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The Single Most Important Thing to Bring on an International Vacation

team diabetes easter island

Team Diabetes at Easter Island, 2009

My wife and I are in Reykjavik, Iceland this weekend running a half marathon for Team Diabetes. This is the 4th event I’ve run with the team, and the third time my wife has joined me for the adventure.

While we were training for this latest event, we attended a fundraiser with the director of Team Diabetes. Fred travels to at least 8 marathons on year all around the world with various teams of people who have done fundraising and training. From Australia, to Austria, to Rio de Janeiro, to Reykjavik, Iceland, Fred has traveled the globe with 1000s of people from all walks of life.

At this fundraiser, Fred singled out my wife as being one of the best people he has ever traveled with. Why? Because of one item she brought with her on our trip to Easter Island.

Peanut butter.

My wife is not necessarily a picky eater, but she’s not an adventurous eater when it comes to local cuisine. So whenever we travel she brings peanut butter.

Finding bread will always be easy, it’s a global staple. If you’ve got fresh bread and peanut butter in your suitcase, you can get by until something less authentic can be found on a menu.

Fred would find the people he travels with often would get uptight about food choices in foreign cities. Breakfast foods would be too much egg, cheese, or yogurt for them. The spices too rich, or the menus too authentic. Instead of taking it upon themselves to bring something, the people would complain.

My wife brings peanut butter, and Fred loves her for it. We do the same thing when we travel with our boys. A jar of peanut butter, some instant oatmeal, and the mini cereal boxes are always a part of our packing.

What’s the most important item you pack when heading overseas?

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