it's All Fun and Games Until Your Pants Don't Fit
I have tried to make budgets for every aspect of my trips but one budget I always blow to pieces on the very first day is my food budget. Look, I simply refuse to live on granola bars and pre-packaged goods when right across the street they are making fresh food that smells like angels made it. I do not care what you say, I will not subject myself to that kind of life.
I feel like I must clarify, though, that I am not food shaming in any way. I eat those things frequently. What I am saying is that having the option to stick to a budget by eating an apple and a granola bar, or blowing my budget by sitting down with an arancini and beer while people watching, I am going to do the latter. Every. Single. Time.
Heck, I don’t care if I ate an hour ago. I will eat again if the chance arises and I see something new that is on my list of things to eat.
Yes, just as most folks have a to do list or a must-see list, I have a I Need to Eat (or Eat At) list.
You see, I have a love affair with food. Maybe it’s even an addiction, I don’t know. My desire to find and eat all the good things is matched with my desire to find and see all the amazing things this world has to offer. Researching local delicacies and figuring out where to eat them takes just as much time to plan as places I want to see, activities to experience, how to get there, and where to stay.
To me, food isn’t just nourishment for the body.
It’s not just the action of eating or tasting.
Food and everything involved with it is an experience
There’s nothing I love more than to sit for hours in a restaurant inhaling delicate aromas, sensing combinations of delicious flavours on my palate, and watching human interaction while I’m traveling. Sitting down and making the meal its own experience can sometimes have a much greater effect on my memory because food is everywhere and while some of the flavours can never be truly replicated by ingredients at home, I can smell or taste something familiar and be whisked away to the exact place where I first had the experience. Whether it be sitting near the ocean in a restaurant in the Canary Islands, breakfast onboard the Ocean Adventurer en route to Antarctica, or making pasta at a vineyard near Naples. I can’t experience the Colosseum over and over again, I can only think about what it was like by looking at a picture, and it’s just not the same.
So when I travel, I eat. I eat a lot.
I admit I do sometimes begin to worry a little bit about weight I might be gaining, but I see or smell something new and suddenly I’ve forgotten to even think about it anymore for I’m having far too much fun creating memories for myself to smile at when I’m older.
So I eat, and I eat, and I eat.
And then I get home and the first morning getting ready work I try on my work pants and they’re tight AF.
It’s all fun and games until your pants don’t fit, Right?.
Look, I’m human. I do get a little bit angry but only because tight pants are uncomfortable AF. But I don’t get mad because I actually gained weight. I get angry because being the stubborn girl that I am I know I will be uncomfortable while at work for a few weeks or more because I refuse to buy new pants just because I have plenty of perfectly good pants - they’re just a little tight. After all, buying new pants means less money for my next trip and ultimately fewer delicious meals to taste!
If it means I have to wear tight work pants or stretchy pants for awhile, then that’s just how it’s going to be. Because I don’t regret one high caloric sauce, all those plates of pasta, or thick cream I poured heavily into my cafe con leche every single morning. I worked darn hard to earn my trip and I did everything I pleased. I might have gained a little weight but I refuse to let my weight define me and let the worry of weight gain be the determinant of whether I enjoy myself or not.
And nor should you.
You have but one life to live. If there’s anything you learn from me, I hope it’s this:
Order the damn pasta and fresh bread. Drink the damn wine. Eat the damn dessert.
Nom nom, my friends.