Updated: Aug 3
Don't get me wrong; getting paid to travel to corners of the world & the continental U.S. I would never have gone to otherwise was incredible! What wasn't incredible? Keep reading for the three things I wish I knew before traveling for a living.
1. Never Take Your Own Kitchen For Granted.
You picture the break from cooking your own food & doing your own dishes to be quite glamorous, right?
Me, when I thought about my eight month break from purchasing & preparing groceries in New York City.
Until it gets...dodgy.
You get that feeling of being "at the mercy" of whatever chef happens to be running the kitchen that you're essentially a guest of. What if you don't want chicken parmigiana? Why is the so...crusty today when it was near perfect yesterday? What if, the one day you want to brave the cultural elements & get the pad thai from the street cart in Thailand, you end up having food poisoning later?
You have a better authority over what you choose to upset your stomach with when you cook from home. Even when you go to the grocery store & grab a prepared meal to stick in the oven later as you binge the latest season of Love Island with a glass of wine. Even having the choice to eat ramen because you're feeling lazy, as opposed to it being the only thing you feel safe eating, is a concept that the regular 9-5er will never have to experience.
2. Having To "Just Deal With" Low Energy In a Job You Love Really Sucks!
Imagine your favourite past time- hiking, knitting, video gaming, dancing. Now, imagine trying to do what you want to do, but all your limbs are paralyzed.
At the same time, imagine the most embarrassing moment of your life. Envision what the picture evidence of that crisis would look like!
Now, imagine that someone is threatening to blow up that picture & plaster it to billboards in every major city across the globe if you don't master your favourite past time with paralyzed limbs. You're starting to sweat, right? Or at least, you're really confused & on some warped time travel reliving traumatizing memories.
You get the point though: not being able to do what you love fully really sucks. I had days backstage/ nights onstage where I felt that I had surely reached rock bottom- & we hadn't even gotten halfway through the work day. HOW was I going to make it? My body's natural inclination was to reach for any & every food to try & get some form of energy back...it wasn't working. I tried rejigging my macronutrient balance, I tried eating fruit instead of cookies, I tried having oatmeal for breakfast in the morning...I tried a lot of stuff. None of it worked. I was so frustrated that throwing in the towel just seemed like the best option. Except it wasn't an option, because this is my JOB we are talking about!
3. A Probiotic Can Actually Make Things Worse.
There are a plethora of studies that suggest that utilizing a probiotic treatment is a safe & effective way to help improve the quality of life symptomology in healthy adults who are experiencing IBS (National Library of Medicine). However...a probiotic only addresses one potential causing factor of gastrointestinal upset!
Much like the Antarctic iceberg pictured above...any number of things can cause gastro upset. I didn't know that. Again, in a panic & desperate for any solution, I purchased a probiotic (they're not cheap in Alaska, btw!) which only worsened my symptoms. I could have saved myself time & money if I had known what the root cause of my symptoms was! (Spoiler alert: it was more than one of the symptoms mentioned above)
Moral of the Story: travel often, but travel smart.
Don't let your days away from home be spent with a nagging bug in the back of your brain wondering what foods will make you bloated, why you need four cups of coffee when you're in the airport, or how you're going to make it through a whole day without using a public bathroom.
Check out this guide that could very well be the insight into your travel belly bug that you've been searching for.