Thursday, May 2, 2013

World Traveler

From the time I was a baby until I was in my mid-twenties, I'd pretty much traveled to most of the edges of the United States.  From Alaska to Hawaii, from Idaho to Florida, from California to North Carolina, I think I had traveled more than half of the United States.

When I was twenty-one, I served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  For eighteen months, I served the people of the Quetzaltenango, Guatemala region.

When I was 25, I went on a cruise from Miami to the Western Caribbean - that included Cozumel, Jamaica and the Grand Cayman Islands.

At 26, I went to the United Kingdom and spent nearly three weeks traveling through England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and we even took a weekend trip to Paris.

After being laid off from my job in 2001, I had the opportunity to spend three weeks in China with my bestest friend and her husband.  We went to China, Hong Kong and Macau.

In 2002, I took a job with a small company that produced trade shows around the world.  Yearly, I traveled to Las Vegas, Amsterdam and Singapore.  From those places, I traveled to even better places including France, Madagascar, Mauritius and Japan.  I left that company in 2005 but I didn't let that stop me from traveling.

My first trip to Italy was back in 2007.  I have such wonderful memories of that trip with my cousins.  We started in Rome and traveled up through Italy, into Switzerland and France and ended our trip in London.

In 2009, I went back to work for the trade show company.  With them, I added Brazil to the list of places I'd been.  In 2009 I was able to take my Dad with me to Amsterdam and from there we spent 10 days in Florence and the Tuscany region of Italy.  We also spent a night or two in Brussels, Belgium.  

2010 was the epitome of traveling memories for my family.  I was able to bring my Dad AND my sister with me to Amsterdam.  We went directly from there to Florence and spent 10 days (could have been 7, my brain is fuzzy) together making the best memories.  We even took a cooking class.  Best thing ever.

It was before that trip, my Dad had business cards made - his official title?  "World Traveler".  He handed those cards out like candy.  My dad traveled to Europe both times while in the throes of cancer treatment.  Going to Italy was on his "bucket list", and for sure, that trip did not disappoint.  He didn't let anything stop him from making memories with us.

Since changing jobs in the Fall of 2010, I've mostly traveled between Utah and Missouri. Last year though, we went on our last great adventure together.  We went on a cruise to the Bahamas.  With Donny and Marie.  I loved that so much, I don't even remember the food!

No matter where I've been over the years, I've never worried about what I was going to eat.  I've never been afraid to try local cuisine - even when that meant eating fresh lamb's brain - cooked to our satisfaction, of course.  For the record, I did try a bite and from there went directly to McDonald's for a quarter-pounder with cheese.  Some of the best things I've ever done in foreign countries is eat.  In fact, many of the memories I have while traveling revolve around food.  

Things have changed though and the transition is hard.

Last week, my sister and I met up at the Salt Lake City airport and from there, spent five days in Northern California.  We grew up in the Bay Area so it wasn't exactly an exotic locale as far as food goes.  

I brought my own supply of food I knew I could eat.  I brought cans of tuna packed in olive oil, cut up veggies and hummus, apples and tangelos.   I also brought a couple of packages of chicken sausage with sweet potato hash that I had made and frozen a couple of weeks before.  

We ate at a sit-down restaurant twice.  I'm fairly confident that I ate "safe" food but I'm not 100% sure.  Especially considering the fact that I did pretty well until Sunday.  By Sunday, my fatigue totally caught up with me - to the point that I'm still trying to recover.  Also?  My body got puffy again.  I drank enough water, I took my supplements.  I slept well.  I'm sure it has to do with my adrenal fatigue but at this point, I don't know 100%.  My ankles just barely went back to normal.

We went to our cousin's wedding in Clear Lake and while the food served was beautiful, I forget to mention my food requirements far enough in advance before the chicken was marinated in sugar and grilled and so I ended up eating veggies, mango and lettuce with lime juice for dinner that night.  But hey, let's be honest.  I wasn't there for the food.  I was there to see happiness in motion.  I also caught the bouquet. Who cares about eating wedding cake when you have the bride's bouquet in your possession?  Not me.  Not last week, anyway. 

Lucky for me, my Mom, sister and Auntie were super conscientious of my food requirements and helped me make sure I kept in line.

I found out last week that the two owners of my company qualified for an all-expense paid trip to Barcelona.  Instead of them taking the trip with their wives, they pulled strings arranged for me and a guest to take the trip.  BARCELONA!!!  FOR SIX DAYS!!!  I'm going somewhere I've never been!!!  I'm taking my Auntie Dana and we're taking a little side trip to Italy after.

I'm excited but I'm also worried.  What am I going to eat there?  How am I going to manage my fatigue?  Will I have enough stamina to take day trips and do a bunch of walking?  

Today I have an appointment with Dr. Stadler.  You betcha I'm going to be talking to him at length about the trip I just took as well as my upcoming adventure.  My goal has always been to feel better but now there's a little more to it than that.  I want to be healthy.  I want to eat delicious food without worrying about the type of oil they're using.  I want to eat gelato.  I want to eat fresh Italian tomatoes.  I'm pretty sure I'll be able to, but need to make a plan just in case.

This trip to Spain may be different from other trips I've taken - I may have to take more naps, I may have to slow my walking down and I may have to pack my own cans of tuna.  It will all be okay.

I'm the daughter of Mike Harms.  I'm a World Traveler.  And like my Dad, I'm not going to let anything get in the way of making memories that will last forever.

1 comment:

  1. You are a world traveler. I still have your dad's card in the cubby by my bed. I can't wait until I can travel the world again. Not that anyone would ever doubt you, but the lamb's head story is completely true.