Food. Travel. It’s a toss-up which I enjoy more. But this month’s #travellinkup asked the question… what would be on your perfect travel menu, if a starter is a short haul destination, the main course a long course destination and dessert was somewhere that left a lasting impression?
My short haul starter
A starter should always leave you wanting more; you should eat just enough to whet your appetite without completely satisfying your hunger. A perfectly formed, small sized dish. My short haul travel equivalent would be Montenegro… we spent a single day there last summer as a daytrip from Dubrovnik, and Mr Fletche and I both agreed that one day was not enough. And not only cos it poured with rain whilst we were there.
My long haul main course
A main course should be substantial enough to satisfy you, where every mouthful is to be savoured. It’s also fun to try something new for your main course, maybe something spicy and exotic – something which will stimulate the senses. Once you’ve eaten your main course though, you shouldn’t feel the need to eat it again, and maybe you’d opt for something different from the menu next time.
My main course travel destination would therefore be a Kenyan safari. Our 2011 trip was a complete departure from anywhere we’d gone before, and was the opportunity to experience a culture and a country that was unfamiliar. As a carnivore, my main course would probably be full of meat, but that doesn’t mean I can’t fully appreciate the beauty and majesty of animals in the wild. From the elegance of the giraffes, to the hyenas sloping off along the road; from the lumbering splendour of the elephant families to the male and female lion we spotted affectionately nuzzling each other.
Sometimes though you don’t want a main course that’s new and exciting or an assault on the senses; sometimes you want comfort food, something familiar that feels like slipping on a comfy pair of PJs and a hoodie. For me, that destination would be San Francisco. This was the only city we visited on either of our US road trips which would have had me packing up my stuff and moving in. The landmarks were familiar – the structural marvel of Golden Gate Bridge, the imposing Alcatraz, the almost vertical hills and crooked streets – yet the city felt like it could be home.
A sweet and long-lasting impression
Dessert is your final course, a mouth-watering delight that leaves a taste sensation in your mouth long after the rest of your meal has been digested. Sometimes it’s a savoury finale, but most of the time I would opt for the sweet course; the chocolate fudge brownie, the lemon meringue, or the ice-cream. Which leads me on to gelato. Which naturally leads me on to Italy. And my travel equivalent of a sweet dessert would be the beautiful Cinque Terre. Brightly coloured buildings, crammed together on a cliff face. Bars and restaurants to linger in and dine al fresco. Some of the most picturesque train stations I’ve ever seen. These five towns overlooking the clear blue Ligurgian sea left me wanting to stay forever. And if not stay forever, to return soon. Cinque Terre was the final stop on our 2015 Italian trip, and it makes sense to be the final course of my perfect travel menu.
If your favourite travel destinations were a menu, what would be your starter, main course and dessert? I’d love to hear from you!