OK, this is it. This year, 2011, is the year that I begin my year of travel. Not a whirlwind trip in which I try to see how many countries I can visit in a year, but a year of slow travel. There will be many places I don’t get to that I’d probably like to, but my goal is to settle into a place and really live its culture and foods. A minimum of two weeks is essential, but I suspect I could stay a month and still not absorb all there is to know.
Wherever I am, I intend to be present and mindful of the people I meet, the foods I eat. I want to hear stories, see the food go from soil to table and all the steps in between. Every culture eats food, but they all have little quirks in how that food is grown, preserved, prepared, and consumed. This is what I am interested in. Along the way, I expect to learn about the history as well, with lovely stories told back and forth.
Language can be a barrier to travelers if they aren’t multilingual. I speak Spanish fairly well, and some French (if they slow down!). My German from college in the 70s, though, is rather rusty. However, foods and plants transcend language barriers. When I was in France in July of 2007, I connected with a woman almost exclusively on the plants she grew in her yard. Since I’m familiar with many plants and their names, I really improved my vocabulary just by pointing to each plant and having her tell me what it was. I expect to use this ‘trick’ wherever I go this year, and learn the language as I go along.
The Global Forager is where I’ll keep everyone updated on where I am, what I’m doing, and what yummy foods I’m eating. Please subscribe to either my email list, RSS, Twitter, or Facebook.