“What is it to travel?”a close friend asked me. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and replied, “To travel is to get lost. To travel is to be found. To travel is to experience life in the purest form. But most importantly, to travel is to eat…”

Food and Travel are a deadly duo. One never happens without the other. Where you cannot travel without indulging in the local delicacies on one hand, you never can treat your taste buds to new sensations if you never travel. My memories of travelling in the past associate themselves with the food I ate there almost unknowingly. The food relates itself to the culture and essence of the place. It describes the place in a form which leaves both your mind and stomach feel happy and content (most of all times).

On one such trip in 2008, we travelled to Nainital up north. It is a breathtaking hill station with scenic beauty in full bloom. The temperature was around 2ᴼC and our hotel faced the Naini Lake. But what proved to be the cherry on the top was a small yet warm food joint next to the hotel. The place served about twenty different kinds of Parathas all served right off the tava with a dollop of butter and a variety of pickles! We tried out new Parathas everyday which included Aloo, Gobi, Matar, Garlic, Cheese, Paneer and a special Mix Veg Paratha which was their special. I can still feel the Paratha almost melt in my mouth when I think of it!:P The most amazing thing about that eatery was that every single Paratha stood different from the others; like cards in a deck or students in a classroom. All so alike yet poles apart!

This is just one instance. With all the trips that I’ve taken, I’ve realized the importance of food in travel. There have been times when food has been the sole memory of a place for me but mostly food helps in making the place seem all the more beautiful. What I mean is that the Gateway of India looks more picturesque and awe inspiring when looked at with a kulhad of hot chai in your hand! (Based on a true story)

And hence to travel is to eat. Eat new. Eat amazing. But eat. And thus it’s no wonder that travelling stays close to my heart!


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