You probably won’t be surprised that a huge part of the joy of travelling for me is in trying the local cuisine. In some cases, the destination is almost secondary to the food! Almost! I also like to learn about the local culture – and religion is often intrinsically linked to that, even if only in how many of the customs and traditions came to be – it gives me context for what I see and experience and helps me to ensure that I am not inadvertently giving great offense to my hosts. It’s also a great reminder that my ways (by which I mean the ways of my home and my culture) are not always the best ways, and certainly not the only ways…
I have always loved meeting new people, that goes both home and away. Striking up a conversation with a stranger, whether brief and to the point about a specific question, or a long and rambling exchange of life stories, cultures and passions, is something I do for fun!
That said, I do understand that for some, holidays and travel are not about any of that. Some may simply want a warm place to rest and relax, to lie by a pool or beach. Others might love the adrenalin of watersports, not overly concerned with exactly where they are, as long as the facilities and sea conditions are right. And some might want only to dance the night away to the strong beat of music, night after night. None of these are for me, but while I agree with Michener on what makes a great trip, I can’t say I agree with the last part, that those who don’t feel the same way might be better staying at home!
Learning about food, about local recipes and food history, and about how traditional local foods are made, is a passion. This is inside a maturation room of a Parmesan cheese producer I visited in Parma, a fascinating and delicious experience.
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