How I Like To Eat & Travel
Maybe you're like me or maybe you're into something else. Let's see if we're a match!
I travel a lot for work and on Instagram I am often sharing the adventures of where I eat, drink, and play while on the road. This results in lots of DMs from listeners who want a list of my recs for different cities they know I’ve been to. Now I’ve finally got my act together and compiled itineraries for some of my favorite cities like New York City, Copenhagen, and Puerto Vallarta. These are available to all paid subscribers of the podcast.
But before we get into it, I wanted to share how I like to travel and the kind of food experiences I enjoy. I know that whether or not I will like / trust someone else’s recommendations is all about whether or not we share the same taste. So, let’s see if you are a match for me!
For me, traveling is all about wandering with purpose.
By that, I mean I’ll have 1-2 things I want to do and use as compasses for discovering new neighborhoods. This could be a dinner reservation or a shop I want to visit. I find that having these anchors gives me some direction so I don’t stress out about what to do or where to go, but it also gives me a lot of freedom to explore.
For example, I will walk whenever possible towards my destination. This allows for serendipity. Who knows what I’ll stumble upon on the way ? It’s also a way for me to slow down and take in the sights and sounds of the city. As I’m walking, I’ll bookmark places that look good too. I always make a note on my Google map (I’m a big fan of starred places) of cafes, restaurants, plazas, and shops that are filled with locals. If it’s crowded then it must be good!
I’m also someone who loves going off the beaten path and *trying* to live the life of a local. I blame this on the fact that I was an exchange student to Chile when I was 16 with AFS. I experienced cultural immersion for the first time and got hooked. Now whenever I travel, I really desire to know a place. I always seek to go a layer below the surface by talking to locals and visting destinations that are less traveled. This is also where food plays such a major, connective role. It gives me an excuse to engage with locals and travel to lesser known neighborhoods.
I’m also a sucker for experiences. Food is so often an amazing sensory journey (one of the many reasons I love it) and the more I eat, the more I fall in love with the transformational experience a great meal can offer. This can be everything from street food to fine dining. What it all has in common for me is that it is memorable, continuing to live inside of me long after “the event” has ended. The same applies for art, shopping, theater, and tours.
Now don’t get me wrong. I also want to see the “must visits” of a country, but I very quickly get fatigued by the hoards of people. I can do max 2 hours of very touristy places before I burn out. I feel the same way about shopping. For that reason, my guides won’t really mention “The Top 10 Things You Should See” or “Where to Shop.” A quick internet search will give you way better recs in those domains.
I also think it’s important to mention the people who influences me. These are the trusty places I turn to for recommendations whenever I’m traveling somewhere. I then synethsize all of the recs together to make my itinerary:
El Camino Travel Clubhouse is an online community full of people who love to travel as well as local travel experts. I always post where I’m going and then get back lots of comments on the best places that are off the beaten path and make me feel like a local. They also give great tips for hotels, arts and culture, and shopping!
The Hungries forum on discord which is curated by food bloggers Anders Husa and Kaitlin Orr (I also did a podcast with them if you haven’t checked it out). There are hundreds of foodies from all over the world in this community who take eating and drinking very seriously. They always come with super strong recs and there are dedicated channels for different countries & cities!
I ask my friends who are local! They know what’s what and will double check my intentions to see if I’m on the right path. I also love when I discover a new place that I can take them to so they have the experience of traveling in their own city.
I’ll see if there is a walking food tour. This lets me try a lot of things all at once and learn about the history of a place through food. It’s a win-win-win.
I also do some basic google searching to see what else might pop up that looks interesting. I’ll look at recent awards for best chefs, bars, and restaurants. When I’m at my hotel, I will also search “coffee” or “restaurants” on Google maps to see what comes up. Sometimes it gives incredible recommendations for little hole in the walls that you’d otherwise miss!
If you like my style, you can upgrade to annual subscription here. It will give you full access to all of my itineraries and trips.
I’m curious. How much does your style match mine? Are we a 10/10? 6/10? Leave a comment and let me know.