There are myriad travel guides available–Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Lonely Planet–and there’s no doubt a great deal of work goes into these publications as their research is thorough and comprehensive. Combined with the social / media universe, the information available can be tremendous, exhausting and overwhelming.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ― Marcel Proust
My goal here is to share my travels; cut through the proverbial clutter; pass on some invaluable tips and memorable dining moments; and in doing so, convince you to visit these places, too. The goal is not just to travel, but to travel well. And sometimes just one experience―whether it be visiting a local cafe or perusing a flea market―can be so singularly profound, it shapes one’s entire perception of a new place. To wit…
A buddy and I ended up in Lille, France en route to Belgium. It was the happiest of accidents. In driving around, we ended up at a local restaurant because of the aroma of freshly baked bread pouring out from its open doors and windows (warm bread never fails to seduce.) The owner was charming and asked if he could indulge us and serve us a meal completely off-menu. We agreed and he brought us a baguette; locally made cheese; salad greens with dressing made of herbs his family grew; warm potato salad; and foie gras. Although composed of simple ingredients, the meal was one of the best we had ever eaten. It was also completely responsible for our new-found affection for Lille―so much so in fact, we have decided to return in the coming months. Just to dine there.
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