Why I’m traveling the world (and why you should too!)


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Why I'm traveling the world (and why you should too!)

I’ve been toying with the intro to this post for the last hour. Then, I realized I’m over-complicating it. Because all I really want to say is, “You have one life to live…just freakin’ go for it!”

That’s what I’m doing. 5 months. 3 countries. 4 autoimmune diseases. 1 life. I’m going for it! And if you can’t quite tell, I’m bursting at the seams with excitement.

I’m traveling the world! 

My tickets are booked and my itinerary is done – Sydney (Australia) – Chiang Mai (Thailand) – Bali (Indonesia). I’m sure there will be side-trips, but those are the general destinations. And I leave in less than a month!

Did I mention that this will all be out of a backpack? Yep. Not so good for the chronic over-packer. I consider it a further lesson in simplicity.

Many people have asked me – why five months? Or why three countries? And to be quite honest, there was no glorious strategy. I just wanted warm, somewhat tropical, adventurous spots with good internet connections (yes, I will be working) and a relaxed vibe. These fit the bill.

If you’ve read my 15 Fun Facts About Me you know I’m no stranger to adventure. I’m an explorer at heart whose already traveled all 7 continents. So you might think…

What’s the big deal with this trip?

The big deal is that all my previous overseas travels were before my four autoimmune diagnoses. And most importantly, before my celiac. Since then, I’ve been a big ol’ scaredy cat when it came to overseas adventures. 

I did start traveling domestically a few months ago, but let’s be honest. Traveling overseas is a whole different ball of wax when you have dietary restrictions. 

In fact, one of my biggest frustrations has been reading websites discussing celiac disease and overseas travel. These websites list all the foods to avoid, while reminding you to pack the equivalent of an entire suitcase of pre-packaged gluten-free foods. Remember how I said I’ll be living out a backpack? 

And there’s a reason I don’t eat most “gluten-free” foods.

They’re not foods I would consider “nutritionally dense.” More like laden with sugars, chemicals and additives. Not exactly the fuel I’m looking for to sustain five months of travel. 

One of the most amazing things about foreign travel is the food. The smells, colors and textures. That’s what makes foreign travel amazing, adventurous and memorable. So the million dollar question then becomes…

How do you eat healthy, local cuisine, safely while traveling?

And prioritize real, healthy, whole foods? I don’t know, but I’m sure as heck going to figure it out!

And I’ve got five months to do so.

Because that’s what life is all about. Going for it. Facing our fears to live our lives fully. As Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Even if traveling the world isn’t your passion (though I highly recommend it), figure out what is. Then go for it. You totally got it!

What is one passion you have but haven’t yet “gone for?” Put it out to the universe, by sharing it below.

About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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  1. hi very exciting!! Do you travel alone? if so, I would love it if you could speak to that. I would like to. Thank you!

    1. Hi Christie – yes, I do travel alone many times. And I think solo travel is great for women on so many levels. I do hope to write more about that in the future! :)

  2. Hey Lisa. Isn’t it amazing how simply by turning your life around and living your best self has not only improved your quality of life but inspired so many people helping them along the way?
    I love traveling as well. And all I want is to have my fashion, travel, nutrition and wellness blog started.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Yes, it’s definitely amazing! And I’m still in awe sometimes of this wonderful community that’s developed. :) x

  3. Lisa, this is great! As a gluten free, 90% plant based eater (ate Wild Salmon for first time in 7 years on Monday), I can’t wait to hear all about your travels and how you navigate with your food choices. Have a awesome adventure.

    1. You and me both @karinchen:disqus – ha! Who knows, maybe I’ll even put some healthy food travel guides together?! Because everyone should roam free and see the world, dietary restrictions or not. :)

  4. What a great first vlog, Lisa! :) Fun to see you taking your explorer archetype over to the other side of the Earth.
    I’ve been hemming and hawing a trip for the past month (plus more). Questioning where I really want to go, if it’s the right time and place… questions fueled by the fear of failing, of being somewhere unknown in the wintertime.. and stuff like that. Maybe I just need to buy the plane ticket today! x

    1. Oh, @primalrevolutions:disqus you just need to go!! It’s never the right time or place (I could give you a million reasons why I shouldn’t be doing this right now!). But I’m doing it anyway (hehe). Just buy the plane ticket and figure out the rest later. Trust me…it all works out (and always for the better!). :) Go for it girl!

      1. Lisa, I did, I did! Last night I got the ticket. So, Amsterdam in less than a month! Thanks for the motivation. ;)
        I can’t wait to read about traveling Paleo from your side – you’ve inspired me to write about doing the same.

      2. YAY – so unbelievably excited for you!! You’re going to have a blast – can’t wait to hear all about it! :)

  5. Love your first vlog, Lisa! Well done, darling. I’m super inspired by your adventurous spirit and I think I’ve now caught the travel bug. Ah, so excited for you and this amazing trip ahead! Can’t wait to read the travel posts from the road.

    1. Thanks so much @sarahkateanderson:disqus! xx I can’t wait to share the travels…I’m sure I’ll end up in some crazy adventures (always do!). ;)

  6. Congrats on taking the leap and going on an adventure! Have a safe and wonderful trip x

  7. This is awesome Lisa!! I have done a bit of travelling myself but never alone.. My current dream is to do a solo trip to South America!! Or Bali! Or both! Why the hell not?! Now just to save some dollars.. small detail.. ;) Cheers for the inspiration and happy travels to ya gorgeous! Xx

    1. Thanks Megan – and hell ya to a South American trip! I’ve only done bits and pieces of South America…maybe I’ll join you!! xo