Wednesday, 1 February 2012

travel belly

Travelling through Italy with my girlfriends a few years ago, we were lucky enough to experience the Blue Grotto in Capri. The water inside was magical and out of this world, and as the old Italian man rowing our boat started to sing, we were mesmerised. The bluest water I have ever seen, we jumped in. Getting back into the boat was tricky, and our rower had had to lift us out from the water. Struggling, he responded in his thick Italian accent “too much spaghetti, too much spaghetti!” We looked down at our swollen bellies and laughed and laughed and laughed. We had the biggest bowl of spaghetti we could find for dinner that night.
A few months ago while travelling through Thailand with my girlfriends, we discovered the absolute perfectness of a 50 baht Pad Thai. The ultimate way to cure hunger cravings after trekking, elephant riding and shopping, we ordered our $1.50AUD meal every day. The tofu, the dried shrimp, the tamarind, the lime! We judged the style and technique from the different street chefs, taking mental notes which would come in handy for the rest of our lives. Laying on the beach in our bikinis every afternoon, we would poke each others swollen bellies and joke “too much Pad Thai, too much Pad Thai!”
Then there was “too much baguette!” in Paris, "too much schnitzel!" in Austria, “too much currywurst!" in Germany, "too much paella!" in Spain, "too much squid!” in Croatia and “too much turkish delight!” in Istanbul. All the while knowing that too much is never too much. There is no saying no to food while travelling, and there is no need to make excuses for having gelato twice in the one day.

For me, travelling is eating and eating is travelling. When I think of the countries that I have visited, I think about the food that I ate. I am constantly cooking food from different cultures and love the colour and smells that are created. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times when vegemite on toast for dinner is the most satisfying meal in the world, but, my international cook book collection is growing and I aim to host more big cook ups at home – one pot, many bellies.
Friendship is eating and eating is friendship. Catch ups with my girls always involve eating and chatting, often about past and future travel. We are known to induce cravings into each others minds; ice-cream is popular amoungst our bellies.
A meal for two with a bottle of red is always special when shared with my man. I love eating with him, cooking with him, travelling with him and growing a travel belly with him.
I can’t wait to experience more international eating. This year, saving for a house and a wedding will take all of my saving strength, and will undoubtably mean that there will be many eggs-on-toast dinners. I'll be sure though, to add every coin I come across into my travel teapot, and hold onto the thought of growing a travel belly with too much tagine in Morocco, too much naan in India and too much pho in Vietnam.


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