I love travelling and I love eating, but I hate eating tourist food. So I collect advice about eating (and about what to do between snacks).
I swapped my life as an executive with the Canadian Public Service for a nomadic lifestyle, travelling, discovering good stuff, and sharing. My writing and photos have been published in magazines including Taste & Travel International, Destinations Travel, Going Mobo, and on websites such as LT Ottawa, Where.ca and Mallory on Travel. In 2012 I became World Travel Buzz‘s International Eating Expert.
My style of travelling is to arrive in a place with a few must-visits (restaurants, museums, historical sites, whatever) in mind, and while wandering to or from them, I hope to stumble upon other interesting things. I like to have a few ideas of some interesting stuff nearby these must-visits, and ideas for other destinations to wander towards (this is how I’ve structured the “field notes” posts).
I collect advice from a variety of sources — friends’ recommendations, Twitter, blogs, magazines, newspapers, and guide books (I prefer Rough Guides, because they’re opinionated and give a range of recommendations from cheap-as-chips to wow-what-a-treat and everything in between) and then test it out when I travel. I also benefit from an excellent travel agent – Trailfinders, in Ottawa — for everything from just flights and general advice, to arranging the whole kit and kaboodle. (Not in Ottawa? Don’t worry, they have plenty of clients from elsewhere — now including me!).
When travelling, I keep value in mind — I’m willing to spend a fair amount on a great restaurant, but it has to meet my definition of “worth it”. I want each meal and snack to count, so try to avoid stuff you can get anywhere, unless it is really great. And cheap can often be really great. Plus, I’m from Canada, a second-tier currency country, so I have the exchange rate constantly in mind (although for the past couple years our loonie has, happily, been worth about the same, and sometimes more, than the US dollar).
I don’t like hot spots simply because they are the place to be seen, but if the food and hospitality are great, I’ll put up with a crowd. See my article on Ottawa’s The Wellington Gastropub for a sense of what I look for in a restaurant.
I’ve been to 38 countries, and counting, been above the Arctic Circle, crossed the Atlantic on the world’s largest sailing ship, and crossed the equator (but only by plane, not yet by land or sea). My favourites? Turkey and Laos!
September 2013 launches my next major trip – a six month solo one starting in New Zealand for my cousin’s wedding, then on to Australia, and spending most of the time in Southeast Asia. Between now and then, I’m heading for a month of warmth in Panama, plus visiting friends in Vancouver, NYC, and Ottawa.
I’d love your advice on what to visit, and especially where to eat, for any place you have been – as a comment, an addition to the field notes, or as a guest post here.
Thanks for visiting!