Travel and my food choices

by Karla Walter

I love this topic about travel as I take myself back to some of my first.adventures and how they have shaped the way I travel and eat today. My early memories of travel are in a car, not sure where we were going but I can still see myself sitting in the back seat. Other memories that come to me are going to visit my parents friends, again sitting in the back seat of the car or walking around our neighbourhood. When you got to the destination, the children would be given a sandwich and drink and then it was outside to play.

I am a great traveller and love the adventure no matter where I go. Also in my early years it was fishing with my father in the local dam for perch. We only caught the few fish we needed for dinner and then it was time to go home.Also I have been so blessed growing up in a country environment and having eaten and caught marron. Marron is a freshwater crayfish with the most delicious flavour. As I write this I remember the laughter from my friend JR and I when my father would catch them. As we grew older it was our turn when we visited him, to go and catch the marron. Memories that warm my heart. I remember crossing Australia at the age of 12 on my way to Sydney from Perth on the Indian Pacific train. I was with my best friend JR, her mother and her Aunt and a cousin.


I was going on a cruise to Fiji and New Zealand. I was so excited I don’t think I slept for the 2 weeks that we were away. I remember the food was endless and cruises today are no different. All the smells and colours of foods from around the world. “Something for everyone” is always the saying. From that experience I was then hooked, thinking that I needed to see the world. A little young at the time so the world would have to wait, but Australia and New Zealand were right there. In my late teens I sailed from Fremantle to Sydney crossing the Great Australian Bight in what was supposed to be quite calm waters for that time of the year. The food was again a vast array of colours and flavours. One of my more adventurous moments was hitchhiking across Australia with friends. Not something that I would recommend now, nor would I ever do it again. When one is young, one feels fearless to the world. After that adventure I adopted a few rules of travel, which I still abide by today. 

My first backpack was bright yellow and bigger than I was. I headed off from Australia to see the world for a few months as so many of us do. Some go for a lot longer than a few years which is what has happened to me, but many years after my first adventure. Back to the rules of travel for myself. No matter where I go, if I have not booked accommodation before I leave, my rule is to have somewhere by 3.30pm the day I arrive. If I arrive at night I will always have accommodation booked. I never wanted to look for accommodation at night. In my early days of travel, I was usually a lonear went to places that my friends didn’t want to go. The other rule, which is more in line with how life turned out with my nutrition business and that is I only eat cooked food where possible.

Having been in so many countries in remote areas where refrigeration was non existent, eating meat, fish or chicken was not an option. I often chose a more vegetarian option. I know my love of travel and eating healthy brings me into contact with so many restaurants around the world and they all have something that intrigues me. As I eat for my health and not my emotions most of the time, my choices are always more seasonal and local. I choose meals that embrace the five flavours and give me a feeling of being balanced once I’ve eaten. In Thailand the food is so delicious and the variety across the country, one can only marvel at all the combinations of flavours that are included together. Many Thai salads will also have cooked ingredients, noodles, rice, dried shrimp, grilled eggplant, minced pork, with lime juice, coriander, chillies and sliced tomatoes, depending on the region.

Indian Chai Masala

Travelling to India you find salads are small accompaniments to most main dishes, called kachumber. The ingredients of these salads vary around the country however, I always love the combination of tomatoes, radishes and carrots with a little vinegar. The vinegar is the cooking method. Lemon juice and fresh mint in these dishes are so refreshing. Seasonings of ground cumin or garam marsala are among the variations. Depending on the region chilli peppers or a little cayenne pepper may also be used in the dressing. The majority of Indian food is cooked which gives way to curries that can vary from one village to another. The southern part of India is where you will find the fiery hot curries. Too hot for me. Hot spicy curries make you sweat to keep the body cool. There is always a reason the ingredients are combined together in traditional recipes. Most of the time you will find it has health benefits. Drinking chai that is boiling in a large pot on the streets in Calcutta near Kathleen’s cake shop has the perfect chai aroma.

Travelling through Europe most traditional meals are cooked and accompanied by pickles, and the famous sauerkraut in Germany. Homemade sauerkraut is truly a gift to your taste buds. The accompaniments are all part of helping with digestion. Italy is known for their long lunches and great discussions over meals. This again is all part of the digestive process. We are not supposed to be eating our food so fast that we don’t register the flavours that are in the dishes. Plus everyone knows I am the“chew your food lady.”One of my other loves for food of course, is France.

La Caverne is Greoux les Bains must be on your list if you are in the Provence region. The only person who spoke English was the owner and chef. It was such a delightful evening and the food was superb. All local, seasonal and delicious. When in Paris and you like oysters, head straight for The Cafe Capucine-Opera, not far from Galleries Lafayette. They will not disappoint. My list of restaurants and experiences with food could go on and on for days. This is just a few places that certainly bring great joy to my heart when I think about them. I can taste the food from each one of these places as I write. Think about your favourite places to eat and the wonderful memories that come to mind. Anything that fills you with joy is a great day with food.

Health and Happiness
Karla Walter mail: [email protected]
5 seasons linving

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