Five Senses for Travel: Taste

Saturday market in Edinburgh, Scotland

I didn’t start out writing this on an empty stomach, but I might just get a snack now that it’s done. Let’s talk food.

My stomach has short term memory issues — I’m hungry a lot. So when I travel, food becomes an integral part of the experience for me. Finding a good place to eat, sampling the local cuisine, checking out the seasonal markets, these are all as much an important part of my travels as a nice museum or an ancient ruin.

Travel is a multi-sensory...

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Five Senses for Travel: Scent

Summer, Ukraine, Europe

Travel is often referred to as sight-seeing. But if that was all there was to it, travelling would be like flipping through a virtual reality guide book. Yes, there’s a picture of Golden Gate Bridge. Ooh la la, the picturesque Montmartre. Look at those Alps, aren’t they grand?

Travel should be an experience of all the senses. It’s not just about seeing a place, but hearing the noisy clamour of a city like London or the soft quiet of the countryside in Scotland. It’s about...

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Untethered — Travelling without a plan

Edinburgh, Scotland

Sometimes we need to be removed from the familiar. I usually make lists and plans when it comes to everyday life, I think too far ahead. And when I don’t, I stress about the fact that I’m not making lists and plans.

Travelling isn’t like that. For me, travelling is often as simple as picking a destination and going there. I usually have an idea of what I’d like to see but I’m not a devout follower of itineraries. I like to exhaust a place — in the sense that I will try to...

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Traveling should never happen in a straight line

Sitting near Clifford Tower, castle ruins in Old Town in York, England.

Curve

You can only really get to know a city on foot — walking lets you slow down, get sidetracked by details that you wouldn’t notice otherwise — it lets you get lost in the urban skeleton. All the little side streets and alleyways, secret courtyards and gardens, walkways along waterfronts and large open squares become part of the destination that you came to see, and not just the backdrop to the main attractions.

Every trip I’ve taken, every city I’ve seen, I’ve...

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London’s train stations and the kindness of strangers

London King's Cross Station atrium, UK

The London King’s Cross is beyond hectic — it’s no wonder Harry Potter had to ask for directions.

I commuted into downtown London with my friend, who had been kind enough to let me “kip” on her couch, but she left me a few metro stops early to go to work. This was my first time visiting the city and I emerged into the melee of morning rush hour at King’s Cross, entirely overwhelmed and a little in awe. It’s a big place, filled to the brim with busy people.

I decided...

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