When youâ€™re strapped to your backpack and stumbling your way around the globe, your weight fluctuates more than a D-list celebrityâ€™s. It all depends on the country youâ€™re in, and their culture.
Countries where I lost weight:
Countries where I gained weight:
Fuckinâ€™ everywhere else. America, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji were the worst culprits.
Boozing is a big factor, obviously. In America, I was hammered nightly, cradling cans of PBR as we sat around the campfire, or clutchingÂ Grenades in New Orleans. I got pretty plump without realising. Thereâ€™s a charming photo of me sat on a horse in Monument Valley, trying to look like John Wayne – Iâ€™ve even nailed the beer gut.
Itâ€™s not hard to slim down in Cuba, as the national food is essentially dough with a bit of ketchup sprayed on, and itâ€™s not particularly tempting to gorge yourself. The food was phenomenalÂ in Vietnam, but portions are small and you will lose weight just from sweating. Every. Second.
If youâ€™re into fitness, it can be hard to keep in shape on the road. You can find gyms here and there, but there will be stretches where youâ€™re forced to get creative. Obviously you can go running, but youâ€™ll probably be too drunk/hungover/culture shocked/hot/cold/lost to do that. I met a German guy on my travels who had it pretty worked out. He used the following routine:
Plank, press ups, star jumps, squats, tricep dips, sit ups, jumping squats- do these solidly for 1 minute each, and repeat as many times as necessary until youâ€™re fucked.
I did it a few times in Cuba, and you can definitely feel it. You might not see any improvements in your physique, but itâ€™ll definitely keep the dreaded backpacker beer gut at bay. That said, you might prefer to just let it all hang out. You are on holiday, after all.
Thatâ€™s cool, man. You do you.