You don't have to tell me I have a gift for making mountains out of molehills. I’m the Sir Edmund Hillary of overthinking, scaling Everest without a sherpa (because no sherpa wants to accompany me). But this time I've really outdone myself, reaching epic elevations while planning a trip to Morocco and Portugal in which I’m about to depart. What are the mountains that have taken me to such dizzying heights? Here's the short list:
1. WTF can I eat?
I gave up wheat, corn, eggs, red pepper and a dozen other culprits for over six months once I discovered I had food sensitivities. The problem is I haven't fully reintroduced them back or eaten them all together. I’ve been living in my own little food bubble for so long, what will happen when I step out? Bread, pastries, couscous, harissa and hives? My Eat, Pray, Love time will now be Pray I can Eat.
2. Hotels, Riads and Pensaos
The Sahara, mountains, beaches, kasbahs, medinas, souks, riads, castles, fishing villages, cork farms, wine tastings, cooking classes, trains, buses, planes? All the research has turned Sir Edmund Hillary into a crackhead. When those sites say, See more hotels like this one. I say, Yes, please! It’s only a click away! I’ve been to so many exotic locales online, I should be wearing sunscreen. Especially at my elevation. Vacation planning's a bitch. White whine.
3. Running, Crosstrainers or Walking
Over the last month, I’ve bought and returned 11 pairs of shoes, thinking I’ll try them out, one by one at home and see which one fits. Turns out my right foot has conspired against my left one and they are no longer a matched set. And returning them all has my carbon footprint conspiring against me too. And I never found a winner. I just hope there’s a New Balance store at the airport.
4. Hot, Warm and Chilly
How do you dress for the Sahara and a chilly beach town with one roll-on bag and a smaller carry-on that will be jam-packed with emergency gluten- and red pepper-free food and old, worn-out backup shoes that were once destined for the trash heap that may now be gracing kasbahs and castles?
5. Lotions, Potions and Sunscreens
It takes energy trying finding a new sunscreen that's clean, according to EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, that won’t sting your skin and break you out and then finding it in the right travel size. And finding a way to bring all your other lotions and potions in small portions is also a chore. Do I go buy new plastic containers to put them in because they say BPA-free or use old empty old ones that are full of BPA and pthalates? You know my feelings about plastic.
6. Cleaning the House
It’s not enough that I have to get my shit together—I have to get it together for my house sitters. Sure, I could hire a maid, but why when I have to do all the heavy lifting first? Those shoe boxes aren’t going to pick themselves up off the floor. Might as well save the $100 for a new pair of shoes I’ll be returning.
7. Gluten-free or vegetarian airline meal?
You can only choose one, and if I order gluten-free, it will probably have meat or eggs. I’m off of eggs and am not a vegetarian, however I try to only eat ethically sourced chicken (and rarely at that). American Airlines' factory-farmed chicken scares me more than the pilot jacked up on Jack Daniels. But if I order a vegetarian meal, it will be all wheat products. When it comes to flying, gluten-free vegans are S.O.L.
Believe me, there are plenty more mountains I've been scaling, but I’m too exhausted to finish the list. I need a vacation before this trip. Am thinking Club Meds.
To see pics while I'm gone, "like" Lentil Breakdown on Facebook (my FB widget mysteriously disappeared from my blog and I've no time to solve the mystery, so just search for Lentil Breakdown on Facebook). Au revoir!