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Cultivate Simple 19: The World Tour

February 25th, 2013

Topic: Lessons Learned While Traveling

Traveling to a third-world country and getting out of your comfort zone can teach you a lot of lessons about yourself and how fortunate you are. Susy learned those lessons as a child growing up in Colombia while Brian has experienced them during several visits to the country over the years.
Wendy & Susy
Me and my sister while growing up in Colombia. I’m on the left.
Dinner with Virginia 1
This was the meal that Brian talks about in the episode. The photos below are of their house, their neighborhood and Virginia (the woman who cooked this delicious meal).
Dinner with Virginia 2
Dinner with Virginia 3
Dinner with Virginia 4
Eating healthfully while traveling can be a challenge as well. We share some tips and tricks that we have learned over the years that not only make the trip more enjoyable but also give you more energy to enjoy the journey.

Here’s my post on Eat Outside the Bag on Eating Healthfully on the Road.

My recipe for Nourishing Custard over on Eat Outside the Bag.

Here’s my post about Lavamé Clean, the soap we take down to distribute in Colombia.

Books of the Week

Brian’s Geeky Corner

Sign up for a ‘throw-away’ email. Use a gmail account when you sign up for a newsletter or purchase something on-line. Then all of your junk and distraction email will go to one address while all the email from family and friends will end up in your ‘real’ email inbox.

13 Comments to “Cultivate Simple 19: The World Tour”
  1. Donna B. on February 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

    How I love those photos, especially the one of the older woman. What a charming face, and such soul to it too. It’s really inspirational knowing where Susy came from – and how you guys still help out as you can. Very inspirational for your readers, that’s why we come back again and again! ♥

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  2. DebbieB on February 25, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Thanks for the peek through the window at the way of life in Columbia. I thought about the idea of community – you’ve discussed this before, talking about the importance of networking and building relationships that can sustain you (and others) in times of need. That “love basket” is so cool. I liked that you brought up the idea that it’s not GUILT that those of us who are blessed with safe housing and abundance should feel, but rather APPRECIATION, and a sense of responsibility to help those who have less.

    Thanks also for the ideas about travel food – we always bring food with us when we travel, to avoid the dreaded fast food, and I was busy scribbling ideas as you talked. Pizza! That’s a fantastic idea, and one I had never thought of. I always bring cheese, nuts, and lots of boiled eggs, mostly to add to the icky choices at hotel “continental breakfasts” (which usually means stale donuts and overly sweet pastries, which have me in a coma an hour later with zero energy).

    Since your podcast began, I have gradually decreased the amount of packaged foods that enter my home. I don’t buy box mixes of anything anymore – I’ve started making my own sauces and use fresh or dried ingredients for our meals. Instead of throwing out the carcass of a baked chicken, now it’s simmered for hours and hours to extract its goodness. I like how the quality of our food has increased while the cost has reduced.

    I’m looking for a pair of shoes that will be multi-purpose and last for years. I usually wear trainers (athletic shoes) but I’d like to get away from replacing those so often. I remember you (Susy) talking about having a leather pair that you wear all the time, but I couldn’t find details – any recommendations?

    Welcome back, I missed you guys last week!

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

    • Susy on February 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

      The Keen shoes I particularly love the KEEN Women’s Presidio Casual Shoe. I love that they’re leather inside and out. I have had my pair for almost 5 years now and I don’t own sneakers so they’re the only shoes I wear during fall/winter/spring. During the summer I wear Keen Sandals or flip flops almost exclusively. My Keen Presidios have hiked/walked many miles and I’m very impressed with their quality, a worth investment indeed.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Misti on February 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm

        I’m also going to say Keen’s are awesome! I have two pairs of their sandals, a pair of flip flops and a pair of tennis shoes. I wanted to use their hiking boots on the AT but my heels and their boots didn’t jive so I went with Merrell instead. But I have no complaints from them (my brother also backpacks in his Keen sandals!). Also if you buy them from REI, esp if you have on near you, and you end up with a problem they are really easy to return and get your money back or switch out for a new pair….even if you’ve had them for years. I’ve not done this but I know people who’ve done it with other products from REI.

