Learning to cook Thai food in Krabi

Traveling often implies a few things about food. In Thailand, for example, it's assumed that visitors are interested in diversifying their palates and will order Thai iced tea, pad see ew or panang curry, eschewing plain old burgers and pizza. And so, it is a given that most meals will be eaten at a restaurant or a street cart. It makes sense that you'd opt for local fare to taste what the country grows, what they typically eat, and how deliciously they prepare their food. Sometimes, you walk away from your table at the end of the night and wonder… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | February 25, 2015
Category: Food and Drink

What the frugal foodie eats in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Stroll past the dozens of stalls serving food to the fascinated tourists excitedly pointing at giant, steaming woks of noodles, dried sticks of skewered insects and whirring blenders filled with local fruits, and you'll find the experience to be an exquisite assault on the senses. Bright lights above each stall harshly illuminate the menus, which are rarely also in English. If the menu can even be seen through the steam and smoke from the never-ending cooking, the blended smells will only confound customers looking for something recognizable for dinner. Although the intense variety of culinary choices attracts some foreigners to… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | January 13, 2015
Category: Asia, Food and Drink, General

Signs of Confusion

One afternoon late last year, I went out for lunch at a restaurant not far from the south Thailand guesthouse where I’d been staying. My landlady ran the place, and on this day she seemed particularly pleased to see me. “We have new English menu!” she exclaimed, presenting me with a glossy list of entrees. I took a seat and scanned the menu, which listed the kinds of dishes I’d always eaten there—red curry, paad thai, tom yam. Then, amidst the standard delicacies, I noticed a dish I’d never before sampled in this part of the world: FRIED RICE WITH… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | November 8, 2014
Category: Food and Drink, On The Road

5 Ways to eat healthy while traveling

Eating healthy is important to us. I’m a relentless “do it myself” sort of girl. I was raised freezing and canning a lot of our own food. I make most things from scratch. It’s really important to me to feed my family healthy things so that the children grow properly and so that healthy eating patterns are established for life. Lots of people ask us what we do about that while we’re traveling, since traveling is a lifestyle, not a two week event. There’s not one answer to that and there’s no easy answer. We’re in continual renegotiation of nutritional… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | September 23, 2014
Category: Food and Drink, On The Road, Travel Health, Vagabonding Life

What I Remember Most – Meals with Friends

[caption id="attachment_21956" align="aligncenter" width="500"] photo credit: Sippanont Samchai on Flickr[/caption] I've spent the past few weeks traveling around, catching up with old friends. I've been through Paris, London and am now sitting in the Yotel hotel in New York City. As I was thinking back, deciding what to write about - the moments that burned brightest were the meals that I shared with friends. The exquisite home-cooked meal that David and his wife made in Paris. The Argentinian wine and bar snacks in London. The pizza shared with a friend along the Thames. The gregarious antics with a group of… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | September 12, 2014
Category: Food and Drink, On The Road

Slumming the Golden Arches

Image credit This month marks the beginning of student-travel season in Europe, which means that -- at any given moment -- continental McDonald's restaurants will be filled with scores of American undergraduates. Quiz these young travelers, and they'll give you a wide range of reasons for seeking out McDonald's -- the clean restrooms, the air conditioning, the fact that it's the only place open during festivals or siesta. A few oddballs will even claim they are there for the food. European onlookers will tell you (with a slight sneer) that these itinerant Yanks are simply seeking the dull, familiar comforts… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (2)  | June 7, 2014
Category: Backpacking, Europe, Food and Drink, Travel Health, Vagabonding Advice

Anthony Bourdain: On food and travel

Image credit I have a confession to make: I’m falling in love with Anthony Bourdain. After twelve years without a television to share my life with I discovered his shows when we were wandering in New Zealand. The food. The locations. His sass. I was smitten. Then, I began to read, you know he’s a writer, don’t you? Swoon. He writes about food. He writes about travel. He will awaken your lust for both: The journey is part of the experience - an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca. — Anthony Bourdain… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | March 4, 2014
Category: Food and Drink, Travel Writing

Christmas in England: music, food and decoration

In the final entry in my series of posts on the subtle but interesting variations in how European cultures celebrate Christmas, I take a look at one of the finest places to spend the holiday season, England. It’s not just a beautiful country with a joyous approach to the holiday; it’s also the spot where some of the most cherished Christmas traditions originated. Throughout Europe, the sound of carols spill out from churches great and small, and the youthful choir’s heavenly harmonies are carried to the rafters on the cold air, just as they’ve been every year for centuries. Families… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (2)  | December 25, 2013
Category: Europe, Expat Life, Food and Drink, General, Notes from the collective travel mind

Tamales and Coffee

I spent some time talking with local residents of Monteverde, asking about the history and traditions associated with their Christmas holiday celebrations. Everyone got so excited that they started talking over one another, but I had a translator, so I think we captured everything they wanted to share with me. Here is some unique insight on Costa Rican traditions, and more specifically, traditions of Monteverde. Festival de la Luz is a holiday festival held in San Jose every year. The people of Monteverde view the big city as a bit intimidating, especially with young children, so seven years ago, they… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | December 23, 2013
Category: Central America, Food and Drink

Christmas in France–delicious and traditional

One of the great things about Europe is its magnificent Christmases, when the frosty air is infused with a spirit of joy and celebration. From Scotland to Slovakia, a smorgasbord of culture is on display as each country celebrates with its own unique traditions. This is the second in a series about the Continent’s various subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) yuletide differences that make each culture uniquely fun. Some of France’s yuletide traditions have spilled over to the US, where we associate the word “Noel” with the holiday. In fact Noel is the French word for Christmas, stemming from the French… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (3)  | December 19, 2013
Category: Europe, Family Travel, Food and Drink, On The Road, Solo Travel, Travel Writing, Vagabonding Life, Youth Travel