Travel in abstinence

I’ve been feeling cranky all week, partly due to jetlag as I just got back from an absolutely wonderful time in the USA and partly due to that time of the month. But whether or not I feel like it in my body, blessings abound! Not least of those is the upcoming Greysheet Roundup in London, which I very much look forward to. I have been to every Roundup since I moved here. This will be number 4. It’s amazing to see the same people year after year, looking radiant, sharing what they have been doing that year as they maintained their abstinence no-matter-what… I can’t wait!

So, my life this year so far (it’s only February, goodness me): I went to Spain for a week, returned to the UK for three weeks, then to the US for the past two weeks. There, I spent one week in VA, half a week in NYC, and half a week in CT. With all that travel, I thought I’d share a few things I have learned.

  • spreading out meals (when going West, I gained 5 hours in the day) is much less painful than it sounds. Perhaps because I had mentally prepared for hunger.
  • it gets really expensive to keep buying drinks. I bought a stainless steel bottle, which is allowed through customs as long as it’s empty (they just object to liquids).
  • when flying, they don’t mind what you take onto the plane in terms of food. HOWEVER, most countries do not want you to bring fresh food, for fears of contamination or something. So, on the way to the States I took my breakfast through customs and ate it before boarding the plane; had lunch with me on the plane; and went through US customs with no fresh food on me. I had dinner with friends that evening. On the way back, I took both dinner and breakfast through security; I ate dinner before boarding, and had breakfast before landing. Again, no fresh food on me. That means I don’t do “hostage meals” in that sense: I always have my scale and money with me.
  • I found out I really like Ruby Tuesday’s, but can’t get a single thing at Paneera (that’s the first time I’ve gone to a restaurant and there was literally NOTHING)
  • Whole Foods do the most amazing buffet and you can tell them exactly how much you want of something – they pre-weigh it, and then I have very little wastage.
  • as I was staying with friends, I ate most of my meals at home rather than at restaurants. If I didn’t have my friends, I would look for a hostel with kitchen facilities.
  • I always fear getting hungry more than it bothers me to actually get hungry. The fear is worse, and daily abstinent experience teaches me that it’s a liar.
  • most food keeps for at least a day without refrigeration. I would often carry my lunch and dinner with me all day, and none of it was “travel food”.
  • I can have the experience of eating wonderful, local, special food – and be abstinent and regret not a single bite of it.
  • There is nothing I can’t do while abstinent. Well, I haven’t tried backpacking.

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