Traveling the World via my Stomach

Travel-Via-Stomach

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Travel has always been a part of my DNA. Long before the adult gypsitis set in (yes, I made that up), and despite the fact that I was in a military family living all over the country and the world, I traveled through books.

As a voracious reader, I went to the far corners of the world, soaked in the sights and sounds and learned about culture and history through the written word.

At eighteen when I left home and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area a new vehicle for exploration emerged. One that has stuck with me for the last twenty plus years.

Food.

Grounded by school commitments and budget which prevented actual travel, I immersed myself in the amazing international environment of San Francisco.

Pad-Thai
Pad Thai, the dish that started it all! (Photo credit: Khalid)

I learned about temples, tropical fruit, the complexity of layered flavors and the regions of Thailand from the owners of the newly discovered Thai restaurant down the street from my apartment. With three or four visits a week, I explored the culinary areas of this unique Asian country with flourish.

A group date took me to an Ethiopian restaurant where I discovered there was more to this beautiful African country than what I had seen on TV or LiveAid concerts. I also learned of the existence of Eritrea, a country I had never heard of and tried dishes from this Ethiopian neighbor that knocked my socks off.

Ethiopian-Food
Photo credit: Avry

These culinary moments and many more created the type of traveler I am today. Food is core to every place I go. I don’t remember my travels by the dates of my trips but rather the food I ate.

I can’t remember how many times I’ve been to Tokyo, but I do remember a 5 a.m. sushi breakfast at Tsukiji Fish Market and tonkatsu with colleages at Mai-sen and an amazing tofu dinner with friends at Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai Restaurant.

Tokyo-Tuna-Lovers

I have loved my trips to Italy, one of my favorite countries in the world, but it is not the cities the call me back, it’s the dishes. Linguine vongole in Rome and a best-meal-of-my-life white truffles lunch in the Tuscan countryside.

Truffle-Pasta
Photo credit: Mr. Misadventures

And don’t get me started on Paris, I have been there so many times the trips all blend together, but the lunch at Grand Vefour in the Palais Royale? Unforgettable. Especially the tiny wild strawberries that are available for only a very short time in Haute Savoire region.

Eating at Le Grand Vefour in Paris
Eating at Le Grand Vefour in Paris

And on and on and on. Me and food, we are inseparable.

And it is not just exotic international cities; no there are places that call to me domestically as well!

Poke in Hawaii, an unforgettable lobster roll in Boston, an entire foraged dinner in the San Juan Islands, food is my connection to any place I visit.

Poke in Hawaii

I also travel *for* food! While living in France, Mr. Misadventures and I drove 3 hours to an abbey in La Drôme where the monks fabricate syrups for water. The entire trip was planned around that syrup and worth every kilometer. When you find unique products made by special people it is worth it, whatever the distance.

Those syrups were memorable. So much so that when we were in Paris for Thanksgiving last year we tracked down a tiny store that sells monastery products and bought three bottles, sacrificing precious baggage weight in our suitcases!

That is just how we roll. Local products with great history is so worth to us. Our way of exploring a place.

While Mr. Misadventures is scoping out where to take photos, I am looking for where we are going to eat, what are the local foods and who are the people growing them and creating them. I strongly believe there is no better way to connect to a place than food.

If you have been reading Misadventures with Andi for a while you know that the hubby and I are on a sabbatical for 2016, traveling the U.S. in our RV. While this allows me to see parts of the country I would not have likely scene, not every place has a lot to offer from a food perspective.

Enter Hole in Wall to save the day.

I am not getting a lot of packages these days given I am hard to track down, but I am making the effort to get these babies.

Created by food-obsessed travelers who want to spotlight unique places and small local artisans, Hole in Wall is the perfect way to dig deep into a location. Whether you have never set foot out of your town or are on the go all the time, Hole in Wall brings the world to you.

Take the latest box from Seattle, a place that is near and dear to my heart. I went to high school in the greater Seattle area and even though I left when I graduated, I go back time and time again. In fact it is a candidate for places to live at the end of our sabbatical. I love this place so much and of course the food here rocks.

