Today, how about a little something different?
While the main gist of what I do on these virtual pages is cook (mostly) delicious foods, what I cook and the choices on what I cook are influenced by the other part of that gist- travel. The world’s cuisine has so much to offer, and I’ve tried, and hope I succeeded, in making it pretty clear that you don’t need to see the world to eat it.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in actually seeing it. Quite the opposite. The world is all of our oyster and waiting and ready to be explored. I realize that travel isn’t everyone’s priority- to each his own-but at this point in my life, it surely is mine. I know that life changes and people change and maybe someday, the thought of getting on a long haul flight for an eighteen day vacation will seem like more trouble than its worth. However, until that’s the case, I’ll be siphoning all my disposable income into my travel savings account where it seems to disappear at a faster rate that it grows.
So rather than a recipe today, some Deep Thoughts. Don’t worry, this blog will still be 99.99% good eats, and I won’t bore you with all the deep thoughts that stream through my brain, but once in a while, the other 0.01%, they may relate to the aforementioned gists, and then, I believe, are worth sharing. Or, I just need to get the words out, and this is my vehicle for that.
Today’s Deep Thoughts are inspired by new friend Kettle Corn, who is currently hopping her way around Paris and Prague on what is her first international trip. Getting sporadic updates here and there on Instagram, yesterday I received an email from her saying, “Count me in for wherever you want to go. This is so good.” Confused, I wrote back “I’m confused. What’s so good?” Her response? “Traveling! It’s the best!”
So is another bitten by the travel bug. Infected with the love of travel that neither time nor age can cure.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been a seasoned traveler for so long that I’ve almost taken for granted how these experiences have shaped my world. How, because I travel, I live my life differently.
How? Well, if I had to write a welcome letter to those newly inducted into the international travel club, it’d go something like this:
Welcome to the world of the endless “to-go” list. You have a short list and a long list, and it seems that one or two places keep getting pushed to the bottom of each because, at this moment, somewhere else just sounds more exciting. Your list will no doubt change again tomorrow.
To the world of not enough time and definitely not enough money. Of how you really need that new computer, but you really need to see Iceland this fall more.
To the world of a constant Sophie’s Choice; “Oktoberfest or an African safari? Biking through France or Oktoberfest?” because unless you are one of the lucky few that get to do both, it’s always going to be an either or. One for now, one for hopefully later, unless it gets bumped to the bottom of that short list yet again.
To the world of travel envy, because just the mere mention of someone else going somewhere that you’re not causes a little pang of “I want to go, too.” It doesn’t matter if that person is a stranger or not. You still want to go.
To the world where you occasionally pull foreign currency from your wallet. You save your Euros and Pounds, Yen and Soles when you get home rather than change them back to dollars because you’ll use them again. It’s a certainty, and until then the coins linger in the big jar on your dresser, ready to be spent soon.
To the world where your trinkets have meaning. It’s not just the bowl that you bought on sale at Pier One, but the one that you (or your friend) haggled for you at the Grand Bazaar in Turkey. It’s the set of wooden salad spoons you bought in the little village near Capetown. It’s the tea set that you just had to have from the High Street in London that you know you’ll use all the time. These everyday objects have a utility to them, but also a hidden story that perhaps only you will know.
To the world of long lost friends. Maybe it’s the stranger on the train from Salzburg to Munich- the one that you and your friends talked about for four hours before realizing that he does, indeed, speak English. Maybe it’s the girl that you met on the bus on your day trip to Bath, the one that also had a penchant for fancy jams and eating copious amounts of scones. Or the funny English guy in your trekking group in Nepal that could never decide what to order for dinner, fourteen days in a row. You may never see those people again, but they become part of your story.
To the world of comparisons. Because the bread back home is just not as good as that one baguette shop in Paris, the gelato nowhere close to the one from the gelateria off of the Grand Piazza. The air never as clean the air that filled your lungs in the mountains of Switzerland.
To the world of what’s next. Because once you travel, you can’t help but want to always travel. You’ll now start planning your next trip before you even get home from your last. That’s what happens on those 8+ hour long flights home. You thought that you wanted to go back to Ireland, but what about Argentina? What about Spain, or hiking Kilimanjaro? The world suddenly seems full of endless possibilities and for the first time…you see them all.
Some welcome to the world, traveler. Welcome home.
Pack your culinary bags and keep up with the deliciousness! Follow me on: