Enter your email address

My Top 3 Travel Memories

by Tony · 16 comments

Blogger Relay #TeamPurpleSitting at a computer and writing about our adventures is not the most athletic activity I have ever participated in. But lowcostholidays.com is sponsoring a “Blogger Relay” and since I got invited to join, I thought I would give my digital legs a workout :).

The relay is pretty straight forward. Bloggers are organized into teams, with every participant writing one article on the theme of “My Top 3 Travel Memories.” Then the next blogger on the team takes the hand off and writes their own take on the subject.

Whichever team has the longest chain at the end goes down in history as the greatest most fantastic group of digital athletes ever!!! Or something like that…

So thanks to Charlotte from BlondeInTheCity for passing the baton to me.  Lets see what you think of my top memories!

The 3 Most Iconic Memories of Our Journey (So Far)

There are many different ways you could define “top” travel memories.

Most fun you had?

Most entertaining story?

Craziest thing you saw?

But for me, it all comes down to two things.

Food & people.

After touring ten monuments in Paris, they all began to blend together. But I can still tell you exactly how the man outside the Eiffel tower made his fantastic crepes along with every ingredient that was used.

Food is the true religion of a culture and the people who spend their time teaching others how to make it are the prophets.

When I think of our travels, I will always think of the following 3 cooking classes (& the 4 ladies) who took us into their homes and touched our hearts – by placing enormous quantities of food in our bellies.

Bronze: Teresita’s Cooking Class In Buenos Aires

Cooking with Teresita

With a daughter giving culinary tours in Miami, we already knew that Teresita’s passion for food must be infectious. But after spending 5 hours shopping and cooking like a local, we (and our waistlines) could vouch for how well Teresita championed her culture through the use of food.

We learned that Teresita’s husband had been a surgeon in the city until retiring 10 years prior. He encouraged Teresita, who had been a local school teacher with a passion for cooking, to teach others what it means to be Argentinian through food.

In between plowing heaps of food into our ravenous faces, we also had time to meet the rest of our classmates.

We met a group of retired women who travel to a different city for one month every year to experience what the world has to offer. So vibrant, they were the true models for how challenging yourself and meeting new people is the best way to live.

There was the mother & daughter from England taking their one shared vacation a year together.

And then there was the german chef who ran an Argentinian Parrilla and was in Buenos Aires looking for ways to improve his restaurant.

We were all strangers at the beginning of the day. But between the knowledge of Argentinian food shared by Teresita, the insanely large portions of food that kept appearing on our plates,

Tortilla with Teresita

Empanadas with Teresita

Beef with Teresita

and a never ending supply of wine, we left as friends (the three retired ladies are to this day still challenging me to games of Words With Friends… what can I say? 65+ year old ladies are my demographic).

Silver: Tatjana Cooks An Italian Feast In Croatia

Cooking in Croatia with Tatjana

Croatian by birth and in spirit, but with a dash of Australian from 7 years of easy living down under, Tatjana was the perfect ambassador to Croatian cuisine.

Tatjana’s kitchen danced with cool music from the speakers and amazing smells emanated from her stove tops. A firm believer in the art of cooking and not the science, there were no such thing as mistakes. A pinch of this, a dash of that, every dish was unique and mind blowing.

Who knew that some of the best “Italian food” could be found on the coast of Croatia?

Through her food, Tatjana showed us how the ancient civilizations of Rome and later, the Venetians, influenced Croatian cuisine (not to mention its culture).

Tatjana’s was the place where I learned to finally gut a fish;

Tony's first time gutting a fish

where Meg and I spent 40 minutes making some truly ugly, but tasty, pasta;

Making pasta in Croatia

where we learned that what makes travel memorable is not the places you see, but the people you meet and the food eat.

Gold: Lucia & Alina Touch Our Hearts & Break Our Pants

Cooking in Tuscany

On the border between Tuscany and Umbria lies an incredible farm called Il Fontanaro. A place that has taken on mythical proportions in our travel adventures as it proved the power of what good food means.

One year prior to our visit, the owner of Il Fontanaro was crossing the street in Rome when he was struck and killed by a scooter. Lucia lost a husband and Alina lost a father, but they did not lose each other.

Alina moved home and helped her mother run Il Fontanaro where they have over 2000 hectares of olive trees and vineyards. They worked together to preserve what Lucia and her husband had created, while also sharing their passion for Italian cuisine with others.

