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Should You Worry About Your Weight During Your Travels?

As I gazed into the mirror and stared at the scale I realized something: I am overweight.

But hey, let’s backtrack a little bit, shall we?

This all started one rainy morning in Budapest a few days ago when I made the decision of not paying for the funicular up to Buda Hill and instead decided to hike it.

After 7 minutes of going up I was starting to have problems breathing. After 15 minutes my head started to feel dizzy and I had to actually sit down for a long period of time in order to calm myself.

“Come on, Raphael, you climbed the Great Wall of China! You conquered the cliffs of Easter Island! You even boarded down an active volcano in Nicaragua! What’s wrong with you today?” I kept thinking inside my mind.

The answer was a simple one that I refused to hear and it took me a while to finally admit: I have had let myself go.

Traditional Yucatan Food at Merida
Traditional Yucatan Food at Merida

My problem with weight loss: The story of my life

It might be surprising for you to learn that back in primary school (and most of high-school) I was the funny fat kid who cracked jokes at classes and everybody loved to hang around with…but never in a romantic way.  In fact, did you know that I never dated anyone until I was 20 years old? Shocker.

When I first started college in Monterrey, Mexico I decided to completely focus on my health and started to eat better (and less) plus I finally went to the gym for the first time. In my first two years there I lost more than 20 kilos (44 pounds) and not only did my confidence improved but also my physical prowess.

I was indestructible. I was fit as hell. I was dating the most beautiful girls of the class. I was the soul of the parties. I was the king of the world!

And then…France happened.

El Nido to Coron Sailing Expedition
Food of Wonders aboard the Kelooma

How I learned not to worry about my physical appearance

During my time abroad, from being a student in France to a expat worker in Argentina I learned that physical appearance was overrated and that (as long as you feel healthy) a little bit of extra weight here and there doesn’t harm anybody. I decided to just focus on enjoying life and stop worrying about going to the gym at all.

The best part? I started to try all sorts of new different meals and specialties (because come on, eating only fruits and chicken breasts gets boring after a few weeks) while still enjoying the same lifestyle I had back in Mexico. And hey, did you know you can eat in Europe for less than 4 euros a day?

I realized that I didn’t need to be physically fit in order to feel indestructible. I didn’t need to be physically fit in order to date the most beautiful girls of the city. I didn’t need to be physically fit in order to be the soul of the parties. I didn’t need to be physically fit to be the king of the world. All I needed was to have confidence and well, just be myself!


Amazing Mexican Food in Puerto Vallarta
Amazing Mexican Food in Puerto Vallarta

All of that is good until you realize that your health is in danger

I’m no expert on fitness and concepts such as body mass index and adrenal fatigue. What I do know is that being out of breath after hiking for 7 minutes is a warning for an early heart attack and a clear signal that I needed to improve my eating habits.

What I do know is that being 1.76 meters tall (5’8 feet) while having a weight of 84 kilograms (185 pounds) is probably not healthy.

Scratch that. It’s definitely NOT healthy.  So, while I will still try the amazing local cuisine during my travels, I will also do my best now to avoid things that are bad for a healthy life.

It’s time to say goodbye to the kebabs and say hello to tropical fruits! And yes, some morning jogging is definitely a must-do!

Dieting is all about having the discipline and it’s better to take care of it now before the problem is already too big to fix (the problem being me in this case). Have you ever gotten fat during your travels?

Got any tips to share to stay healthy on the road? Do you think I look sexy despite being fat? Share your thoughts and let me know what you think (especially about that last question haha)!!!


Things to Do and See in Jeju Island, South Korea
Street Food at Jeju Island, South Korea