|Provisioning gone wild!|
This months Raft-Up (which I am late in posting due to traveling down the Baja coast) is on provisioning - which is something I am VERY familiar with as we have just left the "safety zone" of the United States to start what we hope will be 5 (or more?) years traveling around the world. While I can't necessarily speak about provisioning as a cruiser from a historical perspective (since we've only recently left), what I can talk about is how it feels to be leaving all of the foods we know and love and the comfort of shopping at familiar places....
Sooooooo, what are your favorite foods? How easy are they to get? Can you make them yourself? Can you imagine having to think about how you would store those favorites if you were trying to buy a 2-3 year supply? What if it has to be refrigerated?
Yep....that's what I spent the last two weeks thinking about. Those of you who know me know that I am a true foodie. I love food, I love to cook, I even love to think about food! And as a foodie, I love having access to all of the ingredients that I know and love - like GARLIC, spices and good quality olive oil! I won't even get started on what an emergency it would be if we ran out of CHEESE!!! And while I am certainly aware that people in all of the countries we plan to visit have been perfectly able to feed themselves for 100's of years, I have no first hand knowledge of what will be available in each place we go, so I really had to think about what we absolutely couldn't live without. Add to that the need to have quick and easy food on passages - which for us means breakfast bars, oatmeal, top ramen, sandwiches (mostly made in tortillas), and trail mix type stuff - and you have a whole other assortment of items that need to be purchased and stored.
Then you have to think about special occasions. What do we like to eat at Christmas? Will they be available where we are going (Swedish dishes - definitely not!)? What do we like as a special treat on our birthday or another special occasion that we can take along? More stuff to be stored!
Yes, yes, I know we will have access along the way to some of these items, but what I can't predict (especially in the South Pacific) is how much they will cost. Since we are on a pretty tight budget, it made sense to me to try to purchase a lot of this where I knew (and was okay with) the price. Plus there's that panicky feeling I get when I think about running out of my favorite foods!
Put it all together and you end up with mountains of stuff stacked all over the place and the overwhelming feeling of wondering how you will ever find a place for all of this stuff you have bought! Thankfully, it is amazing how many little places there are to pack stuff away in on a boat and it did all find a home in the end.
I must admit to being a little embarrassed by how much stuff we have on board, especially since I know that half of the fun of travel is discovering new foods. But I also know that when I'm pining for home in a foreign land, I'll be mighty glad I bought that extra cheese!