Five+ Months of Fantastic Food Highlights

The idea of chronicling my favorite foods on the road has been germinating for awhile. I have referenced food at various points in the blog but I figured why not dedicate an entire post to it?

So here goes. My five favorites so far (listed chronologically, not in order of my favorite, which is too tough to decide) plus some highlights from all the countries I have visited in the trip.

1. Busiata with seafood and tomatoes capped off with espresso and gelato in San Vito Lo Capo, Italy – what’s not to like about local Sicilian pasta cooked al dente with fresh tomatoes and tasty seafood? My first meal in Sicily, courtesy of my Couchsurfing host Peppe, was also my best. It was simple yet delicious and cooked to perfection. Followed by a strong cup of espresso and a gigantic gelato cone in the beach town of San Vito Lo Capo, this meal was an excellent introduction to Sicilian cuisine. Deliciousness in moderation.

who can argue with fresh pasta in Italy?


3 Months on the Road

Its hard to believe that my foreign adventure is soon coming up on three months. Such a milestone has given me the chance to reflect on my trip from a holistic perspective.

5 Most Memorable Experiences

  • Hiking in Mindanao with BMG – climbing the Philippines’ second and fourth highest mountains with a group of experienced (and fun loving) mountaineers. What really made this stand out was that I couldn’t have done or planned this on my own. It felt incredible to become part of the team for this climb, especially given the challenges that we faced along the way in hiking two of the Philippines’ highest mountains (namely the weather). While the hike tested my spirit and endurance, having a great group to travel with for my five days in Mindanao made this experience unlike any other I have had so far.

feeling glorious as we finished our hike

  • Bedouin tour in Wadi Rum – a jeep tour through the vast and breathtaking Jordanian desert. Climbing up rocks and running up sand dunes. A camel ride. Sunset and a filling buffet dinner in a Bedouin camp. Great conversation over tea while sitting under the stars. What’s not too like. This was a great day and a perfect way to recharge my batteries after a harrowing boat ride from Egypt to Jordan.

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Staying with Mario in Gozo

My knock at the door yielded a schlubby looking, middle-aged guy with a filthy t-shirt and baggy sweatpants. As he walked me through his stone home, which clearly had not been renovated in decades and was filled to the brim with knick knacks and books, I couldn’t help but second guess myself. Then as I got to my sleeping area, a bunk bed in a cramped, hot space, I wondered, could I really stay here for the next two days?

After four days in Malta, I had decided to take a trip to the nearby island of Gozo, which I had heard was more rustic and laid back than Malta. When I initially went looking for Couchsurfing hosts before I left the US, I had received a message from Mario asking me if I needed a place to stay. I told him I was not planning to come to Gozo straight away but he said if I decided to come to let him know and he would put me up.

Which is how I came to arrive at his home in the hill town of Xaghra (pronounced Sharra). Of course I had not read all the fine print on his Couchsurfing profile and so did not realize what I was getting myself into.

For you see Mario is both the only Couchsurfing host on the island as well as a constant host. A 52 year old native of Valletta and anthropologist by training, Mario moved to Gozo 26 years ago for a more peaceful life and when not working as a curator of the Dwerja Tower, built by the Knights of St. John in the 17th Century, he loves to host guests. Read more of this post

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