So this month’s challenge from the Travel Linkup is pretty fun: write about your ideal travel menu destination, with a short-haul starter, a long-haul main and a lasting impression for dessert.
The only trouble I have here is sorting out, from the tangled mess of food and travel laced memories and plans, which ones to focus on! So without much ado, here’s my travel menu.
Starter: Amalfi Coast
Who could have a starter without a little aperitif beforehand to tempt the appetite? Certainly not me.
Aperol spritz is my one and only aperitif, and it won’t surprise my friends (and family, and colleagues, and anyone who has witnessed my enthusiastic sampling of different versions of the spritz around the world) that my starter is going to involve my favourite tipple, preferably somewhere warm, Italian and overlooking the sea.
A terrace on the Amalfi coast, on a summer’s evening, relaxing after a day going out on a sailboat sounds pretty perfect to me. I made a dashing day trip to Amalfi a few years ago on a work trip, and the froth of sorbet coloured houses tumbling down hillsides and striking bay views did for me.
I also managed to have an argument about website padding and thumbnails in the gardens in Ravello, possibly one of the most romantic places I’ve ever visited (it was a work trip), so I’d definitely like a more leisurely second chance to explore this beautiful part of Italy.
Long Haul: Laotian Loveliness
Image credit: Peter Hershey
Burning a hole on my “must travel to list” is Laos, and particularly Luang Prabang. I was thinking of a trip for this winter, but then decided to go to North Caroline instead (which is pretty damn awesome).
It’s a long time since I was last in Asia and I’d love to re-experience the simmering looks-like-chaos but actually makes total sense street life, complete with roadside food stalls, random dogs and children and at least one foreigner photographing everything.
Maybe I’d pick up a bowl of noodle soup or some sticky rice. I’d probably hold on the duck’s heads though, following an unfortunate incident in China when a teacher took me to a hot pot restaurant, and, wanting to impress me, ordered the duck head hot pot. It arrived complete with about 15 halved ducks heads, and the combination of those gelatinous eyes looking up at me and the slurping of other diners sucking out the brains from their duck heads was just too much.
Dessert: Los Angeles
So, I was pretty much ridiculously excited for my LA trip from the second I press ‘pay’ to the moment my plane touched down at LAX.
Apart from the week preceding the trip when I got home from Baltimore, got over jet lag and immediately got the flu while trying to prepare to LA and you know, actually get some work done before putting that out of office on for two weeks. Fun times.
It did not disappoint. You know that cliché about people who go and sit on a beach in California and find themselves? Yeah well, apparently not so much of a cliche for me.
Of course I’m going to remember sitting by the ocean in Santa Monica, strolling along underneath the Palm trees and the glittering beauty of the Getty. But some of the most lasting impressions are definitely the internal changes that happened as I journalled and thought and meditated (yeah, I gave you fair warning on the cliché part) in my favourite Los Angeles locales.
I got perspective on what really matters to me – and then by some awesome synchronicity when I came home I landed on just the right tools and learnings to help me make the changes I wanted to.
This is my travel menu – please go and check out other blogs on the Travel Linkup and have a look at theirs too. You can find them on Adventures of a London Kiwi, Silverspoon London, Follow Your Sunshine and Binny’s Kitchen and Travel Diaries. Thanks for a great theme for this month Binny!