Food is more than sustenance. It’s a form of art, a part of culture, a way to pleasure and it brings people together – amplified by vagabonding.
For most of us, the process of eating, like breathing, is taken for granted. We eat everyday with little thought without fail like the setting and rising of the sun.
It’s so common and expected that there’s hardly any appreciation. Food can be so much more with travel.
With travel, it can be a new wonder every time.
Even more importantly, it’s wine, food and the arts. Incorporating those three enhances the quality of life.
The average person eats the same slight variation of 3 different types of dishes in any given month while at home or at a central location – that’s mundane.
We have taste buds with infinite palates for a reason.
The world may not be infinite but the cuisines, spices and sweets in it are so vast it might as well be.
Food is after all, 1/3 of the travel experience.
It may not always be good or digestable, it is however always interesting and at the least, an experience. That is of course, if you’re eating the local food.
Not the McDonald’s of restaurants but the ma-and-pa street stalls and family owned eateries where the natives eat. Where original recipes were handed down and cooked with otherwise hard to find ingredients.
These “local foods” are often available in many cities around the world but lack authenticity and ambiance.
There’s nothing like eating foods from their origin homeland and where it’s best served; sushi from Japan, pasta from Italy, pad Thai from Thailand…
The mere act of searching for exotic and traditional food when in a new country in itself is a great way to explore. Ordering when there’s a language barrier can present some difficulty but result in a nice exercise in foreign communication and experimentation.
Feeding oneself abroad can be an adventure.
Whereas eating while at home or in your own country is more of the same and sometimes a choir. You know all the restaurants and tastes – you know what to expect, there’s no mystery or anticipation.
Even having the otherwise wildly common and universally available Chinese fried rice somewhere in rural China is infinitely better than your local takeout.
Native food is better food eaten natively.
Food may very well be the greatest social augmenter there is, in a broad sense it’s even better than alcohol. Everybody eats but nobody wants to eat alone.
Again, further enhanced with travel. Eating street or market food alone is no big deal or unusual but it can be a bit awkward in an actual restaurant. As backpackers, nomads, vagabonds and world travelers are drawn to each other, eating together is only natural – making the experience that much better and tastier.
Strangers in strange lands eating stranger foods together to become strangers no more.
To further the authenticity and cultural immersion of the food experience while abroad, eating with the locals is incomparable. Food isn’t just about replenishment or even indulging the taste buds, it’s about the good times it can bring with strangers and friends alike.
Native food is best eaten with the natives.
The world has some exotic, disgusting, bizarre and interesting things to eat. Dishes and delicacies that are everyday eats for the locals but alien and fascinating to the visiting foreigners. Food is a travel attraction.
Some are taboo in other countries, banned or even unheard of. Whether the actual taste is wondrous or appalling, what’s important is the experience.
Luckily for the less adventurous eater, international chain restaurants like Burger King and Pizza Hut operating outside of the United States add a twist to their menu to adhere to the local tongue.
We travel to far away lands to see the beautiful and historical, using our sight for almost the entirety of the experience. Actively doing the same for food can broaden our horizons to the foreign worlds.
This is why traveling the world is a way to truly know the extent of what food and eating could be.