SEATTLE-Chihuly-Needle-Ball
Photo credit: Mr. Misadventures.

This area of the country produces amazing fruit, wine, seafood, there is no way you can go wrong when you visit (or if you live here). But if you can’t get to Seattle, or if you’ve been, like me, and are missing the local food scene, the Hole the Wall Seattle box is got what you need!

Look what’s inside:

Hole In Wall Seattle
Photo credit: Southern FATTY Photography

> Boehm’s Chocolate Bar: an extraordinary example of the handcrafted artisanal chocolate coming out of Seattle.
> Chukar Cherries: Washington cherries are the bomb; add pinot noir and they are out of this world!
> Herbn’ Farms NW Seattle Salt: little known secret – Pacific Northwest has great salt. This blend has lavender, sage and thyme.
> Holmquist Orange Honey Hazelnuts: I’ve only had the savory ranch falvored hazelnuts, the orange ones are delish!
> Jonboy Whiskey & Smoked Salt Caramels: two of my favorite things added to caramel, how can you lose?
> Tiny’s Organic Dried Bosc Pears: the perfect snack for a hike…or a glass of wine!

Besides the wonderful food, there are two beauty products that you are sure to love: The Fay Farm Healing Hemp Lotion and Moon Valley Organics Vanilla Lemon Lip Balm.

As someone who lived in the area and visits often I can tell you that Hole in Wall nailed as far as their selections go!

Photo credit: Steve Leclerc
Photo credit: Steve Leclerc

I am super excited about the latest box. You know that expression “omne trium perfectum?” Sure you do! Okay, it’s Latin for “everything that comes in threes is perfect” which I think has been distilled down to something like ‘everything happens in threes.’

In this case, I am going with the original as it does add to perfection!

Proof: ONE > My good blogging friend Brianna of Casual Travelist has been blogging about her out-of-the-ordinary trip to Québec City. I have been so jealous. I am burning up here in the Southwest while she is bundled up enjoying the winter festivities and eating her way through the cobblestone streets. I am totally jonesing for candy-maple taffy now.

TWO > I am attending the Women in Travel Summit in Irvine. The day the conference starts I’ve been invited to a lunch reception by the folks at Québec City Tourism. The opportunity to learn about a destination I have yet to visit while eating? I’m there!

THREE > The latest Hole in Wall box features Québec City! A trifecta right? Meant to be and as I said, those three items add up to perfection in my book.

I can’t get to Québec City right now, so I am going to explore it via the tasty treats included in this box.

Québec City is only the THIRD box from Hole in Wall, so you haven’t missed much! They launched this past December with a box from San Diego followed by Seattle.

The boxes come out ever other month and you can order just one-off boxes or sign up for subscriptions in 6-month (3 boxes) or 12-month (6 boxes) increments. You choose what works best for you. I’d do a box a week if I could!

Do you a have a traveler in your life who you are constantly trying to figure out what to buy for? Is there a foodie in your social circle that lives to find those unique taste experiences? Do you know a do-gooder who likes to support local small businesses? As someone who relates to all three of those personality types I can tell you that these Hole in Wall boxes make a great gift as well (hint, hint).

I also think these boxes offer a great opportunity to share the world with children. There is no greater lesson to teach kids than providing them a global experience. To teach them that the world is a big place full of people with lots of differences, but that respect and open-mindedness is essential. Food is a great pathway to that lesson.

Andi-at-SanFrancisco-FoodTruck

When it comes to travel and exploration, whether it’s the next county over or someplace across the globe, I am going to be exploring it through food!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Hole in Wall. All opinions are my own.

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58 Comments

  1. sara mcavoy
    March 17, 2016

    Great Post! I love trying all different foods and try all the local delicacy when abroad!
    http://www.wanderfreeblog.wordpress.com
    x

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 18, 2016

      @Sara, what has been your favorite item you’ve found?

