There are people who cook food, and there are people who do not... why?
In my opinion, the answer to this question must always be,
"It depends, the situation controls the decision, not you."
When I was young, I made money by mowing lawns in my small hometown of Orland, Indiana. I did this job with a "gas powered push mower." In a way, this weekly job or chore taught me to hate mowing lawns. I vowed to never mow another lawn in my whole life, and I will be damned if you are going to get me mow lawns, I truly will pay to have this done.
Yet, I do my laundry in my room daily.
Yet, I cook food in my room daily.
If you look at the three mowers below, I hope all the fat people, healthy people, and all of you can understand, the first one, the non-gas powered push grass mower is the best for you and the planet.
1. You get exercise.
2. It does not create pollution.
3. It is cheaper to buy.
Yet, in a huge loop of juicy rationalizations, we feel compelled to buy the big John Deer riding lawn mower.
Making Good Decisions.
I am 100 percent sure, if I want to eat vegetables or fruit, it is better to cook or prepare these foods in my room. It is very complicated and expensive to buy in restaurants.
I can say this, and people will disagree, therefore I seldom enter in these conversations, it feels like I am talking to children.
I believe 1 percent of humans can do simple math.
I believe that 1 percent of humans read books.
I believe only 1 percent of humans can admit they are angry.
If you take an angry person full of prejudices, (Does not want to mow lawns.) who cannot do simple math, and is incapable of reading other peoples opinions, then what we have is a human, not much better a small child at making decisions.
The answer is, "it depends" on each situation, there are times when there is no choice, I must cook in my room, or not eat.
But, for me, I will not be a wimp, and say it depends.
I will say,
"Obviously, it makes sense to almost always cook in your room."
"Obviously, it makes sense to mow lawns with the non gas powered lawn mower."
Funny story above love...
There was one time in my life when I almost got married, I even bought a diamond ring, and was engage to a girl by the name of Yvonne in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Well, she had this house with three acres of land, and I wanted to go Lake Wawasee, to the Crows Nest Yacht club for the weekend, to lie on my sailboat and enjoy the lake.
"We need to mow the lawn on Saturday."
"I do not mow lawns."
She looked at me like I was stupid.
On Friday morning, I sent Steve and two more my maintenance workers to her house, with lawn mowers, and by noon, the lawn was mowed better than it had ever been. It probably cost me 100-200 USD, but then again, I was also paying a cleaning women to enter my home daily 14 USD per hour to work for 4-6 hours, five days a week, so what was the big deal, I was earning 1000 of dollars per week or day.
Yvonne was angry, she said,
"I wanted you to mow the lawn."
The last words I ever heard from Yvonne were,
"Andy, I cannot marry you, I cannot control you."
"So that is what this is all about?"
All the humans on the planet fight for control, and truthfully this is sort of nuts, when making a decision to cook or not cook in your room, the situation controls the decision, yet generally it is cheaper, healthier, and more convenient to cook in your room.
Yet, I seldom cook in Thailand, and about 90 percent of the time in the Dominican Republic. I always pay to have my laundry done in Thailand, and always wash my clothes myself in the DR.
Can you make good decisions?
I know you think you can, but that thought is a luxury.
I would say 'it depends if I am in the hotel with you or not'. By which I mean that there are probably as many people in the world who can cook in their room as there are people likely to burn the hotel down if they try to because they're drunk, high or stupid. So everyone should cook in their room. Unless I'm in the same hotel, then only I should )
Let's see! Does the hotel room have a fire extinguisher, are there fire exits, are they locked, will my cooking smell up someone else's room, will the person in the room next to me try to do it with charcoal???? This is one of those situations where "Murphy's Law" will kick in - "If something can go wrong, it will."
The bath tub or shower would be the safest place - but how many people would fix dinner in the bathroom?
Most fabric in hotel rooms is extremely flammable and toxic if burning. Carpet, too
What's complicated about ordering food in a restaurant? That's why they exist - it's too "complicated" for me to cook. It can be pricey.
That being said - I do travel with one of those electrical gadgets that you drop in a cup of water and get it to boil. A cup of tea and/or a cup of instant soup can hit the spot in an airport. Airport restaurants are notoriously expensive. I haven't tried to cook raw vegetables - yet.
Have a good trip everybody!
I should say, I agree with Andy that this is the cheapest and most nutritious way to live on the road. This even counts if you are going camping or camping at a rock festival. You COULD buy a burger and fries three times a day from a food van, or you could cook up some vegetables or pasta and sauce on a camping stove and not feel like hell after a couple of days.