        Loved your podcast today. Traveling and being vegetarian is absolutely even worse than just being on a normal healthy eating habit. I hate resorting to salads because they don’t fill me up as a meal and they are outrageously priced in restaurants.

        to Misti's comment

      • DebbieB on February 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

        Excellent! I read your reply aloud to my daughter, who laughed and rushed to her closet and retrieved a pair of Keen’s Presidios. She ordered them on a clearance several years ago and they didn’t fit her feet, but she couldn’t return them, so she’s had them stored away “just in case”. They’re teal green and not the neutral color I’m looking for – but they’re my size, so I’ll wear them for awhile to make sure they’re good for my feet, then order the neutral color I want. I’m also eyeing the Keen’s flipflops… the Waimea H2 Sandal looks like it would be great for warm weather.

        to DebbieB's comment

      • Susy on February 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm

        I have the Waimea H2 sandals and LOVE them.

        to Susy's comment

  3. Dawn Roberts on February 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Wish you guys could have seen Michael rolling his eyes at me as I was listening to your podcast today! He just happened to be eating a snack in the next room & heard me “talking” to you and laughing when you guys were trying to remember which tiny airport I was “stuck” in, lol – yes, Lincoln, NE! Then he heard Susy say she needs to eat protein in the morning for breakfast or she’s hungry again in 2 hours and he said, “Gee Mom, I eat LOTS of protein in the morning and I’m STILL HUNGRY in two hours?! Perhaps you need a disclaimer about growing teenage boys’ bodies – ha ha!! :) Great podcast. Enjoyed hearing about your trip & am glad you made it back home safely. Blessings… :)

    Reply to Dawn Roberts's comment

    • Susy on February 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      True, he just needs to eat more eggs for breakfast! Imagine how hungry he would be if he only ate some oatmeal for breakfast :)

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Melissa on February 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Welcome Back! so glad you went over the travel food suggestions! I made a list while I listened to keep for our summer road trip!

    That soup looks delicious!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  5. Melanie in Ca on February 26, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Welcome back! Great Danes are WONDERFUL farm dogs, but not the guardian dogs you have in mind. Guardian dogs are breeds like Anatolian Shepherd, Kangal and Great Pyrenees. Danes are more of the genus Danem tuberosum kanapes … “Couch potato”.

    My gentle giants are sweet and loving companions and protective of their home and their people but are definitely house pets.

    Thanks for the shout-out! This is another podcast from which I learned a lot.

    Reply to Melanie in Ca's comment

  6. Marina C on February 26, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Welcome back!
    Wonderful podcast. So glad you are out there telling it like it is, by the way, you do it in a most gracious way.
    The NYT article last Sunday about how mass produced food has become an addictive product is well worth reading, and explains a lot about all the food trouble our country is in.
    On the the topic of dogs, I say you gave to have a Lab always, for Lucy’s sake, but we all know they are neither guard, farm, or (hard) work dogs!
    How the snow storm going?

    Reply to Marina C's comment

  7. Rachel on February 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Enjoyed the podcast, once again. Have you ever thought of interviewing Susy’s parents for a podcast? From what you have already said they seem like interesting people who would have a lot to say about cultivating a simple, thoughtful life.

    Reply to Rachel's comment

  8. Adriana on February 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for another great show! Listening to you talk about growing up in Columbia brought back so many of my own memories of growing up in Peru. When I was 6 or 7, one of my chores was to go down to the local bakery and get a loaf of bread and a jug of milk. We lived in a “nice” part of Lima, but we didn’t have a car so my mom sent me to school with one of the families that did. They also took other neighborhood kids and we would be packed in like sardines, no seatbelts! I also appreciated what you said about “first world problems”. Sometimes I get frustrated here in Vermont when I hear people complain about their “first world problems”. Some of these people have never left the state, let alone the country and have no idea how good life is here compared to some other parts of the country and the world. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots more great and wonderful people here… it’s just those few that get under my skin. Sorry about the rant! Also, your tips for eating healthy while traveling are so helpful. As parents of young kids, finding good food on the road can be a challenge. Keep up the good work!

    Reply to Adriana's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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