By Kach Medina
Co-Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group.
It’s a bold claim, that’s for sure, but the reality is that food makes up a really big part of any given culture. If you’re off on your adventures, the best way to immerse yourself in and really experience local life is by giving the food a try – and eating lots of it!
DITCH THE DIET
No matter whether you’re on a strict diet plan for the sake of your looks or your health, it would be absolutely heartbreaking to stick to it while adventuring somewhere far away – you’ll miss out on so much!
While overindulging may not be advisable all the time, it’s okay to treat yourself just a little on occasion. Of course, there are healthier options no matter which country you go to – so perhaps stick to smaller portions of those if you’re really worried – eating exotic doesn’t need to mean you’re eating a lot!
But for the most part, no food is off limits! So, now that we’ve got that out the way…
BE OPEN TO ANYTHING
You may think you like particular dishes but that other ones just aren’t up your street. While traveling, you will encounter certain kinds of foods that you might turn your nose up at in typical circumstances, but you should try to keep an open mind.
For example, at many of the night markets in places like Singapore or Thailand, you might find insects served as a delicacy or as street food. Ask yourself – what’s putting you off trying something different? Often, you’ll find that you’ve just been conditioned by society or the food in your home country.
TRY BOTH COOKING AND RESTAURANTS
Local restaurants are a great place to try authentic dishes – the less touristy the area they’re found in, the better. Try looking at review websites, travel blogs and, of course, talk to actual locals for their recommendations as well. If you’re not confident going out in the local area late at night after a long day of exploring, you can even order in from takeout sites like deliveroo.ae (which features many of the same restaurants that you would find on foot) so that you don’t miss out.
But local restaurants aren’t your only option – you could try cooking local dishes yourself. Ever tried to make a “foreign” recipe back home and been frustrated by the lack of ingredients available to you? That’s because some things are only grown in certain places and so the best place to enjoy certain dishes – whether it’s a curry or even a pizza – is in the place where it was created.
If you’re not much of a dab hand in the kitchen, a cooking class is definitely your best bet. Try looking into culinary travel: for example, theinternationalkitchen.com have many trips on offer where you can learn about the style of the country you’re in. This allows travelers to take some of what they’ve experienced back home with them.
No matter whether you’re a foodie or not, it’s undeniable that food should form a big part of your travels. After all, everyone in the world eats!