Things I miss while traveling

What I miss the most when I travel 

Traveling is one of the best things that anyone could do. It opens up a whole new world and makes you view life in a much different way. You also get to meet people from every country, you learn immensely about yourself and you get to have a lot of fun in the process too! But still, there’s always a few things I really miss when I travel. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows, and when you’re facing tough days, you start missing a few things from home even more. Here are the things I miss the most when I travel (and that I’m sure other travelers do as well).

My bed and my bathroom 

If you’re a backpacker on a budget or just want to stay somewhere social, you tend to sleep in hostels. But that often means sharing a room and bathroom with a few more other people. It’s quite fun in the beginning because you always meet people, but after awhile you get kind of tired of it. Some hostels are much better than others and it really depends on where you go, but having my own room and bathroom is something I always miss when I travel. Just sleeping in your own bed sheets that you know are clean and not having to wait for the 10 other people who also wants to take a shower is luxury. 

Family and friends 

Besides comfort, you miss your family and friends. In the beginning, everything’s so new and exciting that you kind of forget your life at home. But when things settle, you start thinking about your loved ones more and you start missing the people at home who knows you best and that you can just have a normal conversation with. 

Healthy diet 

It all depends where you travel to, but usually you won’t be eating as healthy as you do at home. There’s so much new food to try that you stuff your face with everything you can get your hands on. You also tend to snack way more when traveling, and alcohol is also a big denominator to why you might be gaining those extra pounds. It’s not something you should necessarily be obsessing about since you are on vacation, but I do notice that when I eat unhealthy, my body and mind just feels worse. When I’m at home, I know exactly where I can get good groceries, I can cook my own food and I know what my body needs to feel good. You can’t always find good food abroad. 

Clean clothes 

Yes, it’s a sense of freedom to not care how you look like or what you’re wearing, but there are days when I really miss wearing clean clothes again (some washing machines abroad doesn’t really do the job) and even go shopping. After half a year with the same worn down clothes, you really start missing your wardrobe at home. 

Being a vegetarian in Kyrgyzstan

Traveling in Kyrgyzstan as a vegetarian 

Being a vegetarian can either be super easy or a pain in the easy. When it comes to Kyrgyzstan, it’s the latter. Their diet consists of a lot of meat and even their most famous dish ‘plov’ is cooked in mutton oil. Still, it’s not impossible to be a vegetarian in Kyrgyzstan. You just have to prepare yourself and know that there won’t be a lot of vegetarian options, or sometimes at all, and that you might have to accept that the so-called “vegetarian” soup you got will have chunks of meat in it. There’s a few dishes though that you might be able to get vegetarian, such as: 

Laghman 

Probably one of the most famous dishes in the whole Central Asia, laghman consists of pulled noodles, vegetables and usually meat. But most restaurants can make it vegetarian, if you just ask them without meat (say “bies miyasa”, without meat). Do be prepared that you might still get some pieces of meat in your laghman. It happened to me several times and even though it’s annoying, you just gotta accept that the vegetarian scene isn’t really big here and that it’s very strange and foreign for them that someone doesn’t want to be served meat. 

Oromo 

My favorite vegetarian dish, oromo is a steamed pie that’s usually filled with different types of vegetables such as carrots and cabbage. But they also have a meat version of it, so make sure that you order the vegetarian oromo. It’s quite filling too and really delicious, but it can get a bit tricky to find oromo. Unlike laghman, you might have to search for a specific place that serves oromo. 

Ashlan-Fu

Karakol’s most famous dish would probably be Ashlan-Fu. It’s a spicy and cold noodle soup with a vinegar chili sauce. It’s usually vegetarian, although the second time I ordered it, I found some suspicious chunks of meat in it, although I specifically said without meat. But hey, it’s Kyrgyzstan we’re talking about!

Cook it yourself 

If you are very picky with food, you might have to consider cooking your own food. Vegetables and other food supplies are very affordable, so if you’re staying somewhere where you can cook your own food, I highly recommend this. They have a lot of lentils and beans in the market which is great for vegetarians. I was often very tired and didn’t get the nutrition I needed, so I just had to cook the food by myself. That’s the thing about traveling in Kyrgyzstan as a vegetarian – you need to be careful so you get all the protein and vitamins you need. Otherwise, you won’t have the strength to do all the incredible treks you can do in Kyrgyzstan. So do know that there are vegetarian options for you in Kyrgyzstan, but it does get hard sometimes. Luckily, the country is so beautiful that it makes up for it in that department.