Take Time to Enjoy Travel

adventure of the week, europe, France, italy, Scotland, Travel, United Kingdom, United States

I see this same scenarios time after time in my job:

My client wants to travel overseas and check off some places on their bucket list. They have one week, three kids, and they want to cram as much culture in their little brains as they possibly can. They want to see ALL of Italy in a week.

My client is taking his dad to Europe, his dad is 80 years old, they want to see ALL of Europe in three weeks.

I research their top places and assemble a schedule that I think is ideal. I find options that match their budget, and activities that all extra time if someone needs a break or a coffee or if a train is late. The savvy travelers agree to my suggestions. The wild ones try to break records, or so it seems, on how many countries they can visit in no time.

While a week, or three weeks seems like a long time, the truth is there will never be seeing ALL of anything in a week, or a month, or a lifetime. It is literally impossible to see everything Rick Steves tells you to, or eat at every Michelin restaurant. It’s just not something that can be done. Besides, the best travel experiences are the unexpected, the moments when nothing was planned, and the stars seem to align. It’s when you actually take time to ENJOY traveling that good things come together.

My favorite meals, or my most loved memories don’t come from the days I planned out hour-by-hour they are finding randomness on this planet we call home. Sometimes it has been a funeral procession or a wedding. Other times it has been making friends with a child or getting lost on a side street. Sometimes it was simply sitting in a train station and people watching while I ate a sandwich. I saw the Queen of England when I just wanted to enjoy being in London in a park. I made friends while hanging out at pubs and hostels. I have always fallen in love with cities I never expected to, or never planned to originally visit.

When one takes time to slow down and breath in their time in a new location, then one REALLY understands the heart and soul of why people travel. It’s a cafe in Paris, or a bakery in Dublin, and taking the time to eat a pastry or drink a cup of coffee. It is a club in Edinburgh or a pub in London that opens up conversation and connection. It’s never when you have museum after museum planned. It’s never when you follow a massive group from sea of people to sea of people. It is always the in between.

As I have seen more and more of the world over ten years I have moved from racing to one place and another, and instead I have craved more of the in between. When I mentally picture a trip back to Paris, I see a mosey instead of a rush. When I mentally picture a visit to China, it’s sitting on the Great Wall and listening to others speak in awe. I imagine crying at finally seeing the Pyramids of Giza and sitting in the sand as I feel the centuries of life in front of and around me. I want the cups of teas and messy foods as much too. I want making friends and photographs of new connections too.

So, dear reader, slow down your plans. See two cities instead of five. See one less museum, and add in a park. Walk everywhere you can so that you can absorb the essence of what is around you. Speak to everyone you can so that you know the people better. Try new foods that would otherwise freak you out. Most importantly, live it all, as much as you can.

Happy Travels!

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Celiacs- Fear Not the Adventure

Allergen-free eating on the road, Travel

It sucks having food allergies, and it sucks even worse when you have a travel bug, but the world doesn’t always accommodate your “issues”. However, as I have found in five years of travel, I almost always kind find an option to eat, and never have I gone hungry. At least not yet.

You may have to pay more for a meal, but many times it’s less or the same. You may not get your first menu choice, but you will likely get SOMETHING that is good. You will also likely try something new and exciting that you maybe never though of as an option before.

So here are my tips to surviving on the road:

  • Know your allergy and what you can and cannot eat.
  • Know what recipes commonly have in them that might be an issue.
  • Learn what you need to ask in a language, or find a card to carry about your food issue.
  • Shop and cook for yourself as much as possible. Regardless of everything, you will likely be able to go to a store and buy ingredients to make a rocking meal.
  • Be brave and try new things.
    • Such as Snails (Escargot), Caviar (Fish Eggs), Cheese (often with odd bacteria) and new fruits and vegetables you may have not seen before.
  • Learn about countries and what common foods are. Mostly European and the Americas rely on bread (wheat) as much as they do. That’s not to say that other parts of the world don’t use wheat, but often their diets have a rice or corn base. With other grains mixed in.
  • Experiment with ingredients you find and try to ask questions from locals.
  • Always go for the salad bar when in doubt of everything else. Or just a salad.

But also be realistic that you might get sick and have cross contamination. For that here are tricks that help

  • Probiotics or yogurt to help with digestion
  • Enzymes to help with digestion
  • Mineral Water also can help with stomach issues
  • Coconut Water also can be soothing and for hot summer travel, it replaces electrolytes
  • Finally, if you can find it, Kombucha can also be a quick fix to an upset gut.
  • Look for vitamins to take with you traveling, but always check country-specific regulations on medicine and other pills.

Happy Travels,

Rebecca