It’s pretty reasonable to say that food is on of the highlights of many people’s travelling experiences. When you’re in the planning stages or well after you’ve gotten home and you’re bragging about the highlights, the food is usually pretty high on your list, with many wonderful culinary experiences to take advantage of all over the world. Right up there with culture, history and scenery, food is one of the main reasons people travel and things that make a region famous.
But it’s not all perfect.
Imagine you embarking on the Italian trip of your dreams, complete with sightseeing and food sampling all those classic pieces – from the Pantheon to a hearty wood-fire pizza. The only problem is the burning you feel in your chest not long after eating it – maybe you shouldn’t have had it with three kinds of spicy sausage and chillies? But it was so delicious – doesn’t that count for something? Well, see how you feel a few hours later when it’s making its way out…
What many people experience at some point in their life is heartburn, often caused by spicy food that can lead to significant discomfort and the need to take an ant-acid before eating or just avoiding it altogether. Of greater significance though is acid reflux disease, which can rear its ugly head even after years of being completely fine with a certain food. It’s not unusual for people to experience this while travelling after coming into contact with strange food with exotic spices, particularly if travelling in a country where the cuisine is markedly different than at home.
Even the dishes you are most looking forward to can leave you hating your life for a number of reasons. Since you’re in a new place with new things to try, there is a fairly good chance you will find something that just doesn’t agree with you and can be quite unpleasant. It’s particularly disheartening when you have been looking forward to eating or drinking something unique to an area and the first time you try it, you’re filled with regret. Maybe it’s just a bad batch and shouldn’t ruin your perception of the area or dish altogether, or maybe you should make a note of it and know that you just weren’t meant to have it!
The good news is you can usually find ways around this by being vigilant in your planning and cautious in your experimentation. If you know spicy food is your trigger, stay away from dishes that are known to be that way or order things you know are safe. Yes, that can lead to a rather boring culinary experience but it can also prevent you from having your holiday ruined. Bringing things like antacid tablets as well can be handy for those spur of the moment times where you just want to be prepared.
Heartburn or acid reflux disease are an annoying reality of travel for some and while they don’t get the same negative attention as traveller’s diarrhoea or food poisoning, they are still a very real and ugly part of travel. Plan ahead though and you can have your trip and your food as well!