Eat Like a Local

I have three rules when it comes to dietary adventure: always order the special, never turn down a free dinner, and try everything twice.  When you are travelling in a foreign country, it is still worth your time to do the same.  Not only do cuisines change from one country to another, but they can also be wildly different from one neighbourhood to another.

To get the most out of what is on offer in strange and distant lands, ordering the special is a good rule of thumb.  It is usually a regionally favourite dish made to local standards.  By always ordering the special you are sure to get the best gustatory experience out of your travels possible.

But if you didn’t like that the stewed eel you had at The Fox and Hound, remember: it may not be the dish but the cook.  Try it again down the road at The Crown and Crumpet – you will find that the variation in local dishes is sometimes vast.

Eating what the locals eat is an essential and fantastic adventure.  And if you can score an invite out by a citizen of the country you are visiting, make sure to take them up on that offer.  They are likely to take you to try what they consider to be the “best” food in their areas or cook you their favourite meal.  By always accepting you are sure to try some fantastic dishes.

Using Public Transport

When you’re away from home, in a foreign land, trying to absorb a fascinating and sophisticated culture, one method will get you into the right frame of mind faster than any other, and it’s as simple as stepping on a bus or train.  Public transport can have you thinking and moving like a local in no time and is a valuable resource when trying to adjust to a new culture.

Most modern cities have a well-developed and efficient public transport system.  Whether it is a bus, tram, tube, or train – learning to navigate the way the locals do will significantly enhance your trip.

Take the London tube for example: at first, you will be overwhelmed and bewildered.  But take a moment to look closer.  Signs are large, familiar, and clearly-posted showing you the different lines and how to get from A to B and back again.  Every Tube station is well-staffed with friendly people who will explain ticket requirements and how to get where you need to go.

The Bus lines also appear bewildering, but a day learning to ride them and read maps is probably the most valuable thing you can do with your time.  And speaking of value – taking the tube or bus from one place to another, instead of a taxi, will save you serious cash as well.

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