I am always hungry. Tell me I am not alone. Funnily enough, the more I travel and actively explore new sites throughout the day, the more I forget to eat. Oh, and I rarely have healthy eating habits. You can blame it on the jetlag messing up my inner clock or on my cheapskate travel ways. But I still think there is something about being active – but not too much (otherwise or else you end up fitness travelling –who am I kidding, I won’t ever do that. *gnawing a chocolate bar) – that tricks your brain into thinking you are fine. Until you nearly faint.
Ok, when I feel like I am about to faint, I actually do and scare my friends in the process. Since I have been solo travelling now exclusively for two years, the option of being caught by friends and brought back to life with the prospect of raiding their chocolate stash (I swear, I didn’t faint on purpose) is not an option. So how DO you stay energized while on the road? What healthy eating habits can I adopt for my travels? I asked fellow travellers and these are some pretty solid answers I received. Feel free to drop down your tips in the comments as well.
How to Stay Energized during the Day
Rota Rakula from the Aspiring Digital Nomad has the answer for more healthy eating habits:
When travelling solo, carry your own food or snacks with you whenever possible. Buy dried fruit or nuts and keep them on you – they don’t go stale easily and will keep you going until you can get to somewhere with decent food. As for meals, be sure to extensively research restaurant options at your destination ahead of time. Or you can do as I do and choose destinations based on the food they have there!
When ordering, try to get the Vegetarian or Vegan option. It is more likely to contain health-giving fruit and vegetables than a meat or dairy-based option. On the same note, try to find out the location of local markets where you can buy cheap and fresh local produce at dirt-cheap prices. These often also make great places to wander.
Make a habit of using drinks as a method of getting your vitamins, too. Opt for fruit smoothies, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, or fresh coconut water instead of constant coffee or sugary drinks.
Get Social and Take a Digital Detox
John Petan makes a pretty good case for making friends on the road (and maybe even visiting your own international friends) and ditching your phone every once in a while:
It shouldn’t be too hard to adopt healthy eating habits, eat well and keep fit. This is especially true if you are always on the go or busy doing things, have a good social lifestyle, etc. I always eat well, but my servings are too big or I go for seconds and this is a problem when you travel alone and don’t have much social structure in your life or things to keep you busy. At age 51 it’s a struggle and I have never had issues before I turned 50. But as I’m getting older and am less active due to health issues, I’m finding it harder to eat well and exercise more. I sleep longer than I probably should. But sleeping is important when your body is repairing damage done to it over 50 years from too much exercise and partying.
This is a personal thing and I don’t think there is one all-encompassing remedy. Each person needs to work it out on their own – whatever it is that works for them. What I have found since the age of technology is that the more we look at computer screens, mobile phones and or TV, the less social we are. I believe this has contributed negatively to good eating, keeping fit and sleeping well. Technology has hurt us and separated us, because I used to have a very active social life before smartphones arrived. Now because we can communicate 24/7 via smartphones and computers, we have gotten lazier and thus fallen in to a deep abyss.
I think the answer is simple: Do away with technology and go back to living the way you did before the smartphone took over your life. The human spirit craves for interaction face to face with other humans. A lack of it can cause unhealthy diet, lack of desire to become fit, leading to little or no sleep at all.
Thank you for this guide! I have been thinking more and more about healthy eating habits while travelling lately. I am in South America right now and everything here seems to be fried. And if it isn’t fried, it is still meat. Vegetarian options are usually eggs, not vegetables. And then there are those long bus rides on which we need to substitute a whole meal with snacks, which is quite hard to do if you don’t want to eat more cookies and chips.
Anyway. I’m glad you published this guide! I will try to find nuts and fruits more often as snacks. This should be a good start. And maybe I can even find a vegan restaurant somewhere?
Annemarie Strehl says
Hi Ilona, I feel your pain. Vegetarian options are very limited in a lot of countries and I have gotten so many stomach issues because of it. For some vegan/vegetarian tips on the road, you can also check out my friend’s blog, Mostly Amélie. I am glad you found my little guide helpful and wish you lots of fun in South America!