Traveling is one of the best ways to enrich your mind, body, and soul. Simply removing yourself from your comfort zone helps you to grow as a person – and that doesn't even include the life-changing, unforgettable experiences that come with travel.
One of the best elements of travel, especially international travel, is the opportunity to experience authentic international cuisine. For most people, even if they don't realize it, food is more than just sustenance for the physical body: it's an experience that creates culture, binds them to a particular area, and shapes who they are. In many ways, food mediates the relationship between the body and the rest of the world. Below are three reasons why focusing your travel around food makes your travel unique:
1. Food shapes your journey
Whether you're a seasoned traveler or you go on vacation once a decade, travel takes its toll on your body. Long days spent on planes and trains can be both mentally and physically taxing. Focusing on the food you'll eat as you travel can help you shape your journey. Rather than stumbling towards the closest fast food restaurant to your hotel, take some time while traveling to plan the meal you'll eat when you arrive. You'll get to dip your toes into the culture while nourishing your body.
2. Seek out local dishes to explore the culture
Whether you're looking for the noodle shop that locals rely on after a long shift at work, or haute cuisine presented in a luxury setting, make sure you take some time to explore the food culture of a city, region, or country. Instead of relying on internet searches on tourist-friendly websites, stop a local in the street to ask for advice to their favorite restaurant, café, or bar. Try to experience both the very high-end food and more common food in order to really understand the local experience. As a traveler, you're uniquely able to take it all in.
3. Borrow ideas for later
Foodies know that confining yourself to a single culinary style can be limiting. Even if your goal is to be the ultimate master of authentic Italian cuisine, there are days when your taste buds need a break. One of the best ways to improve your cooking at home is to incorporate international ingredients.
When traveling to a new country, make it a point to experience whatever that particular area is famous for. In Tokyo? Ramen is a must-have. Genoa? Bring home a jar of local pesto. While you likely won't be able to re-create the dishes that you loved while traveling, it can jog your mind and creativity. Bringing home food souvenirs is an excellent way to shake up your own cooking. Bonus: food gifts are almost universally well-liked.
The Ultimate Kaiser™