      Reply
  2. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)
    March 17, 2016

    I love trying foods from other cultures. I just love to eat, so I always say Mange!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 18, 2016

      @Robin, it is a wonderful way to explore the world!

      Reply
  3. Jeannette
    March 17, 2016

    I love different types of foods and this would be such a fun way to try them! Traveling the world like you would be even more fun but until the kid’s get grown, this is a great alternative!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 18, 2016

      @Jeannette, its a great way to explore the world with the kids until you can get out and do it without them 😉

      Reply
  4. clojo9372
    March 17, 2016

    I don’t get to travel much anymore but the few times I did I was always interested in the local delicacies. I enjoy Breaking bread with people and learning all about the customs and cultures of the land and people. It’s such a rewarding experience. And OH THE FOOD!!!! LOL! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 18, 2016

      @Chloe, I totally agree. Food unites people. You don’t have to leave your house to discover great local finds, they can come to you!

      Reply
  5. Cindy (Prime Beauty)
    March 17, 2016

    Where is the Pike St. Market tea in the Seattle box? I adore that stuff!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 18, 2016

      @Cindy, so true! There is enough in Seattle for two boxes!

      Reply
  6. Elizabeth O.
    March 17, 2016

    Isn’t that amazing! I love box subscriptions with food as well and what better way to travel through food than with these! That’s an awesome haul! I would love to try the caramels, the cherries, and the chocolate!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 18, 2016

      @Elizabeth, looks like you have a little sweet tooth! Takes one to know one!

      Reply
  7. Liz Mays
    March 17, 2016

    I wish I could travel as much as you! The things they sent you in the sub box must have been really fun to try out!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 18, 2016

      @Liz, you can travel virtually through books, movies and food! The food is delish!

      Reply
  8. travel blogger
    March 17, 2016

    What an awesome idea! I also love to travel, and some of the food I have tried has become a major association with my trip. Certain smells take me back to different parts of the world. I would love to try the syrup made by monks!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 18, 2016

      @TravelBlogger, I didn’t even think of smells, so true that they are closely associated to travel memories as well!

      Reply
  9. April G
    March 18, 2016

    I really love trying goods from other countries!

    Reply
  10. jen
    March 18, 2016

    What a beautiful post – love the pics, Mr. Misadventures. I love box subscriptions, too. Andi, you look beautiful!!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 18, 2016

      @Jen, that was 5 years and 25 pounds ago!

      Reply
  11. Dawn McAlexander
    March 18, 2016

    Oh how I love traveling. This sounds like just the subscription box for me.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 18, 2016

      @Dawn, if you love travel this is the one!

      Reply
  12. Nicole Escat
    March 18, 2016

    Those food are looks so yummy and tasty! These are fantastic.

    Reply
  13. Melissa Bernardo
    March 18, 2016

    Cool subscription box! I haven’t heard of this one before.

    Reply
  14. Hung Thai
    March 18, 2016

    Very nice idea! I visited the site and the subscription is $35/month + shipping. I guess that’s pretty reasonable. Hmm… this is very interesting indeed. I’ll have to have a discussion with the fiance.

    Reply
  15. Linda Manns Linneman
    March 19, 2016

    I am so happy that you got to enjoy all this. I love trying different ethnic foods and I would so love to travel. This box from Seattle sounds great. God Bless and enjoy

    Reply
  16. krystel
    March 19, 2016

    trying food from other countries is great

    Reply
  17. tauyanm
    March 19, 2016

    salt caramel and honey hazelnuts sounds very nice and yummy! thats a lot of things inside the box! its worth it!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 20, 2016

      @Tauyanm, I love anything with sea salt!

      Reply
  18. Kendra
    March 19, 2016

    I grew up in a military family and lived all across the country and the world. I catch that travel bug often and my favorite part is trying all of the cuisine from different countries. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 20, 2016

      @Kendra, sounds like we have similar backgrounds. I am an Army brat that also lived all the world, it is how I caught that travel bug!

