Apparently, when I go on vacation, so does whatever internal system is in charge of my shi…defecation habits. Yeah, we’re definitely about to have this conversation!
At home, I’m not so regular, but it’s always been that way and my doctor says that’s okay, but damn, when I go on vacation for more than a few days, I love to eat and eat and eat, and when I realize what’s gone in has not come out, I start to get nervous. The funny thing is, though, there is no feeling of constipation or anything. I feel fine. Like I said, my stomach, upper and lower intestine are on vacay when I am apparently. So what do I do? I end up pulling out my translator and finding various ways to say “laxative” and “suppository.”
But why does this happen?
Well, I talked to my doctor friends who sometimes have to dig through shit for a paycheck, but travel for fun, and they said a few things that make sense:
- Jet Lag can play a big part: Whether you realize it or not, your bathroom habits usually happen around the same time of day, each day. They also happen after certain activities. When traveling, your time has changed and so has your activities. Your bowels are now confused and it’s easier for them to chill than to figure things out on their own.
- These new surroundings are no good: We don’t really trust other bathrooms as much as we trust our own, and sometimes we don’t feel like layering the seat or squatting over an open hole in the ground, so we convince ourselves we don’t really need to go.
Hell, be glad it’s not traveling diarrhea.
So how do we fix this?
- When you wake up, get moving: I tend to go for an early morning walk now, and that really helps get the system moving.
- I include natural laxatives in my breakfast: high fiber fruits (berries especially), flaxseeds, aloe vera, prunes, and my personal favorite: coconut water.
- Keep the water flowing: I hate drinking water, but I recognize the importance of it, so I do it.
- Hit the local pharmacy and practice using the local language while asking for a laxative.
Enjoy the rest of your vacation without worrying about returning home and having everything you’ve eaten over the past week or two racing to the toilet at the same damn time.
Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.