When I travel, I travel light. When I’m exploring weird and wonderful places I’d rather not be held back by my luggage. I want something sturdy and I want something flexible. I don’t want to have to take a cab or a bus just because my bag is too heavy. This is why I love my rucksack.
I bought my Black’s rucksack ten years ago when three friends and I decided to backpack around Europe for the summer and it’s been with me ever since. It came with me when I decided to move to Toronto for a year after University. It accompanied me to South Korea when I decided to try my hand at English teaching. It survived with me when our bus was hijacked in Guatemala. It was on my back when I reached the North Pole and the southern most tip of Argentina. It’s here with me now and it will come back home to Scotland with me for Christmas. It’s one bag and it’s not even very big but regardless, I always ensure that I pack the things which make gluten free travelling possible.
In my backpack is..
- My favourite bowl. Rather than a plate from which I would have difficulties eating my cereal and milk, a bowl is far more flexible. All I need is one bowl and I can eat anything, anywhere!
- Cutlery. Having a small spoon, fork and knife with me whenever I travel saves me a lot of anxiety. If I decide to prepare a meal on the road I’m set or if I’m hungry and decide to pick up a yoghurt whilst out exploring I’m equipped.
- Cutting Board. A little more bulky than cutlery but equally if not more important. When I’m cooking dinner in my hostel I don’t want to rely on finding a used one and having to scrub it clean. Cutting boards are an obvious culprit for cross contamination so by bringing my own I don’t need to worry.
- Gluten Free Bars. I never leave home without checking there is at least one gluten free bar in my purse so it’s not surprising that I take a whole bunch of them whenever I go on a trip. I never know when I’m going to find myself a little peckish in between meals and finding a quick, safe snack on the go isn’t usually the easiest of tasks (other than fruit of course). Obviously if I’m going backpacking for 6 months I can’t fit 200 bars in my backpack but I always start off a trip with at least 5 or 6 and restock when possible as I go.
- Gluten Free Cereal. Whether I’m off on a road trip, weekend break or backpacking, I always take a box of gluten free cereal. I don’t like the stress of having to locate something safe to eat as soon as I’ve woken up. I like to eat my breakfast and then get out and enjoy my day. Wherever I’m staying usually provides milk which keeps it simple.
- Dried Fruit/ Nuts. These are pretty simple to find in most places, easy to pack and provide me with lots of goodness when I’m hungry for a snack on the go. Right now I’m all about a handful of peanuts and raisins because eating them together has a peanut butter and jelly taste.
- Spices. I tend to cook simple meals when I travel as I don’t have the time or variety of ingredients like I would at home. This is why I always carry spices like cinnamon and chilli powder. They make simple meals better and I don’t have to rely on finding safe spices wherever I am as I already have some with me.
- Notebook. Before I travel somewhere I do my research to find out what gluten free products and restaurants await me. There is of course better information on some places than others but I almost always find something to look forward to trying when I get to my destination. These notes are only a start. I’ll find more when I get there but it’s nice to have somewhere to start.
What’s in your gluten free backpack? Have I missed something important? Please share your thoughts…