The only other thing I can think of that competes with experiencing new countries and cultures is experiencing the CUISINE! Language barriers, exchange rates, and different customs can be tough, but there’s a whole new adventure awaiting you through plate, fork, and fingers. Here are a few tips to help make your dining experiences abroad more enjoyable.
- Learn the keywords so that you can avoid a risky guessing game of inny-mini-minny-moe.
- While reading up on the country’s customs, don’t forget to brush up on etiquette. Let’s not be that person (and let’s face it, we all know someone who’s this person).
- Be adventurous. Traveling is all about new experiences so don’t be afraid to try different foods! Unless you have a legitimate reason, do your best to eat the local delicacies that you come across because you might not get another chance. Keep in mind that many cultures consider it rude to reject food offered to you so if you absolutely can not try something, do your best to be polite and gracious about it.
- EAT LIKE A LOCAL! Just because you’re a tourist doesn’t mean you must eat like one. Ask a local (or better yet, your host family) about their favorite restaurants and make sure to check them out. Chances are those spots will be less crowded, cheaper, and serve more authentic dishes.
- Shop the local supermarkets in the area. Go shopping, and cook some meals yourself. You can also find out if there are any farmer’s markets near you. This is a great, inexpensive way to feed yourself and explore the area.
- If you’re in a residential area with a big group, check out local caters. This is a great way to enjoy a night in with family and friends to enjoy a catered Caribbean BBQ or an Italian spread without the labor. Schedule and enjoy!