Mum, Dad, Parents, Caretakers or anyone who kept us fed…
For most families I knew when growing up, the responsibility for cooking dinner was the domain of one person over another. Sure, some fancy kids had parents who shared the responsibility, but in my house, Mum was the major provider of the night-time meal.
Mum was (and is) an excellent cook, but there were definitely nights she simply couldn’t be stuffed. Not a fan of ordering takeaway she preferred getting “creative” with the back of the cupboard and bottom of the fridge. Mostly on a Friday.
I entered the heavy wooden carved door of Mjolner on Harware St in Melbourne, knowing very little. Armed only with the knowledge that this was a “Viking” inspired restaurant, specifically centred around the story of Thor, the god of thunder and his desire to create a dining hall that would allay the feelings of homesickness from Valhalla.
What is it about watching people inflict pain upon themselves that we sometimes find so fascinating, nay… entertaining?
I believe that a healthy percentage of people who follow my silly antics do so because they enjoy seeing someone else try something they wouldn’t dare. Perhaps a mixture of schadenfreude and a morbid curiosity?
I’m sitting in a cafe in Milano, Italy wondering how on earth I’m going to process the fact that I just competed with the first Australian team ever, in the World Hide and Seek Championships “The Nascondinos”, set near the ghost town of Consonno, Northern Italy.
Not that I don’t think it would be a great chance to share experiences and plenty of people do it. My mother and I have a fantastic relationship, but when people go on holiday 9 times out of 10 they don’t mention their Mum or Dad as their travelling partner.
So I put the question out there…
“Who do you think the best people to travel with are? And why?”
I received a mixed bag of responses fired back to me, so here’s a wee little list of pros and cons utilising the most popular responses…
This one I’ve done a couple of times. The first time was for a few months around Europe with a long time friend. Everyone said we’d kill each other within 3 days as we had a very volatile relationship at home…
We had the time of our lives, I think we fought once over the fact that I flushed the toilet in her face while she was spewing (sorry mum) but that was about it! We couldn’t have been more congenial to each other on that trip…
You have someone to share your experiences with
You don’t have to share a bed… or sexual activity (unless you want to!)
There is less risk of “breaking up” and not being able to look at photos again
You can share the cost of accommodation with them
Safety in numbers!
Your friend might snore and you didn’t know it
They may not always want to do what you want to do
Their annoying little habits may be hard to ignore
You may have to listen to their “night noises” if they bring someone back to the room
Since I’ve only done this once, I’m no expert! Though I must admit its fun to share the experience with someone you’re romantically linked to!
In Thailand I kept proposing to my travel friend at romantic locations (see pic). She kept saying no… I wonder why? 🙂
You can forgive the little things (hopefully!)
Romantic experiences can be shared and reflected upon
It may solidify your relationship
It gives you a chance to see how your partner handles themself in a tricky situation (also a con!)
They will look after you if you get sick
It could highlight reasons why you shouldn’t be together
Relationship tension can happen if you don’t give each other any space
You could realise you don’t enjoy the same activities (not necessarily a con)
You could break up and have the memories turn sour afterwards
This one is one of my favourites, though it can be difficult if you aren’t a confident traveller or an outgoing personality.
I’ll never forget the arrogant man who tried to tell me “A woman shouldn’t eat dinner alone” when I took myself to dinner on a solo holiday to Noosa… apparently I shouldn’t have come down from my hotel room and shown my face if I was unaccompanied!
You can do whatever the hell you want, when you want
A fight can’t be started with someone who isn’t there…
New friends are super easy to make if you’re willing!
It’s easier to get onto packed transport when you only need 1 ticket
You can get lonely and homesick
It can cost you more, especially if you aren’t sharing accommodation
You have to carry EVERYTHING yourself!
It may not be as safe
I have left family out for a few reasons… A: I have little experience in this area and B: Hi Mum!!! (I’m only kidding!) 🙂
There are about a billion other things you could add to each list and a bunch of other scenarios I haven’t mentioned so…
Is that edible? Are you going to finish that? Can I try some of yours?
Life is a revolving door of food and drink. Major life events are planned around it and the mundane reality of the day is broken up by it.
If you have never tried a particular food before how do you know if you like it or not? I was lucky enough to be brought up in a family where the words “oh I dont like that” food were never uttered and no matter what dish was served, it was expected to be finished. The chef (generally my mum) was always to be complimented… a task that wasnt hard in a kitchen that served dishes like fresh sushi 15 years before the Sushi Sushi invasion, delicious Kelapa lamb curries before greasy take-away indian and hearty home meals that never allowed for leftovers. Take-away food was a once in a fortnight rarity…
Such varied gastronomic beginnings have stood me in good stead for travelling, with a willingness to try new food with abandon… both locally (within Australia) and abroad, the prospect of sampling new food fills me with excitement and a chance to challenge myself… The stand-out memories from every single trip I have been on have revolved around food and drink, the pictures I have taken seem to always have such a theme, from roasted half a pig in Munich Germany, “meat bird” (chicken) in Sigatoka Fiji and the hottest green curry that gave me the ability to see through time in Koh Phangan Thailand…
So the challenge begins. Can I cross off the list of both standard and exotic fare that I have not already tried?
The next trip I embark on is to Vietnam… can I bring myself to eat White ant eggs, soft-shell turtle, fertilised duck egg or raw blood soup? I dont know… do they taste good? There is only one way to find out… though perhaps some of those dishes are too left of center even for myself…
This isn’t going to be some sort of Chanie vs. Food adventure or a mission to eat the grossest dishes out there… I’m sure I can find the most delicious Bahn Cuon (Rice paper rolls), Pho (Vietnamese Soup) or Glazed curries (Glazed curries?) to tempt everyone’s tastebuds but I also wont rule out other “delicacies” if they are on offer…
Except dog… too many of my friends will kill me if I do that.
Come with me on my journey… recommendations on what to sample are welcome and I will endeavour to try them and report back…