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.

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 1950 members in the 10 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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