Travel itself is an indulgence, and I know I'm very lucky to be able to travel as frequently as I do. When I'm home, however, my life is tightly budgeted to keep myself in plane tickets and hotel rooms. Forget about designer wear and handbags. Do you know how many days in Italy or France one Louis Vutton bag or pair of Prada shoes would cost me? Instead, most of the time I walk around looking like a candidate for "What Not To Wear," while planning my next journey. (One of my former students actually nominated me so many times for the show that they sent her a cease and desist email!)
During my travels, I do have a few indulgences I give into. Being the food lover that I am, these involve food. I'm happy to stay in a less expensive hotel, so I can spend more on food. These indulgences include dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant, finding underground supper clubs, planning a trip around a chocolate festival, and taking cooking classes. I also almost always make a detour to Paris especially to eat pastries buy pastry supplies. Said trip to Paris not only includes copious amounts of pastries, but also stops to Mora, E. Dehillerin and Detou for pastry supplies and ingredients that are hard to get at home. My real obsession indulgence, however, actually comes in the form of cookbooks. Yes, I buy at least one cookbook in every city I visit.
Cookbooks aren't the lightest of things, either. Schlepping them around isn't easy, especially when you buy as many as I do. I mail them home as I go. Whatever money I've saved on airfare quickly goes out the proverbial window at La Poste. But, when those books arrive at my home, I'm traveling all over again. I rip through the packages like a child at Christmas, quickly getting to the good stuff. On each page is a memory of something I've tasted, a place I've visited, and/or someone with whom I've shared a meal.
During my recent travels, my cookbook purchases included a Neapolitan/Amalfi Coast pastry cookbook, a chocolate pastry cookbook from Librarie Gourmande in Paris (that place is a crack house for the cookbook addict), and an old Venetian cookbook, in Venetian dialect (as if reading Italian wasn't hard enough). Monica suggested the Venetian cookbook and promised to help me with the translation. (Uhm, I know I'll be taking her up on that promise.) In Salento, Antonella, the owner of the trattoria Locanda Rivoli, gave me a small Salento cookbook. As I looked through the book, instinctively I did a little happy dance to the amusement of those around me. None of them knew of my obsession with foreign cookbooks, so my joy from the gift surprised them. Now, the secret is out. Yes, my name is Kathy and I'm a chocoholic and a foreign cookbook addict.....and happy to declare both!
This is the first in a series of blog carnivals, “Across the Café Table" with the Travel Belles. Once a month, Margo from The Travel Belles, will ask a travel-related question. We who participate will then share our answers “across the virtual café table,” on our own blogs, adding a link to the Travel Belles post and also link to our post at the end of Margo's post on the Travel Belles' site. Everyone is welcome to participate. As Margo says, "Grab a beverage and pull up a chair – there’s always plenty of room!" Why don't you head on over there now, and check out what others' travel indulgences are.
How do you indulge when you travel?