What is a foodie traveller?

gerla amsterdam

You know you’re a foodie-traveller when you are a keen globetrotter and like to dip into local delicacies. Does that make you a Foodie-Traveler? Who better to ask this question than fellow globetrotter and foodie, the founder of Jetset Times Wendy Hung.

Nowadays, it seems that we can find any cuisine anywhere in our home countries. When it comes to travelling, some travel for sports, some for art or philanthropy, but most of us still globetrot for food. So how do you know when you’re a foodie-traveller? You know you’re a foodie-traveller when…

Gerla de Boer Hoi An
Food market in Vietnam

Dare to be different

You are an experimentalist. Really, nothing scares you. Chicken feet, blood sausages, and seafood that don’t appear to exist in encyclopedias. You want to try everything and experiment with cuisines that are foreign to you. You’re a foodie-traveller, curious about items that can’t be found in your home country. Even if you can’t finish the whole meal, you’ve tried whatever catches your eye at first glance. Somehow, there’s distinct satisfaction in knowing that you’ve bitten into something you’ve never tasted before. There’s no walking away with regret. Even if you know you may not like it, at least you’ve given a shot at something new.

Gerla de Boer Rome tour
Deep-fried artichokes on the Eating Rome food tour (Trastevere)

Do as the locals do

You crave to indulge like a local. To you, travelling isn’t about fulfilling an empty stomach in the nearest McDonald’s. You want to know where the locals eat, where they sit down and divulge in a great meal every week. You know the most famous restaurants are only sometimes where the goods are. Discovering a hidden alley with a line outside or asking for recommendations from random locals is the real deal. Sometimes, a restaurant without English on the menu indicates that you’ve landed in the right place. You very well know to eat like a local is the best way to understand the culture. So you eat like one, indulge and devour like one.

Gerla de Boer Vespa
Clams on the Vespa Tour In Hoi Chi Min

Food porn

Every photo on your phone is…well, food! Who cares about landmarks and street performers? To a foodie-traveller, a beautifully presented plate of a locally prepared dish is far more captivating than paintings in museums or scenic landscapes. To you, the excitement resides at the moment when your order arrives at the table. There’s a thrill in spending the first two minutes snapping away with your phone or camera rather than taking pictures of renowned statues. By the end of your trip, sifting through albums of food photos is more prideful than any souvenirs you feel obligated to purchase.

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Foraged food at Woflgat in Paternoster, South Africa

Food is on top of the agenda

You do your homework, not monuments to see, but restaurants to try. Before the trip, just like anyone else, you looked through websites and reviews for preparation. Instead of researching what to see or where to stay, the eagerness to compile a list of must-eat restaurants feeds immense anticipation. From Michelin star fine dining, and famous local chefs, to hole-in-the-wall bistros, you have already completed pages of places to eat by the time you hop on that plane or train ride. Your trip will fully satiate your appetite if you’ve checked off every name on the list.

Gerla de Boer Nonnas lab copy
Learn a few words in the local language to connect with the locals

Local turns you on

Farmer’s markets and local produce turn you on. To you, the hustle-bustle inside a farmer’s market can show the wonders of local culture. You can’t help but purchase a tiny carton of exotic fruits to eat at a park nearby or observe lines of stands that carry the freshest catch of the day and vegetables straight from local farmers’ lands. A foodie-traveller is satisfied by pointing out ingredients that can’t be seen back home, intrigued by the vibrant colours displayed on every counter. Cheeses, meats, vegetables, and locally grown fruits indicate how people of a particular country develop, nourish, and survive through time.

Delhi March
Visiting the Jama Masjid in Delhi in 2013

Food is your reason to travel the globe

If you’ve yet to become a foodie-traveller, you should try it. There’s a thrill in travelling for food or allowing food to lead your journeys around the world. Whether you land in Asia or Africa, you know you’re a true Foodie-Traveller as long as you identify with any of the above. Always hungry, yet contently satiated.

By Wendy Hung, founder of Jetset Times

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