Types of culinary travellers
What type of traveller are you when it comes to culinary experiences? There are some Nigerian travelers that are perfectly fine with stocking indomie, packets of local spices in the luggage and when they reach their final destination… let’s say Florence, then it’s off to the local market to buy the ingredients to make a pot of jollof rice and stew. A cousin goes to the extent of packing a bag of poundo and chicken maggi, with ground pepper wherever she travels in the world. A day without poundo and efo riro for dinner is a problem; I call her the Ajepako Traveller.
Oga Sir Traveller
There are some travellers that research the best Nigerian restaurants near their accommodation for the holiday before leaving Nigeria. Some even call up the restaurant before arrival and negotiate a fee for daily lunch and dinner food deliveries while vacationing in the area. An aunt and uncle traveled all the way to Texas for a family event. As we were checking in, a lady with a cooler filled with different bowls of meat in stew, jollof rice, moi moi, plantain, and others was at the front desk awaiting their arrival. Their insistence on getting a hotel room with microwave and fridge became clearer when that sight greeted us, with the Japanese bow of greeting, I call them the Oga Sir Traveller.
Meanwhile some travellers are the not so fussy about food, instead, a popular fast food chain does the trick and when they want something special. A quick glimpse at Tripadvisor for something recognizable, affordable; with good reviews gets the job done. They could spend a month in Japan and never try out the local food; too risky for their taste buds and fear of food poisoning is real. I once met a guy in Seoul that travels around the world to surf and ski, but rarely ever eats the local food. He makes sure his accommodation is a walking distance from at least one Western fast food chain and his extent of food adventure is his knowledge of the different tastes and textures of McDonald’s Big Mac across the world. For my travel friend, I sarcastically call him the Soji Traveller.
In a different category, are Nigerian travellers that have booked months’ in advance different tables at Michelin starred restaurants. They do not necessarily have to be affluent, but after watching Netflix’s Chefs Table and salivating at the food created by highly rate chefs, saving the coins for months just to afford the experience and maybe a bit of extra clout achievement to say they have eaten the food of a particular chef. If the restaurant doesn’t have Michelin ratings, or is not heavily praised by popular food critics, they are not stepping a foot there. The best only for them while traveling, budgets be damned. I have friends in this category that when they invite me to travel with them, I quickly form busy schedule. I call them the Ajebo travellers.
Waka Pass traveller
The final category are the ones not so fussy about the stars on the door of the restaurant but have done in-depth research on the best off the beaten path restaurants to experience and their travel itinerary is filled with culinary adventures that would keep them busy until it is time to go back home. These kinds of travelers are open to spending the day trying out different dishes from street food vendors while making sure a sachet of imodium is safely tucked away in their purse for emergencies. A night of dinner eating home cooked with newly made local friends, makes the experience more special and one for the books. To top off the culinary experience, shelling out some cash on hours of local delicacy cooking lessons or spending a day tasting different local brews is just on par for course. For those that follow my ZeeGoes travel experiences, you already know that I sit firmly in this category and I unashamedly call myself the Waka Pass traveller.
What type of traveler are you? Do you find yourself tucked firmly in one of the categories listed above or straddling a couple or even more of the categories?
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