There are A LOT of apps out there that seem to rate every restaurant in every city in every corner of the world. There are travel bloggers and food-grammers that have mouth-watering photos of hundreds of bucket-list-worthy, destination cafés. There’s local recommendations with tales of the restaurants they’ve been going to for the last decade. There’s word of mouth: Aunt Susan’s friend’s daughter went to the “cutest” café that you “can’t leave Paris without visiting”.
But the truth is…. The best way to find a hidden gem is to actually stumble upon it.
There is no greater satisfaction than discovering your own little piece of authentic Croatia after a relaxed stroll through the nooks and crannies of Split. The excitement of reading a menu and being tempted into asking for a table, or picking a place based on the happy atmosphere and being surprised with amazing food and service is one of my favourite travel moments.
It keeps you in the right mindset for travelling. When I try to google where to eat three times a day; I get stuck in a routine of planning and micro-managing and end up glued to my phone. When I let myself be spontaneous and go with the flow; I slip effortlessly into holiday mode. It keeps me open-minded and relaxed and that is exactly what a holdiday is about… unwinding… being present… being open to new experiences…
When you’re overseas… the grass is greener, the sun feels warmer and the food most definitely tastes better. It’s all a part of the moment you’re in. Waking up in an apartment in France and running down to the bakery directly below you for an almond croissant makes it takes vastly better that that expensive, far away ~award winning~ croissant.
Of course, a whole trip like this might not be your style. An occasional Trip Adviser search or local recommendation might lead to your favourite meal of the trip. It was our hotel owner in Santorini that lead me to The Athenian House. Not only do I reminisce about the food here, but the whole night reminds me of a dream. However – be careful not to get addicted to checking that star-rating online before taking a seat.
For me, taking each day (and each meal) as it comes is the most delicious joy of travelling. Yes – there’s a certain risk involved (more risky than following the opinion of strangers?), but the reward of loving the experience is so worth it. So many of my best travel memories are these magically hours spent in a seemingly ordinary coffee shop. The ordinary tends to surprise you and become something extraordinarily beautiful. And the most extraordinary part of all is that these memories are yours and yours to share with whoever you choose. You discovered this place. You chose this moment. You found this little slice of heaven.
It keeps it about that very moment and the atmosphere around you.
With an attitude like that… eating pizza in Italy… it’s hard to go wrong.