My IBS and I went to Canada for Thanksgiving

I decided to do something different for Thanksgiving this year. Instead of celebrating the holiday with a huge family dinner as usual, I took a road trip to Montreal, Canada with my wife, in-laws, the family dogs, and of course...IBS. I knew that Canada didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving the same day as the U.S. and because Montreal is only but a few hours away from Massachusetts, a getaway from the ‘traditional’ sounded like a good idea. No offense to my loved ones, but I’ve been doing the same routine every year and quite frankly, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I can’t take the intense anxiety before I even get to the Thanksgiving event. I can’t take the stomach pain after I stuff my face with the delicious food. I can’t take not being able to fully enjoy myself without the pain interfering.  It can get extremely frustrating, and for my own sake, I just had to do something different. My idea was to run away from all of the issues back home temporarily. However, there was one issue that wanted to come along for the ride, and of course, that was my IBS.

It’s been over eight years since the last time I’ve been to Montreal and that was before I had developed any IBS symptoms. So my memories of Montreal were late night parties with my college buddies, eating tons of junk food, drinking lots of liquor, and staying up late. As you can imagine my life has changed dramatically since then. This time was a brand new experience for me as I had to find other things to do.  On Friday we went to a show called ‘Icons on Tour’ where performers sang songs from Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga, to Elton John and Prince, which was awesome! The next night we went to see the play, ‘Hair’, at a community theatre, which was both an engaging yet relaxing experience. I’m finding myself a lot more interested in the performing arts and would love to see more shows like the ones I saw in Montreal at home in the States. I also tried one of Canada’s most famous dishes, which was the poutine fries and let’s just say my IBS wasn’t too happy about this part of the trip. After a few bites of the fries, I knew instantly that I wouldn’t be able to finish the whole thing, and I didn’t, so instead I gave the rest to the dogs and they loved it. I heard so much about this Canadian dish that I just had to try it, despite knowing the consequences. Nonetheless, I was truly appreciating my time spent in Montreal and didn’t want it to be over so soon.

By far the best food I had in Montreal was from the Jean Talon Marché (Market). Here, we got to sample the freshest fruits and vegetables, artisan cheeses, oysters from around the world, and specialty wines. I even brought some back as souvenirs. Overall, I had a really great time between the shows, the market, and even getting to shop on Black Friday. Although next year I’ll probably be back at dinner with my family on Thanksgiving (because I did miss their beautiful faces), I will definitely be back to enjoy Montreal again very soon.

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