Don’t get us wrong – traveling is wonderful and we are having an AMAZING time on the road so far. But, if we are being completely honest, there are some things from home that we miss, in addition to the obvious one of family and friends. This is sort of a follow-on to our post 7 ways traveling beats working in finance. We’ll caveat this post with the fact that we started writing it at about 1am after we were woken up by what we assume is a roving band of amateur musicians (i.e. drunk dude with his guitar and some friends) who decided to play guitar and sing/scream loudly below our bedroom window. As the local premier-league football team, Slask Wroclaw, is playing their rival Lechia tonight, we’re not hopeful that tonight will be better. Which brings us to the first thing we miss:
Sleep without ear plugs
That bit of “culture” mentioned above, and other ignorant nonsense, just wouldn’t fly in Toronto without the cops being swiftly called, right? What with staying in hostels, guesthouses, and rental apartments close to city centres, there have been many nights on this trip that Christine has had to jam ear plugs deep in her ears in an attempt to get some shut-eye. Trevor, being a much better sleeper, has had to deal with Christine complaining about her lack of sleep – not sure who has it worse…
Non-Carb based meals
The Baltic and Eastern Europe diet seems to consist of potatoes, potato pancakes, normal pancakes, and pierogies. Even when we cook for ourselves, pasta is a common choice because it’s cheap and easy. None of these, by themselves, are anything to complain about – in fact, each can be amazing (Christine regularly dreams of the salmon-camembert pierogies she had in Warsaw!). But after several weeks of little else, it gets a bit tiring. We do supplement with salads often, but we need to get more greens into our diet. One of Trevor’s goals for this trip is to develop a better repertoire of recipes that taste good, are easy to prepare with minimal kitchen equipment, and require very few ingredients. If anyone has any great recipes to share, we’ll credit you when we get our first book deal or sell the movie rights to our blog (or at least send you a polite thank you email).
The occasional English mindless TV
We have been on the road for about 6 weeks now and, so far, the only English channels we have been able to get have been dance music videos (we are totally in the know now on all the latest Euro-pop!) and the occasional news channel (e.g., BBC). It would be nice to occasionally unwind at night with a nice sitcom re-run or even a pathetic reality show episode (Christine is missing Amazing Race Canada). Guess we’ll have to re-subscribe to Netflix (is Netflix Poland better than Netflix Canada?) or finally give in and start downloading and watching Game of Thrones.
Low-fat or light anything
In North America, we take the availability of low-fat and low-calorie versions of food for granted. Of course, the idea of low-fat things like cheese is questionable at the best of times, but it makes us feel better about ourselves when we eat too much of it. In Europe, their idea of low-fat milk is 2%. We keep telling ourselves that we’re eating more “naturally”, and all the walking we’re doing makes up for any additional caloric intake. The worry, of course, is that we realize how much better fat makes everything taste, and that when we get back to North America we won’t be satisfied anymore with the low fat versions. The European idea of better quality, natural food, but smaller portions, really is the way to go.
As we’ve mentioned, we do A LOT of walking each day we’re on the road. But before we left on this trip (although obviously after we left our finance jobs), we were doing strength training 3 times per week, Christine was running, and Trevor was playing tennis. If Audrey, our former fitness trainer, asks, we’re still working out in our rented apartments. But in reality, our rented rooms are often way too small to be able to do lunges and push ups, and our 40L backpacks are much too small to bring separate workout clothes. Trevor’s six-pack abs (you’ll have to trust him on that) are fading away to only a four-pack.