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My Travel Wishlist

At long last, I can finally declare that travel is back on the table! I honestly thought it would take for ever before any of us would be able to travel again and I’m really glad that we can now explore the world. I have decided to approach travelling with a little bit of caution as restrictions lift so I am staying within the borders of the United Kingdom for a little bit longer. However, I have no doubt that it won’t be long before I’m boarding a plane in hopes of finding another foodie gem abroad. In anticipation of this I decided to write down my food travel wish list. The list of places that I am really hoping to visit and all the different types of food that I am dying to try. For anyone who knows me, some places on this list are predictable whilst others might shock you…


Valencia

I absolutely adore this city. I went to Valencia on my inter-railing trip in 2016 and I just fell in love. The funny thing is, I did not fully explore the city because by the time we had reached Valencia I was running pretty low on money so I had to be very cautious in how I spent my final few euros. However, I just love the layout of the city and the mix of old and new. I had the best churros in chocolate sauce in Valencia and I visited the Central Market nearly every day. Valencia is very different to the other Spanish cities because it is slightly off the beaten track and it is not the first option people consider when travelling to Spain. This means a lot of the city is still – for lack of better word – “protected” from the usual tourist traps and I can guarantee that wherever you go you are likely to find decent food that is enjoyed by the locals. If you want a really relaxed three or four days in Spain that won’t cost you a fortune, I highly recommend Valencia.


central market in valencia
Photo credit: veryvalencia.com

New Orleans

The home of gumbo, Creole cooking, beignets and alligator sausage – New Orleans I am coming for you! I honestly do not know where my obsession of New Orleans came from. It feels like overnight I suddenly became mesmerised by the food and culture of a place I have never been to. I think the reason why it appeals to me is because I really enjoy dishes and foods that are centred around community and a lot of the dishes that I associate with New Orleans are like that. A large group of people coming together to share a crayfish boil or treating yourself to some fresh beignets just before a night out with your friends. I also love cooking with a lot of the spices that I associate with New Orleans – smoked paprika, cayenne, bay – and I feel like there will be easy affinity with my tastebuds. And I’m not gonna lie, I do love the idea of sipping an ice cold drink while riding a boat down the Bayou River. Also, I love Princess and the Frog. And there’s also a scene in Archer (an amazing TV show by the way) where he went to New Orleans to save a pipeline from eco-terrorists but we discovered he had a crippling fear of alligators. I guess there are a lot of emotions tied to New Orleans for me, ha ha!


beignets and coffee from cafe du monde
Photo credit: neworleans.com

Nigeria

I am a second generation Nigerian. My parents were very fortunate to emigrate to the UK and make a life for themselves. We cook a lot of Nigerian food at home and we are aware of some cultural traditions. However, I have been watching Netflix’s High on the Hog which essentially follows the journey of African food to the white Western world and I found it fascinating. It’s interesting as it felt like my eyes were opened to all the food that exists within my own cultural heritage. I watched it with my Mum and it opened up conversations around food she had as a child and things she misses because she is unable to get the ingredients in England very easily. It also showed me just how diverse the food can be. I would love to go back home one day to try different dishes and soak in the culture.


beans stew with fried plantain
Photo credit: Nigerian Lazy Chef

Disneyland, Florida

Okay, I understand that this is not necessarily a typical foodie destination but it’s still on my wish list. If you go on any social media platform and look at the accounts of Disney bloggers, I am in absolute shock at the variety of food available at the parks. I have only been once when I was a child and was too young to appreciate all that was around me so I would really like to correct that. Of course I would love the classic Disneyland churros but I would also like to try butterbeer in the Harry Potter world, shwarma at the Avengers campus and whatever else I can get my Disney nerd hands on. I don’t think I would ever attempt to get a table at any of the proper dining restaurants as I know the waiting list is absolutely ridiculous but any of the takeaway, street food style options is right up my street. Like who wouldn’t want to drink a gigantic cocktail whilst holding the Infinity Gauntlet? I also am a little bit obsessed with the movie Tarzan and I just really would like to meet him in person whilst cosplaying as Jane but that’s a whole different conversation…


disney themed dessert
Photo credit: businessinsider.com

Australia

This might be a curveball as I don’t talk about Australia a lot but I watched MasterChef Australia for the first time last year and I was fascinated by its food culture. I never realised how much appreciation there is for native culture and the unique ingredients that they have. Literally, after I watch this series I went to London Bridge Borough market and bought wattleseed and lemon myrtle which I had never heard of until watching the show. I would love to go to Australia and just try our whole range of ingredients that are new to me. So if anyone’s ever been to Australia, please let me know in the comments where the best places to go are! The only place I currently have as a definite must visit is One Plus Piece which is an anime themed restaurant after one of my favourite shows One Piece but this has nothing to do with Australian food culture whatsoever... so any recommendations would help!


a anime themed freak shake
Photo credit: One Plus Piece

And that’s my wish list! I haven’t listed them in any particular order but if were being honest New Orleans is definitely in the top spot. If you are travelling this year, please let me know where you are going in the comments below. Or if you’re like me and you are holding out a little bit longer, then let me know where you are hoping to travel too next.


See you in the next post!


Mary xx

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