Why, for me, travelling is all about what you eat

This article was created for The Travel Project by @food_feels James Thompson, a food Instagrammer based in London.

Let me start by introducing myself to you all. My name is James, but I’m perhaps better known by my Instagram handle @food_feels . I’m originally from Sydney, but have been living in London for the past year, which has proven excellent for my foodie education.

The @meringuegirls never disappoint ????????

A photo posted by Food Feels (@food_feels) on

 

I started my Instagram a few years ago when I was travelling alone, eating some incredible food and visiting amazing restaurants along the way. I wanted to share my experiences and the places I was seeing with the wider world, so Instagram seemed the logical step.

Food has always been a big part of my life and I look at it as an experience. Whether you’re eating in a restaurant or a local market, it’s like a connection to the world and the people around you, and I love the way in which food brings people together – everyone feels that connection, no matter if you’re on your own or in a group. I do my research before I go to any restaurant either at home or abroad; I like to know the story before its put on my plate.

 

I’ve always thought that food and travel go hand in hand. I mean, those are pretty much two of the best experiences in life, right? My friends and I plan our trips around destinations we know are going to be off the scale in terms of food, and plan our itineraries around the restaurants we want to visit. Yeah, we’re basically obsessed. But I also base my travels on the seasons, and what food I know I’ll be able to eat that I can’t necessarily get all year round. For example in December, I’m heading to Budapest for baked treats and mulled everything as their Christmas markets are on, and next summer I’m planning a trip to Croatia, to try out the seafood along the Dalmation coastline.

Food is a great way of learning about the locals in each country you visit. Travelling in Italy in partnership with The Travel Project, I discovered that Italians love to take their time with their meals. They register what they’re eating, and they enjoy the company they are sharing their food with. I rarely saw anyone rush a dinner, and meal times could often go on for hours. Meal time is family time and Italians honour that, and I really think that’s why so many Italian families have such tight bonds. They don’t sit eating their food in front of the television; they sit and actually talk to each other, about everything – society, politics, their children, the weather. It’s admirable. They seem to just be all about having a great time, and they celebrate this with their food and wine.

You know it's good when you're surrounded by locals ????????????

A photo posted by Food Feels (@food_feels) on

 

On my Mediterranean Escape trip the Italian diet absolutely won me over. The food is all about quality, but having everything in moderation. Their portion sizes are a lot smaller than in other countries, and everything is so simple. The best dishes I had were made of only a few simple and natural ingredients. But perhaps my favourite meal of all was when I caught a boat from Positano to Da’Adolfo restaurant, which is hidden away on its own little beach and serves up literally the best seafood. I went for the grilled octopus and grilled mozzarella on lemon leaves, and oh my god. This place was a friend’s recommendation, and I think it’s only right I pass it on to you. Just don’t tell anyone else…

 

 

If you’re thinking about travelling based on your culinary preferences, I’d say absolutely do it. You can learn so much about a country, its history, its traditions and its culture through food, and the entire dining experience. The saying normally goes ‘to travel is to live’, but I tend to think of it more as ‘to travel is to eat’.

 

Avocado & Lime, Chocolate Madagascar & Mango.. @gelateriafatamorgana known as one of Rome's best ????????

A photo posted by Food Feels (@food_feels) on

 

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