If you ask me, local food is one of the greatest experiences one can have while traveling.

When I was a kid, our family would travel a lot during our school holidays. From 1996 to 2000, our family did international home exchange trips (see Travel Memories #19 and #20). After that, we didn’t do more home exchanges, but we continued traveling.

We visited our relatives and family friends in other countries such as England and Portugal (Travel Memory #23). We borrowed our neighbor’s camper van for a trip to Northern Norway. We also did some more traditional vacations to the south such as a fall holiday trip to Crete, Greece.

At some ruins

Greece in Autumn

We went to Greece in late October on our school holidays. I remember that the weather in Greece wasn’t as great as it had been in our autumn trips to Canary Islands and Portugal. It was windy, a bit chilly and occasionally rainy. But that didn’t affect our trip’s highlight: food.

I remember that the olives in Greece were much tastier than the ones we had eaten in Finland. I also loved the tzatziki and the Greek salads.

(Years later, I discovered Kalamata olives. We may have had them in Crete. If you ask me, they are much better than the typical black and green olives.)

Otherwise I remember many touristy things. We went to the ancient ruins of Crete. I got Greek god themed playing cards and a marble chess board as souvenirs. A street caricature artist drew our pictures, too.

Somewhere in Crete

Food Travel around the World

I currently eat vegan and vegetarian food – plus fish – most of the time. During my 2-year trip around the world, I was more versatile, though. I think that added an extra dimension to the travels as I could try all the local foods.

Many of my favorite travel memories are related to food. These include the organic farm of my Couchsurfing host in Kerala, India, and all the local fruits my hosts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, showed me. The gateway to a new culture goes through to the kitchen.

Luckily one can experience the cuisines of the world without going far. After the COVID pandemic hit, I enjoyed learning international recipes at my home. I’ve been to international food markets in my home town, and I like to cook things from different cultures.

As I try to live sustainably, food lets me experience new cultures without the need to travel all the time.