For sure, if you are on the road for significantly longer than the length of an average rock festival or perpetually as Andy is, you could very easily get scurvy if you didn't follow this advice.
The Restaurant kitchen will be serving restaurant meals - meals that are meat-heavy, rich and filling. And, unless you are very wealthy or very lucky, they'll be selling you the cheapest stuff they can at the highest margin they can get away with. And this means it's got salt, long-life processed ingredients and all the rest in. It's fine to eat these once in a while, it's fine to eat this every day on a 2 week vacation. But if you did it every day you'd get sick.
My point was simply that I think most people are idiots who'd burn the hotel to the ground. But that's because most people who read this are tourists, and they can afford to eat out because they're only away for a couple weeks, it won't kill them. The perpetual travellers need to think different... and I'm sure they have learnt enough lessons not to burn the curtains.
Ash is correc, there is no way a Hotel outside the USA is going to catch on fire, I live 99 percent of the time in a Hotel with concrete walls, and ceramic tile floors. But, Ash is right, tourists are and always will be tourists.
Restaurants are heavy on meat, and rice, sometimes Chips in Africa, and always possible to eat Plantains.
I've used an electric frying pan successfully, and an electric waffle iron type hot sandwich maker. Ive put raw fish in the sandwich maker.. or it can be put in the frying pan, vegitables cook in the frying pan just fine. no flames, lid keeps the splatter contained. That beats most of the restaurants, but not the sidewalk food vendors. you can buy these electric cookers cheap enough new on location, no need to pack them around.
or... if you want smoke flavor, you can always dump a 50 lb sack of charcoal briquettes into a tile shower... hang your meat from the curtain rod and water faucet handles... set the charcoal on fire, close the door and go out for a few hours.
some will complain but then you can't please all the people all of the time...a person has to be reasonable.
I think you will probably eat a more nutritious meal, and stretch your travel budget if you take the time to cook it yourself. When I travel, I usually get grocerys, and cook two meals a day in my room. I will always get a kitchenette if I have the choice. It seems to save me money, even when I spend a little more on my room. I like to cook, and it makes wherever I am feel a bit more like home. I do not know how you do it Andy. I enjoy traveling, but after a couple months away from home, I am ready to be somewhere familiar.
I am looking for a good place to retire and put down roots. Maybe one vacation a year also.
Re: "In a way, this weekly job or chore taught me to hate mowing lawns."
I have a 35 hp zero turn lawn mower. It is so frickin' fast that mowing around my farm takes almost no time at all. It is rated for 7 acres an hour. Even two acres an hour is pretty damn fast. So I like mowing now more than I ever have in my life. On the other hand, I have never cooked in my hotel room. If I had to cook in my room, be it for nutrition, financial, or what ever reason, I would have to wonder why I am even in that location. If the local food is so bad, expensive, or unhealthy that I won't eat it, then I think I would move on to a place that has better food.
Hmmmm am I the only one focused on the "funny story about love" part of this post? I usually take a "first do no harm" approach. If there is a chance that someone could get hurt or die because of my actions I don't take the risk and follow the "rules".
Ahimsa really has nothing to do with this post, I am saying, it depends. Which means the decision is not made. Therefore you are jumping to a decision that is not made, then making a decision. Critcal reasoning problem...
Q: what's worse than the cook burning down the hotel?
A: bringing a RIPE DURIAN upstairs!
I have 3 stoves and I'm never going "Home" again. I have a multi-liter water boiler (way superior to an immersion heater and I can´t recommend one highly enough). I typically give gear to a girlfriend in a Country when I move on (though I'll take a Stove in my bag). I buy a 5 Gal water bottle, a Cook pot and skillet when I get someplace and go on uninterrupted. A hot plate´s only $20 Bucks everywhere so that´s not critical. I travel so slowly that 3 months or a year later I am glad to off-load a few things not to pack around that previously made my life easier. When a couple yrs later I go back to a place I´ve loved I am amused at seeing my stuff in use - I can even use it again as long as I made that clear in the onset before loaning or temporarily "gifting" these conveniences. I am constantly amazed to see how many little things I´ve given over to travel out of Guatemala or Panama that I´ve found in Argentina and Chile and that are making friend´s lives easier. Then I know what Santa Claus is smiling about and realize I´m feeling no pain. Now early retired I find myself in South America for a year and currently I live in Argentina where the requirement for a Residence visa is 1200 Pesos/month ($276.78 U$D). Guatemala is cheaper. Don´t sweat the small stuff. GR8 Advice Andy, the Secret to getting off the Rat Race treadmill is to "just not get back on the Plane". You saved my life. Owe you a big one.