continents of distance to account for.  How to begin?

Well, when we left Perth, Australia, on January 31st we headed to Singapore, thrilled but with reservations (no, not at a hostel…).  I was worried.   I knew from Japan that eating in Asia was going to be tougher than I had hoped.  In fact my cheerful optimism about coping with our food allergies was beginning to feel distinctly foolish and naive.  Despite weeks that were enjoyable in almost every other regard our time in southeast Asia was defined by trouble with food.   Darn that glutinous soy sauce.  Rory ended up with his food allergies triggered, then on top of that unhappiness picked up a case of traveller’s diarrhea by the time we got to Kuala Lumpur.  [More blogs to follow-soon!- on these places, I promise]  By Penang, in northern Malaysia, he had to get checked out by a doctor and was admitted to the hospital for monitoring.   We spent 3 nights in the hospital, and with every frenzied rush to the toilet my dreams of floating down the Mekong and strolling the streets of Llasa got dimmer and dimmer.  We spent 5 days at a luxury hotel in Penang, hoping that Rory would plump up overnight and waiting for Chinese New Year to blow over.   I think it was on the third day out of the hospital, when we were still struggling to get food that was “our kind” that Rory would eat and he was still losing weight, that I gave up and called Qantas to change our flights.  Rather than flying from Beijing to London in late spring we flew from Singapore to London February 19th.  We had 2 nights in London and on February 22 we arrived at my parents’ house in North Carolina.

For the last 6 weeks we’ve been on what Nora calls our “vacation” from our trip.  In many ways she’s so right.  We’ve slept in late, lazed around, eaten anything we wanted.  I’ve gotten a shockingly small amount of anything done. I haven’t managed to spruce  up my iPod or get to the dentist.  We have accomplished a few things.  Rory has regained some, although not all, of the 10 pounds he lost.  I got to see my children laugh with my grandmother one more time.   I cuddled with my cat Phoebe until my eyes were swollen shut from dander.  We were able to be here to support my parents when my father had knee replacement surgery.   We spent met up in the mountains with Brandon’s dad for a ski weekend (no skiing took place, though, thanks to a virus).  We got just enough snow for the kids to make a couple of tiny, tiny snowmen.   And my friend Jill’s baby just might recognize me; he lets me hold him, anyway, for which I am grateful.   These are not small things.

In three two days we set out again.  We’re flying into London to begin the third leg of our trip.  In my mind I used to think of this as one huge, year-long gig, and so this coming home in the middle was a big failure.  I think I’m starting to see that we’ve been going and coming for almost a year already, and that our travelling style may be a few months gone, a month home, over and over.   As we head out this time I’ll be going with bags packed a bit differently.  Rory and Nora will be going more confidently.  We’ll all be heading out with a more immediate sense  of connection to family and friends, and that’s fine by me.



  1. Dear Chrislyn

    We were sorry to hear about Rory’s health problems and are hoping that everybody has recovered and charged up their batteries. Going home for your family to get stronger again was the right thing to do, I think deep down you know that too, and it certainly is not a failure. I believe that your children’s happiness and health comes first and if it means breaking up a year long journey, then so be it.

    I’m sure you are all feeling so much better and being with your family must have been a great morale booster and “vacation”, as Nora said.

    We’re in Malaysia at the moment, and fingers crossed we’re doing fine. The girls do occasionally taste local food, but still prefer their own. We’ve got just over 8 weeks left of our trip before Tim goes back to work (only for 4 weeks) and then we will continue our trip with a few weeks in Belgium/Netherlands – we’re not quite sure yet where to go or what to do. Maybe camping?

    We’re wishing all of you a very happy, healthy and safe continuation of your trip and hope to hear from you soon (either by email or via the blogs).

    Lots of love to you and your children

    Kirsten, Tim, Hannah & Ellen xxxx

    PS: the girls and Kirsten will be staying with her parents in Belgium during the 2nd half of June, early July – should you be there, maybe we could meet up. Or if you’re in England (Wiltshire) from August onwards then please get in touch or come and see us (we could probably put you up in August or any time after the 2nd half of September when Kirsten’s parents have gone back home)

    Comment by Tim — April 5, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

  2. I’m glad you’ve all had a good rest! I hope the next leg of your journey is better! TEN POUNDS! I know where he lost them; I found them myself. 🙂

    Comment by Amy D — April 8, 2010 @ 3:15 am

  3. Hi Chrislyn,

    I am so glad you are all well, or better, now. You are such a good mama! Take care of those babies. I have enjoyed reading about your journey. WOW! What a grand experience. We will all remember it! My children are enjoying the photos. I am enjoying your writing. Please write a book someday. You are talented! Thanks for taking us along…

    Much love,
    Toerin, Brian, Benjamin and Clara Ann

    Comment by toerin leppink kintner — April 8, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

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