Work and travel. Name a better pair… I’ll wait.
When work and travel collide you know you’re in that percentage of human kind that everyone secretly hates. Seeing the world AND getting paid to do it? You bastard. Well, last week… I was one of those bastards (woop!)
Hello world, and meet travel challenge #2… #wellingtonotinmybelly
I had never been to New Zealand so not only was I stupidly excited to visit a new city, but I got to do it with the most incredible dance company, The Dream Dance Company. So even though I was doing my dance thing I thought why the hell not blog about it!?
Join me on my day by day adventures! Here’s how I went…
Let’s go travel day!!! Now, I doubt that Wellington is going to be as ruthless or invasive and Bali was at attempting to get in my belly. But a girl has got to be prepared.
Usually I bring the entire kitchen with me because when you’re GF & DF it’s easy to panic and worry that what you need won’t be available, but I’ve taken the risk and ONLY brought along the bare essentials. I wanted to try this experiment to be a little more realistic with packing my food (or maybe it’s because on the last trip my sesame seeds exploded everywhere) I’ll be honest, it was hard not being my over excessive self in the packing process but let’s be real, we’ve only got ‘x’ amount of kilos and no one… NO one, wants to pay for over-weight baggage.
We had an afternoon flight so I had the good chunk of the morning to pack. Here’s what I packed…
CHECK IN LUGGAGE
– 1 x carton of Rice Milk
– 1 x cereal box of Loving Earth’s berry & nut mix
– Black Tea
CARRY ON LUGGAGE
– Rice cakes
– Loving Earth Raspberry Chocolate Block
– Cashew Spread
– Salted Coconut Flakes
– Pink Himalayan Salt
– Chicken Bone Broth
I cannot even being to explain how limited this is for me! I’m that person who brings the tamari sauce, the tabasco sauce, the coconut oil, the sesame seeds (those damn sesame seeds), the extra tins of tuna, the quinoa to boil, the paleo bread loaf … I could go on. But like I said, I decided to keep it to the bare minimum. Also, I am in another country so let’s be real I am going to be eating out a lot if I can!
As we went through customs I realised I’ve made my first mistake. I brought my cashew spread in my carry on… and it’s considered a liquid… and it’s over 50 grams… DOH! So of course I should only be annoyed at myself when the lovely customs man who’s simply doing his job (fantastically may I add) throws out my very brand new $10.50 spread jar… :|… Ahhh, so there goes one thing off my list… look at me go, living on the edge!
Luckily, I am a lounge member with VA so I had access to the ANZ lounge and not only did they have incredible real food but it was all labelled with dietary requirements! My heaven!!! So for lunch I had cauliflower and kale soup and curried chickpeas with basmati rice! I then made myself a snack with my rice cakes and added peanut butter & banana (from the lounge) and some coconut flakes (my all time fav) with some tea. The plane trip was a short one so I snacked on some of my chocolate with a complimentary black tea.
We landed at around 12am NZ time so everything for food was shut. Luckily I had my Chicken bone broth soup, so I was able to sip on that to quieten my stomach, but (not surprisingly) I was still hungry so I had some of my loving earth cereal.
So far so good with the bare minimum!!!
This morning I woke up and went straight for a wander and found the coolest coffee brew house in Wellington called Customs brew house, got a flat white and caught up on my emails.
After having a coffee here I wandered around and found myself at “Loretta” The interior of this place was incredible!!! I think I spent about 3 hours here! To eat I got the puffed brown rice cereal with buckwheat, strawberries and cacao coconut milk… YUM!
During my 3 hour binge at Loretta I googled “Gluten-free Cafe’s in Wellington” and up popped a place called Cafe Kangsta’s which apparently did everything GF & DF! So naturally I had to go. But what I wasn’t expecting was to find that it was actually situated amongst the COOLEST pop up food market stalls. They had GF Popcorn Chicken (SHUT UP!) and GF Cakes!!! So… I ate again. So far it’s looking like a good thing that I didn’t bring too much food with me from home!
After this I made my way back to the hotel to chill and then later that night my friend Lucy and I ordered take out for dinner from an Indian restaurant that made the most life changing butter chicken I have EVER had. There was no dairy… no gluten… it was all made out of nuts and spices!
Safe to say I am in HEAVEN and there is absolutely no reason I should be stressing!
I take it back, I’m stressing. Today is show day which means after having breakfast (Loretta again obviously) I usually take my time to get ready and snack on everything. Except I haven’t done any grocery shopping for snacks and didn’t bring much with me so I didn’t take anything with me, it’s only a few hours in to rehearsing our show and I am STARVING! This is where my nut butter and crackers come in handy (DAMN YOU CUSTOMS!) But I controlled my hangriness and as soon as we had our dinner break I rushed off to grab a bite. I found these pop up stalls that were selling GF & DF Chicken satay sticks with rice and vegetables… Score! Cat – 1 Hangriness – 0
We did our show and it was so amazing! Nothing beats the feeling of being on stage! So off we went to celebrate! But not before eating again (hehe!) This time we used uber eats and I got a Lamb curry (GF & DF) with rice. Wellington, you are definitely in the dietary requirement peeps good books!
Day off and day to explore!!!!!….. Except I think I broke my toe last night. So it’s looking like my dreams of walking around all day unfortunately cannot happen. BUT, it was Sunday, and the markets were on… I couldn’t miss out! So I got myself up and went anyway. The Wellington Sunday markets are located just along the water and they start as early as 7:30am and finish at 2pm. Again I noticed that everywhere is so health conscious and ethical! After stopping to grab a coffee and sit by the water I lost myself in the organised chaos that was the markets! I found a smoothie van that made the yummiest dutch cacao smoothie and grabbed myself a fresh avocado and tomato to make lunch at home!
After my market indulgence I made my way back to the hotel to rest. I cut up the avo and tomato and had it on my rice crackers with some pink salt (heaven) and caught up on some work. Eventually (as usual) I got hungry again, so I made my way downstairs to a restaurant called Mr Go’s, asian fusion cuisine. Again, the menu had all the dietary markings so it was super easy to make my choice and know that I was being looked after. I got the Crispy Tofu with ginger & Edamame & mushroom fried rice.
So in conclusion – It’s safe to say that Wellington is a living & breathing gluten free and dairy free aware city and if you are like me and always worried, I can assure you that you don’t need to be! The only thing that I missed was my nut butter and from now on I will know to always pack it in my luggage!
Wellington, New Zealand was everything and I am so grateful for The Dream Dance Company allowing me to be able to do the three things that I love most – dance, travel and blog!
My Dream Dance Company Family! www.thedreamdancecompany.com