Lessons From Traveling Abroad: Always Carry Peanut Butter

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I haven't traveled abroad in almost two years now — life just gets in the way sometimes. But my partner and I have been saving for a trip (hopefully this fall). While we both have different tastes in travel locations and haven't nailed down anything yet, I do know one thing for sure: there will be peanut butter. This is a lesson that's taken me many years to learn. 

In unfamiliar food landscapes, peanut butter can really save the day. When I was in college, I traveled to Ghana for three weeks to do some volunteer work. At the time I was a vegetarian, so I was subsisting on lots of rice, taro and beans. Thankfully, my roommate brought a jar of peanut butter and shared it with me. That instant hit of much-needed protein helped get me through more than a handful of lethargic afternoons. Since then, I rarely leave home without a little stash of peanut butter when traveling. (I think my roommate from our Ghana trip would be smiling away to hear this!)

On a boat in Ecuador a few years ago, the kitchen was stocked with mostly packaged foods and we were out to sea for almost a week. Peanut butter saved the day then, too. Paired with a ripe banana (we had a big bunch hanging from one of the canopies on the ship), it was an instant, energizing breakfast. Even when heading out on long day hikes outside of Seattle or hopping on a plane to visit my parents, I now take a little packet of peanut butter for an extra boost of tasty energy, banana or not. 

What lesson have you learned from your travels that you employ, still, today?

(Images: Flickr member koocbor licensed under Creative Commons) )

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