I had a revelation while I was on vacation in British Columbia last week. The things I tend to write about most are the three things this blog is about. So I decided that it was high time I created my own blog that celebrated these three things.
There might be an occasion where I choose to divert from those three things and possibly talk about something else I love, but for the most part, my dedication to the writing here will mainly focus on the aforementioned.
Which begs the question, why food, books, and travel? Well, the short answer is, as Anthony Bourdain says on the intro of his show No Reservations, "I write, I eat, I travel, and I'm hungry for more." Well for me, Bourdain's got it 3/4 correct. I write, travel, eat, AND read - and I'm hungry for more.
But for the long version, let me address these three elements individually.
Food not only nourishes our body, it nourishes the soul, too. Sitting around the table with family and friends are some of the warmest, fondest memories I have. Not only that, but nothing makes me happier than to make something for family and friends that surprises and delights them. In turn, I love eating at places that entice my palate with new flavors I've never experienced before.
Not too long ago I challenged myself to read 50 books in one year. I never expected to make that goal, but lo and behold, I found myself hitting the 50 books mark with 5 months to spare.
When I was younger I loved to read and did so voraciously. But when I entered high school and college, reading for the joy of it was no longer convenient for my life. I had to analyze, write essays, and suck any and all possible pleasure out of the entire experience of reading for the sake of my academic success. But then something lit a fire in me when I took on the 50 book challenge because I found myself picking up books that my students were reading for pleasure, and all of a sudden I gained a new sense of perspective. I wanted to talk about books with my students, friends, and colleagues for the sake of talking about a book, and not because it was tied down to an assignment. Now you rarely can find me without a book in my hand or in my ears (I love listening to audiobooks too.) My reviews are anything but scholarly, but oh how I love to see my yearly finished book list grow.
I love to learn and I think there's no greater lifelong learning experience than travel. Six years ago, newly married, I moved to Germany and am still kicking myself today at how I allowed myself to become so depressed from homesickness that I didn't realize what a blessing it was until I returned home and longed for our carefree life of travels throughout Europe. That experience made me realize that the world is ours to explore, not just admire from the comfort of our living room. Learning about other cultures is critical to tolerance and understanding and there's no better way to do it than first hand rather than just reading about it or watching it on TV (though I do enjoy those things too). As Mark Twain says, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness... Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime." That's why I travel.