What is Paleo Again?

I might as well explain . . .

2012 I am fat

Fat in 2012

Once upon a time a couple of years ago, I felt old, overweight, constantly fatigued, and had given in to the idea that I would never again be healthy and vibrant. Then my gut (and I) got really sick, and I couldn’t ignore it any more. Something had to be done. I did what most of us do when we want information: I Googled it.

What I found truly and forever changed my life. After weeks of research, I came across Mark’s Daily Apple, a blog about the Primal/Paleo way of eating and fitness. (The Primal Blueprint is the version of Paleo that I use and one that has really worked for me.) I had always tried to eat well, so it wasn’t a stretch to eliminate grains, dairy, sugar, and processed foods from my diet.

2014 I am fit

Fit in 2014

In three weeks my brain fog lifted and my energy returned in full force. I had forgotten what it was like to feel so good. Within a few months I was hiking three to four miles 5 days a week, had lost 25 pounds, and felt more fit and healthy than I had in at least twenty years. People were asking me what I’d done. I started a Primal potluck group. I attended PrimalCon. I adopted Darryl Edwards’ ideas in his book Paleo Fitness. In short, I changed my lifestyle and changed my life.

So now my plan is to maintain my Paleo lifestyle while traveling RTW, using the world as my fitness playground and seeing what Paleo foods are like in other countries. Will I be climbing trees in the jungles of Thailand and running across logs over rivers in Venezuela? Will I be eating fried insects in Brazil, chicken feet in Malaysia, and fish eyes in China? I have no idea, but I am open to all of these possibilities and more. I just read about saying yes to eating unidentifiable foods, and that is the idea of world travel, right? To be open to all the new experiences that other countries have to offer, to be adventurous in ways I never imagined, can’t now imagine. I’m excited to expand my horizons, to be brave and bold, and to maintain the health that the Paleo lifestyle has provided me. I’m never going back to old, sick, fat, and tired.

What strange foods have you eaten? What fun and different ways have you used the world as your playground?

Am I Crazy? What Have I Done?

Do I really think I can travel around the world for a year (or more)? Come on, now.

Pretty much every morning I wake up in a tiny panic. Do I really think I can just tuck away my normal, everyday life, pick up my backpack and laptop, and take off around the world on an almost-nothing budget?

At PrimalCon 2014 with fellow primates

At PrimalCon 2014 with fellow primates. Photo by Mike Lin.

As soon as I pass through that odd, sparkly-crystal-fog journey from asleep to awake, I lie in bed, amazed that I would even consider such a thing. Sure, I’ve always said I’d like to travel more. Many of us have that dream. So why don’t I make do with saving some money, picking a country or two, and just going for, like, a month? This is what most sane people do, right? Perhaps. But I’ve never lumped myself in with “most people.” I am special, just like everyone is. 

So why do I think I can just sell most of my possessions, pack away the few things I want to keep, and pare my entire life down to what I can carry on my back? Well, the easy (and honest) answer is, because decisions like this are just that: decisions. If you read my post about how I reach my goals (here), you know that the first step toward anything I do is to simply decide to do it. For me, there is a world contained in a decision: commitment, excitement, the planning to come, the unshakable faith I have in myself to do what I set out to do.

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Apple chicken and cauliflower “faux”tatoes. Author photo.

So now the work has begun. I have started an Evernote notebook (I love that app), I have reached out to people I know who love to travel, and I am keeping notes of the juicy places I want to put on my “places to see” list. I have pared my expenses down to the bare minimum. (I rented out my house in Oregon and am staying with my mom in California for the winter, which is allowing me to save a lot of money.) I am strengthening my job connections so I continue to have work on the road. (I am a freelance book editor.) I am connecting with other world travelers, both seasoned travelers like Nomanic Matt and newbies like myself.

I am also learning how to monetize my blog to support my travel habit. To that end, I’ve been working on developing this blog’s theme. I have several labels I can stick on myself: Paleo/Primal, meditator, humanist, and skeptic, among others. I’ve been playing around with what is most present in my everyday existence, what action I could apply a label to at any given time. At this point, I have decided to focus this blog on maintaining a Primal lifestyle while traveling the world. This means I will focus not only on preparing for world travel and the actual travel experiences I will have, but also how I fare maintaining my Primal eating habits (which I am not going to give up, as I completely changed my health going Primal) and Primal movement (essentially, using the entire world as my playground). 

I hope you will always find something of interest in my sharing. I would love to hear what you are interested in as I share this preparation time with you. What interests you about world travel? Are you planning a RTW? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

~ Jessica

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