This time last year I went to Paris for the first time. I’d dreamed about going to Paris for years–I imagined what it would look like, what it would sound like, how I’d practice my French, and wear Parisian-inspired dresses while traipsing around the arrondissements in search of the picture-perfect cafes.
About 40 minutes northwest of Austin, there’s a small podunk town of about 1200 without much more than a post office, a few shops, and The Old Coupland Inn and Dancehall.
My parents lived in Austin for a few years in the 1980s (when I was born and for a couple years after) and frequented this spot for barbecue. Now, almost 30 years after they moved away, they still talk about how good the food is there.
I expected Toronto to have milder weather than Austin. Sadly, when I was there it was the same temperature, with about 50% more humidity. Do you know what that’s like? It’s like the difference between being baked and broiled.
“Poutine?! You’re only supposed to eat poutine when you’re drunk!” exclaims my middle-aged Indian cab driver after my confession that I’d eaten poutine twice the day before. He’s just tried (unsuccessfully) convincing Emma and I to go clubbing rather than returning to our respective accommodations for the evening like the little old ladies that we are.
“Well, technically we did eat it after drinks last night. But I also had it for lunch yesterday..”
Maybe I should be a bit embarrassed about that, but let me explain. Poutine was the only Canadian dish I could really think to eat (I’m sure there are loads more out there, beyond bacon and maple syrup), so while in Toronto, I made it my goal to stop at Smoke’s Poutinerie for lunch one day. Then, after about twelve hours of not eating and a couple of drinks in, I was hungry. So I convinced fellow partygoers, Emma and Alouise, to stop off at the same place for more poutine. At midnight.
Let’s get a little personal today.
I spent the past week in Toronto to attend the Navigate Media BlogHouse and my first-ever TBEX conference. I’ll definitely be writing about these more in depth, but for now, I’ll just say that I learned a ton and it’s going to take me a while to process everything.
What I really want to talk about is what being there to attend these things meant to me–personally. For a long time I’ve struggled with my desire to travel. I’ve tried to reconcile a life in which I work full-time, have relationships, have a home base (AKA, be “normal”) and a life in which I want nothing more than to go go go and see everything in the whole world. I have often felt misunderstood and have hated trying to explain my desire to travel. It’s strange to me that some people just don’t get it, when travel feels so innate to me.
A couple of years ago my then-boyfriend and I took a trip to Chicago for Memorial Day. While we didn’t go with the intention of turning it into a Chicago food tour, that’s essentially what it ended up being. (Well, that and museum tour.) We knew there were a ton of things we wanted to try while there, and I think the Chicago dog was the thing he was most looking forward to.
My last stop in South Africa before heading back stateside was to the Lion Park, located between Johannesburg and Pretoria. By this point, I’d already been on safari and got to see the Big Five in their natural habitat, but I was still excited to see more of the same types of animals. Honestly though, I think I was most excited about the prospect of petting baby lion cubs (pictured below)!
I’m very excited (and nervous) to announce that at this exact moment, I’m on a plane to Toronto for lots of travel blogging fun! A few months ago I applied for and was accepted to Navigate Media Group’s BlogHouse, which basically means that I get to meet a ton of awesome established travel bloggers and a bunch of up-and-coming travel bloggers. We’ll spend several days in a castle(!!!) learning all the ins and outs of blogging, SEO, taking better photos, writing better content, and maybe even a little bit of video creation. As I said, I am beyond excited to meet some amazing bloggers that I’ve been following for a couple of years and to learn as much as possible from them.
A couple of years ago I took a day trip to Bosnia & Herzegovina from Dubrovnik to check out the local culture, people, and food. After taking in the Mostar Bridge, a local mosque, and the Turkish House, I headed to the Old Bazaar to do a bit of shopping and some eating. I was pointed in the direction of a restaurant that served typical foods for the region, and decided to give that a shot.