07/27/2012 05:01 pm ET | Updated Sep 16, 2012

How I Love Traveling, But Traveling Hates Me

Thousands of authors have described the joy of traveling and the multiple amazing opportunities of enrichment and self-development that come with it. Whoever has a small quantity of curiosity and intellectual hunger will surely agree. As traveling has always been a constant in my life, I have dealt with uncomfortable situations that accompanied pretty much every trip I've made.

Summer Camp was my first experience as a solo traveler, and it's exactly during that experience that I started noticing how my body would adjust -- or not -- to a new diet and a new environment, with the unfortunate consequence of categorically refusing to poop. Delicious food went down, but none of it came out and I would struggle with endless belly aches in the middle of the night and weird moods in the morning.

In the summer of 2008, my friend Anastasia and I went to Berlin. Such an incredible capital city, full of absolutely anything your mind or your body would like to try, taste and discover -- except water. Don't get me wrong, you can find water anywhere in bars, restaurants or cafes in Berlin, but what's weird is that it's actually way more expensive than beer. Young and irresponsible, we thought it would be great to use beer as a substitute for water, every day, during two out of three meals. After a week, Berlin was as painful and dry as our mouths and our legs.

A couple summers after Berlin, we went to Greece. We toured around a few islands, including the breath-taking, incredibly stunning and terribly expensive Santorini. We fell in love with the sunset and the white houses, it really felt like walking on clouds in the narrow street of Oìa -- until we caught every possible bacteria in the hostel where we were staying.

At the end of our stay in Santorini, Anastasia was so concerned with not sharing the room with 30 coughing young ladies that she preferred spending the night under the stars, on the roof. I, on the other hand, was much more willing to catch a flu than being eaten alive by all sorts of bugs. The flu came on the way back to Italy: Sixteen hours on a ferry with high fever, wind in the hair and drops of seawater on the face.

One of my best friends walks barefoot all over the place, she picks up food from the ground and she flies from hostel to hostel around the world, like a crazy butterfly. Whenever I stay in a hostel for more than three days, my body will most likely pay me back in two ways: by making my hair fall out and by turning my skin into oily paper. Such are the mysteries of hydration.