Food: A Travelogue
I am not the ultimate foodie. My mother is. That woman has eaten bugs in Brazil, will crack bones open to suck the marrow out, and I’ve seen her absolutely relish the green stuff inside a cooked lobster’s stomach. I will happily admit that I am not that hardcore. I do, however, love food. The textures, the flavors – the more, the merrier, in my opinion. I’m the person that will put 10 different flavors together in a sandwich: herbed bread, two different kinds of meat, cheese, tomato relish, bacon jam, mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil and vinegar, oregano, pepper. I want it all. And then I’ll toast it, for that slightly burnt/crispy taste.
Unfortunately, I have an autoimmune disorder. Without going into too many details, Google things like Candida yeast overgrowth, leaky gut syndrome, and adrenal fatigue. My particular brand of health issues causes all kinds of unpleasant side effects like major body inflammation, migraine headaches, constant stomach aches and bloating, intense fatigue, and environmental sensitivities (like not being able to stand bright light or being really sensitive to smells), etc. So, I’m on an extremely restricted diet, making it a little difficult to eat ALL OF THE FOOD, ALL OF THE TIME the way that I would like.
You can imagine how concerned I was in terms of moving abroad. How would I stay on top of my diet, get enough to eat, and not feel horrible while also getting to know my new country and new friends? Most importantly, would I be able to resist trying all of the delicious foods in front of me? To answer that first question, slow travel is most definitely the way to go! I’m sure this will get harder as I hit the open road soon, but so far, I’ve had access to a kitchen for the first few weeks of my time here, meaning I can go to the grocery store, purchase the food I need, and make sure I’m eating as cleanly for my diet as possible.
To answer that second question, no. I have not be able to resist doing things like eating delicious Indian street food at the Diwali Festival or enjoy A Taste of Auckland happening this weekend. Controlling my diet 98% of the time allows me to make very specific, conscious, and careful choices about when and how to “cheat,” (and I’ve brought meds to help combat any unpleasant side effects). BRING ME ALL THE DELICIOUS THINGS!
Luckily, there’s a whole word of foodies out there, so there are innumerable ways to explore food culture whether you’re currently traveling or not.
- If you’re settled at home, why not have food come to you? Check out this new subscription service called Try The World: “A gourmet box from a new country every two months.”
- If you ARE traveling the world, sign up for Traveling Spoon: “Discover an authentic culinary experience with the best home cooks around the world.” Focused primarily in Asia, but you can contact them for other arrangements if you don’t see your current country.
- Looking for inspiration in your inbox? Legal Nomads documents her travel experiences by telling food stories, while Global Table Adventure brings you tried and true recipes from around the world.
So, basically what I’m saying is, wherever you are in the world, whatever your particular food issue might be, shove some in your mouth right now.