Gluten-Free Globetrotting in Aruba

The view from my hotel room at the Holiday Inn Aruba

Ahhhh, Aruba.

How I wish I was laying on your soft, sandy beaches and soaking up your sunny rays. Only 20 miles off the coast of Venezula, a former Dutch colony, arid desert conditions, some killer trade winds, and limited gluten-free options on your island threw me for a few loops this vacation. It took me a few days to fall for you, but now I did and I want to see you again.

One week ago yesterday

I did discover my dream job while in Aruba… driving ATVs in the desert. I have traveled a lot and this is by far one of the best things I have ever done in my life! Surrounded by cacti and the sea with sand in my hair and sea breeze on my face, I was happier than I have been in months. Check out the photo for proof.

Some might wonder why it took me a few days to find my Aruban groove, especially when surrounded by sunshine and beach which are two of my absolutely favorite things. Well, first of all, I found Aruba to be a couples paradise. Everywhere I looked there were couples. Normally, I am unfazed by this but for some reason it really struck a chord with me in Aruba. I love traveling solo but Aruba seemed to be somewhere I should be with someone. (This is why I won’t solo trek to Hawaii.) Add a day 2 of horrible sunstroke with skin that was painful to the touch and a fever to boot and it was the perfect storm of my solo traveler homesickness. After a half- day pity party, lots of shade and ibuprofen, and practically a bath full of aloe I felt much better.

I took an amazing ATV tour, swam daily in the Caribbean Sea, connected with some great (and hot!!!) locals, finished my book on the gorgeous beach, and danced my a$$ off (even making it on to the night club’s website) the last few days of my trip. It was during this time that I realized as much as I love relaxing and tanning on the beach, I also love being active on vacation. I try to see and do a lot during my time abroad but somehow this actually relaxes me. It was reassuring to read this article when I got home and realize that I am not alone.

I have a few posts that I will put up over the next few days, but unfortunately there was not a lot of gluten-free food on the island. I don’t eat shellfish or seafood, so I felt a bit limited during the week. I also think I took a few risks during the week that other gluten-free folks might not have taken. In the meantime, here is a quick rundown of my week in Aruba.

Gluten-Free Globetrotting Aruba Picks
Hotel: Holiday Inn Aruba
Food: Linda’s Dutch Pancakes and Pizza, Le Petit Cafe, Aromi d’Italia, Iguana Joe’s, Cafe Rembrandt, Kong Fui Supermarket
Fun: Cheri Quad & Bike Rental, Arikok National Park, Sopranos Piano Bar, Gusto, Occidental Casino

Calm seas, blue ocean/sky, and soft sandy beaches on the west coast of Aruba

Big difference on Aruba's east coast! No swimming here.

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About Erin Smith

Erin Smith was diagnosed with celiac disease in the early 1980s, so she’s been eating gluten-free almost her entire life. Erin has a unique perspective of growing up in the gluten-free community and blogs about living — and enjoying — a gluten-free lifestyle. Erin Smith has been writing her gluten-free lifestyle blog Gluten-Free Fun since 2007. In 2011, she launched Gluten-Free Globetrotter, a website that encourages those with celiac disease to travel the world and not be scared about eating gluten-free domestically and abroad. Erin is also the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group, a social community that has grown to over 1800 members in the 8 years she has been organizing the group.
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One Response to Gluten-Free Globetrotting in Aruba

  1. Pingback: Gluten-Free Globetrotting in Aruba | CookingPlanet

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