      Reply
  19. Lena P.
    March 20, 2016

    You are so lucky to travel all over the world! All those foods look delicious. What a cool giveaway!(:

    Reply
  20. Ashleigh
    March 20, 2016

    That sounds delicious! What a fun way to try different foods that you normally oculdnt buy

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 20, 2016

      @Ashleigh, I think so too!

      Reply
  21. rocky
    March 20, 2016

    Awesome giveaway! thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  22. Richard Hicks
    March 21, 2016

    I like trying new foods I should sign up with them

    Reply
  23. sharon b
    March 28, 2016

    I like to try new foods. This sounds like fun to try.

    Reply
  24. Aida
    March 29, 2016

    I haven’t heard of Hole In The Wall but it sounds intriguing!

    Reply
  25. Kristen
    March 30, 2016

    I love this, it’s a great way to introduce children to new foods. 🙂

    Reply
  26. This is such a cool idea! When I travel, seeking out the unique local foods and the places only the locals seems to know about is one of my major goals. 😉 Love that this subscription box brings all of that to you- the best of local foods & eats- from all over the world.

    Reply
  27. Rachelle
    April 2, 2016

    Oh man! That box of goodies would feel like Christmas once a month! It’s the kind of thing I shop for when traveling. Excited to learn about them!

    Reply
  28. Joanie @ ZagLeft
    April 3, 2016

    What a great idea! Enjoying wonderful foods from the areas I visit are a highlight of my travels.

    Reply
  29. We are a two of a kind, Andi! I can relate on all levels! I too, am dying to go to Quebec! Maybe later this year and wouldn’t it be great to meet there?! How fun this Hole in the Wall subscription is! Like a birthday surprise every month! Love it!

    Reply
  30. Sandy
    April 4, 2016

    How awesome would it be to try and sample different types of food.

    Reply
  31. Sarah Hollifield
    April 4, 2016

    This would be wonderful! I can’t afford to travel but eating from around the world could be a start

    Reply
  32. Laurie
    April 4, 2016

    Sounds so good and fun to share with my kids too.

    Reply
  33. Debbie Duncan Anderson
    April 5, 2016

    Hello! I am a follower now! Will look at Quebec as my grandmother was from there! Have always wanted to visit! Glad to be aboard!

    Reply
  34. christina moore
    April 8, 2016

    I love trying new foods, thank you for the chance

    Reply
  35. Laura G @ The Culinary Travel Guide
    May 15, 2016

    Very enjoyable read, Andi. I’m off to Hole in the Wall now to find out if they ship to Canada!

    Reply
  36. Cindy Merrill
    May 29, 2016

    I’d love to travel and try authenic regional dishes! Italy is at the top of my bucket list.

    Reply
  37. Sara Theissen
    July 30, 2016

    I really love this article, even though it made me hungry lol. But I agree, food can be very memorable.

    Reply
  38. Stephanie
    August 3, 2016

    This is a great idea for an adventurous eater.

    Reply
  39. sihem
    September 7, 2016

    I’d love to try Pad Thai dish

    Reply
  40. tiffany dayton
    September 16, 2016

    Nice to be able to travel and try different foods.

    Reply
  41. tiffany dayton
    October 20, 2016

    I’m not able to travel a lot. It sounds fantastic to be able to.

    Reply
  42. Darlene
    January 17, 2017

    I am not as brave as you! I love food but I won’t eat anything that swims! I must have had a bad experience as a kid. I just can’t do it. I lived in Hawaii for many years and people love to say the fish must have been amazing! Ummm, not this girl!

    Reply
  43. […] favorite of mine is Odinn Media (Traveling the World via my Stomach). Hope to work with them more in the […]

    Reply
  44. Kimberly Flickinger
    April 21, 2017

    I never heard about this subscription box, I will definitely have to check it out. It is amazing how the subscription boxes these days allow you to try different cuisine without leaving your home.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      April 21, 2017

      @Kimberly, I know and with this one, you get to pick and choose the countries you want.

      Reply

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