The Picky Traveler

If you could go anywhere in Europe for one week where would you go?

My aunts Lalia and Jan asked me that question just before my last semester of high school. As a graduation present, we traveled to the European country of my choice.

This trip marked a lot of “firsts” of my list: the first time my passport was stamped, my first time eating airplane food and my first time eating in a different country.

As picky eater I took my first overseas adventure very seriously. For me, choosing a travel destination wasn’t so much about museums and site seeing as it was about local food and restaurants. I left the decision up to my taste buds and it was a no-brainer: Italy.

Post 3 - Rome

My relationship with Italian food is like a good afternoon nap – it’s a desired activity that always makes me feel better and leaves me wanting more. I love pasta. Without it, I wouldn’t be complete. My relationship with pasta goes back to my preschool years when I notoriously fell asleep in my spaghetti (yes, it was that good I couldn’t help but stick my face in it), to middle school when I first learned to cook, high school when I was touring college campuses and continued throughout college when I was hungry and on a budget.

As a high school senior, the thought of eating authentic Italian cuisine for an entire week made my mouth water uncontrollably – and I wasn’t thinking about cured meats, olives, cheeses and other antipasto dishes, risotto or even Tiramisu, rather pasta, pizza and bread.

For many, it may seem like my approach goes against the traditional principles of travel that embrace exploration, stepping outside of comfort zones, and taking risks. According to picky eaters, all of these goals can be accomplished without even thinking about food. There are hundreds of picky-eater approved countries that present inedible challenges and adventure and with the help of my trustworthy taste buds, I navigated a few of them: Australia, Ireland, England, Belgium, France, Lisbon, Spain, Hungary and Poland.

Picky eaters always let our taste buds pick our travel destinations.

-MW