Making the day even more memorable was being able to share it with our good friends from the TwoOregonians.

Taking a break from the grueling work of cooking :)

We all drank wine on Lucia & Alina’s picturesque patio while flipping through family albums and learning about Lucia’s husband and Alina’s childhood.

Alina as a kid!

We played with their Saint-Bernard-sized chocolate Labs and continuously loosened our belts as the food kept coming.

Relaxing with Bacco

We continued to sneak inside Lucia’s house to use her old school prosciutto-carver to slice up some high-grade meat in between meals.

Delicious prosciutto freshly sliced

We all quickly entered that strangely familiar bond that only travelers on the road can know. We laughed, we shared stories, and we did it all through the power of food.

Fun in Umbria


I always assumed that the memories that would stick with me from our travels would be the incredible sights: Machu Picchu at sunrise, the night sky in Patagonia, or maybe walking the Berlin Wall.

But the memories that we still discuss and that are alive in my mind are the moments where strangers became friends over a shared meal.

In your travels, do you think you better remember the things you have seen or the people you have met? How many of your best memories take place during a meal?

Now it’s time to keep the chain going and see what my teammate, Micaela from Senyorita.net, wants to share about her best travel memories.

About Tony
Quit his job to try actually following his dreams for once... and is currently loving it. He is working hard to to make this life-style permanent by writing about his adventures and brainstorming money making opportunities with his partner-in-crime, Meg.

photo by: Photo Knight
Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm

For serious: the people and the food become the strongest memories. Love this post! (That picture of Lucia and Alina cracks me up 😉 I love Alina’s knife wielding skills.)

Tony September 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm

It is amazing how i’ll remember Domir the bartender in Croatia more than any building we saw in Split….

That photo of Alina is priceless! I have an even scarier one where she was waving that thing around… multiple bottles of wine + knives = bad mix!

Magz September 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm

After reading about that meal, I want to be BFFs with you as well. Yes this request is shameless… but between that meal, that dog and how much fun it all looks – I want in!

Neil September 24, 2012 at 5:18 am

Love Croatia and love Italian food … hungry now for the Pizza’s we had in Zadar.

Great entry guys!

Tony September 24, 2012 at 7:04 am

Pizza in Zadar… sounds like the name of a great cooking show!

Thanks for hosting Team Purple, Neil!

Charlotte September 24, 2012 at 5:29 am

Love this post guys, it made me so hungry! I’ve always wanted to try a cooking school, but being vegetarian (and not very adventurous with food) I’ve always assumed it would incorporate meat. Next time I’m on my travels I’ll look for a cooking school.

Tony September 24, 2012 at 7:06 am

We found an awesome vegetarian cooking school in Bangkok. Didn’t have time to try it out but we definitely will next time. It’s associated with the restaurant Kay Maddie’s.

Let us know if you find any great vegetarian cooking schools! We’re always looking for more classes to try :)

Callie September 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm

What delicious memories! Plus…is there anything better than a nap in the sun with a dog after an enormous amazing meal?? I don’t think so. Sometimes the simplest things are the best…

Tony September 24, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Meg would have to agree… plus you can’t forget the wine! The amount of wine you consume with any Italian meal powercharges your ability to nap mid-day!!!

And yes… it really is the simple stuff that makes us the happiest!

Magz September 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm

This is one of my all time fav landing standing posts!! But let’s be real… you know you had me at “Food & people.” Keep up the eating for me :)

Tony September 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm

If it’s food related… you know we’re going to be writing something ridiculous!

I’m glad you liked my attempt at a food article though… Meg is kind of the undisputed champion of food writing around here :)

JR September 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I late to this blog but this might be one of the best yet. Food, cooking and eating always bring the best memories. You really were able to capture some really great moments the way you described them. Great pics but my fav has to be Meg and the Choco lab. Absolutely beautiful. Great read.

Tony September 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Thanks! It was a good time putting together. During the trip we sometimes forget to reflect on everything we have done and all of the people we have met.

Surprise, surprise that food has played such a big role in our travels!

Stephanie - The Travel Chica October 28, 2012 at 11:42 am

I LOVE Teresita! I want her to be my Buenos Aires Mom :-)

Tony October 28, 2012 at 11:41 pm

We said the exact same thing… she was such a cool lady. Her husband was awesome too. It was seriously just a ridiculous day of cooking, eating, and drinking with her. We tell everyone that goes to BA they need to look up Teresita!

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Older post:

Newer post: