Travelling with hope and a thermos

There is a rhythm to travelling.  The new and the unknown, often the reasons for leaving the safe and familiar, merely punctuate that rhythm.  The train wheels along the rails.  The white lines alongside the car.  Even the unevenly spaced stops and stations generate their own routine.

Against this, the body’s routines are sometimes out of sync, or you wish they were.  Midday at the service centres alongside the major highways – granted, they contain an amazingly diverse slice of the world – but the queues make stopping to buy lunch such a waste of time.

I have only travelled twice since starting my 2012 eating habits.

The first trip was to attend a family reunion.  As it turned out, videoing the event took my focus away from what I was, or should be, eating.  Thankfully, I did not eat a lot of rubbish, as often happens when one’s guard is down.  I simply didn’t eat enough.  It took a week to get my energy levels back.

The second trip was to attend a family wedding.  This time, I was prepared.  I was not going to be caught short.  I’d learnt my lesson.  I packed an esky.  Turns out, snacking on something nearly like beef jerky was a great idea.  I’m dashing between this house and that, the hairdressers, the venue, with video camera in hand and an esky on the car’s passenger seat – protein, diet coke, water and the obligatory chocolate bar.  I even had a thermos under the seat in case I needed a cup of tea.

I’m a great fan of travelling with an esky.  It’s the tub of hope when you look at the menu and nothing is appetising or your order turns up and its inedible.  I asked for a plate of vegetables at a pub in Dubbo some years ago.  The plate arrived with three semi-circular mounds of mash.  We guessed that white was probably potato, green was probably peas and the yellow had to be pumpkin.

At a nearby ice cream shop, I took comfort in the correct use of the ice cream scoop.


  • Over cater.  A meal you expected might not eventuate, or you might be presented with an opportunity to share.
  • Keep it simple.  Protein, fruit and a few multivitamins in the esky can be supplemented along the way with salad, milk and carbs if opportunity comes along.  Only carry milk if you’re sure the esky doesn’t leak – I learnt that the hard way.
  • Plan ahead.  Know where and when the ice blocks can be re-frozen.  I use two drink containers, rather than the sealed commercial types.  The ice cold water comes in handy as the day progresses – a trick I learnt from my Mum.
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