We all travel for different reasons, and we all love certain aspects of traveling more than others. For some, it’s the freedom to explore the history and culture of a new region. For others, it’s the excitement that comes with meeting new people and discovering new cities while sightseeing. But there’s one travel aspect that somehow manages to trump all the others – food. Below, are six reasons that demonstrate why eating will always be the best part of traveling.
You get to learn a lot about the country’s culture
A simple glance at different countries’ food staples, and you can get a rough idea of what their culture represents. For instance, Chinese cuisine is all about balance and harmony. As a result, you can expect wonderfully vibrant, decorated dishes with perfectly balanced flavors, from spicy to sweet to sour.
Similarly, decadent Parisian desserts highlight the French aesthetic, which is all about class and elegance. Furthermore, Australia’s iconic foods reflect cultural diversity while fresh ingredients in Costa Rican cuisine embody the country’s love for simplicity.
It’s a way to try familiar foods in an exciting new way
Traveling – around the globe or across the country – also gives you an opportunity to try familiar meals in new ways. Whether that means tasting the best burgers in Miami, enjoying a Mexican avocado burger, or indulging in Asian-style pork burgers, you can experience a particular menu staple over and over again and still feel like you’re trying completely new food.
The truth is, different cuisines like to put their own spin on popular dishes through different flavors and textures. This is why even the foods you’ve eaten hundreds of times can still feel new depending on where you are.
It’s an opportunity to eat like a local
Great food can really take your travel experience up a notch – especially if you eat like a local. Of course, you can probably find versions of your favorite meals while abroad or at least their alternatives. But if you’re looking to step out of your culinary comfort zone, eat locally.
Ask locals – be it your tour guide, a taxi driver, or even your host at the place you’re staying at. Chances are, they will be able to recommend the best places to eat. Plus, they’ll probably suggest some of the best local specialties you should try during your stay.
You will discover foods you’ve never heard of
Speaking of trying local dishes, chances are, you’ll encounter foods you haven’t even heard of, let alone tasted. Whether we’re talking about traditional Polish dumplings called pierogis, sauteed Cuban crocodile with a side of beans and rice, or Unagi – grilled eel filets and a Japanese delicacy, tasting local dishes can be an exciting new way to engage your taste buds.
It’s also an opportunity to see what you’ve been missing out on. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover foods so exciting you’ll feel encouraged to revisit the country sometime in the future.
It can be a great bonding experience
There’s something about sharing food with other foodies that makes eating an incredible bonding experience. You get to experience all the different textures and flavors together, discuss them, and share your excitement and opinions.
Be it your travel buddy or a friend you made while abroad, food is something people easily bond over. After tasting some amazing new foods, you can move on to deciding on the next cool place you’ll visit. You can also explore which other delicacies you should add to your travel bucket list.
It can serve as a wonderful source of inspiration
Traveling is an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience, even more so when you engage your taste buds in the process. The truth is, tasting new dishes can be very inspiring. Once you’ve tried a particular foreign dish, you may be tempted to recreate your own version at home.
Surely, you may not have access to the same exact ingredients. That store-bought mozzarella isn’t going to taste quite the same as the one you enjoyed on your trip through Italy. Still, recreating foreign dishes can be a great way to “revisit” that country you loved staying so much in. Only it’ll be done from the comfort of your own home this time.
Eating is a big part of exploring a travel destination. This is especially true if food is high on your travel agenda. But even if you’re not a foodie traveler, you will agree that tasting foods from different cuisines can definitely boost your travel experience while providing pleasure for your taste buds along the way.