Travel Quote Tuesday | James Michener

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!

(c) Kavita Favelle - James Michener - Parma Italy

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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27 Comments to "Travel Quote Tuesday | James Michener"

  1. Fiona Maclean

    I love your opening statement – what a Kavey trueism! I think you are a true traveller – fascinated by all that a new country has to offer.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Thanks Fiona, yes you know me well. And I know you enjoy similar experience of local food and culture!

    Reply
  2. kaveyeats

    That’s somewhere I really want to visit. I just returned from Taiwan and we loved the Taipei night markets!

    Reply
  3. Rhonda Albom

    I love that quote. I know several people who I really wonder why they travel. If they are just going to stand back and observe the world without participating, they can do that with books and video. I am like you. I want to meet the people and eat the food.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes I know a few too. I know some who have said it’s just about relaxing in sun or watersports somewhere warm. But yeah, for me it’s wasted without getting into the place itself!

    Reply
  4. Anne

    Unfortunately I could apply this quote to a lot of my fellow Brits. It’s a mindset I don’t understand but equally I am trying to recognise that we do not always need to agree

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes that’s certainly true, I’ve had many colleagues who don’t care which country or region as long at there’s sunshine, a beach, cheap booze and ‘decent’ food by which they usually mean British food!

    Reply
  5. kaveyeats

    Yes, although I would say that sitting on a beach getting a suntan and eating in places offering British-style food would definitely have me right out my *my* comfort zone!

    Reply
  6. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    For me, it really depends on where I’m visiting. I’ve been to some countries with really rich cultures that I’ve wanted to soak up, but I do also enjoy the occasional resort holiday where I can just laze around and do nothing 🙂

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I always like the idea of lazing around but in practice I get bored after a few hours. Best for me, if I need to relax and recover, is to visit somewhere with lots to go out and see and do, lots of exploring and some great local food, but also a home base where we can relax and laze for a few hours each day or every other day!

    Reply
  7. @shezza_t

    For me, the chance to try local food one of the main reasons I travel. Whilst I’ve been lucky enough to visit some stunning places, I realise that my earliest memories from travel abroad in my teens were the food.

    That clear, peppery soup with fat noodles sitting at the bottom in Germany. Fresh coconut and melon slices from a stall with water cascading over the shelves in Venice. Discovering I did in fact like squid when I ate it in a Cypriot meze meal, after I’d worked out that it wasn’t onion rings. And closer to home, a fresh gravy ring sliced in two and filled with cream and strawberries in a tiny tea shop on the North Coast of Ireland.

    These days I often book the food part of holidays before the sightseeing, althought one of my favourite things is a walking food tour. You get the best of both worlds that way.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Oh, what lovely food and travel memories, thank you for sharing those. Can almost taste them too!
    You are a girl after my own heart!

    Reply
  8. Megan Jerrard

    This is one of my favorite quotes – thanks for sharing. I totally agree – we travel to embrace another culture and learn about a new and different way of life, so I always cringe when I hear tourists complaining because they don’t have the same ways of life as at home.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Hi Meg, it’s the joy of travelling for me and it also gives me another way to make a trip longer – researching the traditions and culture ahead of the trip and often also on my return, and especially the food side, being inspired to cook new dishes…

    Reply
  9. elisa

    I was not that “food interested” but I did a cooking tour last year in Vietnam (buying in the market included) and I understood all what you say on this post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    A great awakening, I would say! I love doing cookery classes and food tours when visiting somewhere that has a rich food culture, as it really helps you understand it better!

    Reply
  10. Nisha

    I love cheese. Especially grated parmesan cheese. I must compliment you on the way you have travelled to some unique places. Travelling is all about keeping an open mind and respecting fellow humans.

    Reply

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