Traveling the World Showed Me That I Can Pee Wherever

I’ve always been an overachiever, I have a law degree from an Ivy League university and am the youngest person to have made partner in the history of my firm. However, nothing I’ve ever read in a textbook or heard in a boardroom compares to what I’ve learned while traveling the world. When you travel, you learn so much about people, about the earth, about life. Most of all, you learn lessons that you never even expected to learn—like how to just sort of pee wherever is available to you at that time.


It’s amazing how closed-minded I used to be before I set out on my travels. As a woman, one of my own comfort zones has always been to only urinate in toilets. But when I finally made the leap to stop holding back—to pee absolutely anytime, anywhere that nature calls and isn’t disrespectful to the local customs—I became a complete, whole person. And I believe that you can, too.


I’ll never forget the first time I pissed somewhere exotic. I was floating in the Dead Sea when my travel partner made me laugh so hard that I, as they say, “just peed a little.” As soon as the urine left my body, it connected with something greater than myself. There was no boundary between this ancient body of water—the same one that parted for the Hebrews and bathed Christ—and my small little peehole, which had only ever known toilet water and Cottonelle. I had marked my territory, and my territory was the whole world, all the way back into pre-history. After that, I didn’t just pee a little. I peed a lot, wherever. I was no longer afraid.


Before I knew it, I was peeing into weird holes, drains, ditches, and buckets all over the map. I popped a squat in the Sahara and made it rain for the first time in years. I drank a bottle of Chianti shortly before a gondola trip and had to tinkle over the side, right into the Grand Canal. I am convinced that I peed so much green tea on the Great Wall of China you could see it from outer space. I wet my pants so many times at European discoteques that I now have a Pavlovian bladder response anytime I hear Sandstorm.



People would tell me, “Hey, you can’t pee here,” or “Holy crap Claire, your pants, you peed your pants,” but I knew that being a world traveler meant going with the flow—literally.


Traveling is the oxygen of my soul’s lungs. The cultures, smells, sounds, and sights I’ve experienced are what inspire me to live, laugh, and love. If I’ve been home for more than six months, I start itching to go somewhere new, meet interesting people, eat strange food, and feel the breeze through my butt cheeks while squatting in somebody’s yard because the bathroom at the hostel is occupied.


Of course, no trip lasts forever—you have to come home eventually. But do know this: The life lessons you learn through travel entirely transform your domestic life. I’ve become more empathetic than ever. I’m a fiercely curious eater. I can’t count on two hands how many long trials I’ve survived by peeing into Gatorade bottles as my witnesses are cross-examined. Being a global citizen has gotten my aim so precise that no one ever sees, hears, or smells a thing. It’s the most empowering feeling I can imagine.


And that is what traveling is really all about. Learning about yourself, discovering how few limitations you actually have, and realizing that if you just let yourself go, you’ll be relieved of all your internalized burdens. Just one last tip: Don’t wear socks.