Do you have a travel limit — the number of days you can be on vacation before you start feeling that slight tug to return back home? My personal limit is somewhere around six or seven days. That's about the time I start to think about how much I've spent, worry about how much I've eaten out, and generally just miss the routine of life at home. There is however, a way to extend this limit. It all starts with taking time to cook a meal while on vacation. Are you doing this yet?
Setting yourself up to cook a meal on vacation starts right after you book your airfare and before you book your hotel accommodations. To cook somewhere, you need to find a place that, well, allows you to cook. This likely isn't a five-star hotel — where they won't even allow you access to free internet. It is more likely to be a friendly hostel or cozy Airbnb or HomeAway rental. Book that stay accordingly, at least for a few days, in dead center of your travel limit.
You likely won't cook the first day you arrive at this particular accommodation. You need a day or two to get acquainted with the area, to familiarize yourself with the grocer or local market, and to pinpoint the grill or stovetop.
Once you're oriented, just cook what speaks to you. Don't be afraid to try something completely new — like this strange but delightful grenadine fruit we found while in Costa Rica.
Since I personally can't seem to sleep in past 6:30am — a habit I blame on our cat, who would be creeping my way and 'meowing' with steady increasing volume around this time at home — cooking breakfast seemed like a great option.
On our Costa Rica trip, I picked up some steak, eggs, onions, peppers, and tortillas from the grocery store, then fired up the grill.
I then whipped up what I missed most about home — good ol' breakfast tacos! What's great about doing something familiar on vacation is the chance to throw in flavors local to the area. For this breakfast taco that meant Costa Rican peppers and cheese. Mmm, I still remember that cheese!
Cooking a meal while traveling gives you just that right amount of home routine you may have been missing. It also lightens the pocket book and extends your travel limit.
Have you experienced the joy of cooking while on vacation yet?
(Images: Chris Perez)