Tag: food (page 1 of 24)

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Richelle Gamlam from Adventures Around Asia!

Current city: Ben Lomond, NSW, Australia

Age: 26

Total countries visited: 33

What makes you interesting: I lived in China for five years, and I’m fluent in Mandarin Chinese! 

What brands do you love: REI, Osprey, Pacsafe, Eagle Creek, Context Tours, Tinggly, Skyscanner, Lost Plate 

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from traveling: Travel taught me how much I can do on my own. Traveling solo and living abroad has really forced me to rely on myself in a way I just didn’t have to when I was back home in the US. I had to solve problems and deal with “disasters” and tough situations all on my own. It was a great lesson in what I’m truly capable of, and it’s shown me that most of the time, travel disasters aren’t actually as a big of a deal as you might think!

#1 thing you must do when traveling: Get lost! Spend a day wandering around the city, or take a motorbike around your town or island. You’ll never imagine what incredible things you can see if you just get off the beaten path.

Most magical place on earth: I’m a little in love with the island of Siargao in the Philippines. While this island is known for surfing (and I’m not a huge surfer), there are plenty of other things to do. Rent a motorbike and ride around the island, go scuba diving, swim in rock pools, touch stingless jellyfish in a lagoon, explore the mangroves, and have BBQ with friendly locals.

If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be: I think Taiwan fits my personality most out of any country. Taiwan is such a fun, friendly and welcoming country full of outdoor experiences and incredible (and cheap) food, night markets, beaches, mountains and more. I’d love to live in the cosmopolitan city of Taipei and spent my time hiking, swimming, diving, and stuffing my face with cheap Chinese food and fresh fruit. I love Chinese culture, and after five years in Mainland China, I think Taiwan is a much better fit for my personality.

Where did you go for your first travel experience and at what age: The first travel experience I can actually remember is a trip I took to France and Italy with my parents when I was in 4th grade. This trip was actually a bit of a fluke- we gave up seats on a flight and ended up with enough miles to almost get us to Europe! This trip really taught my family that travel isn’t as expensive as you might think, and inspired many more trips throughout my childhood.

Do you have any recommendations to help battle jet lag: Take a small nap and then get out and explore! If you keep yourself busy, you won’t fall into a pattern of sleeping at the wrong times.

Next travel destination: Kenya and Tanzania! I’ll be heading home to the US for just over a month to see my family, but after that, I’ll be heading to Africa. 

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Gunnar Garfors from The Garfors Globe!

Current city: Oslo, Norway – I’m at home between travels

Age: 42

Total countries visited: All

What makes you interesting: I am not all that interesting, but I love sharing travel experiences with others and getting to know locals and fellow travelers, so I am not the worst company for a coffee. I think.

What brands do you love: Any company that can get me from A to B. SAS, Lufthansa and the other airlines of Star Alliance do so brilliantly most of the time.

Best travel advice: Travel with hand luggage only. It is faster, more flexible, makes you seem less like a tourist and is friendlier to the environment. And it is far from impossible, bring washing powder and buy new clothes wherever you go, that is often cheaper than at home anyway. And you get more original clothes.

What destinations are on your bucket list: The most exotic countries of the world. I am currently writing a book about them so I will return to the top 20 of them in the next few months. Let me just say that both São Tomé, Príncipe and the Marshall Islands are among them.

How do you do to stay healthy when you travel: I go running several times a week. It helps me keep fit, and it is a great way of exploring a new neighborhood. You’ll also be surprised how many smiles you see when you run abroad.

Describe your most unique or funniest travel experience: There are hundreds of episodes to pick from, many of which I have written about in my first book “How I Ran Out of Countries”, but what my sister Kjersti and I experienced in Lesotho made me laugh. We were stamped out of Lesotho in the border police shack on the edge of the infamous and feared Sani Pass, on the border between Lesotho and South Africa. The police officers giggled when they saw our tiny rented Fiat, although we didn’t quite understand why. The road there hadn’t been all that bad, despite a lack of pavement and an overdose of goats. It was when we started driving down from the top that we realized what the giggling had been about. As we would have known had we read about Sani Pass on Wikipedia. “It is a notoriously dangerous road, which requires the use of a 4×4 vehicle. This pass lies between the border controls of both countries and is approximately 9 km in length and requires above average driving experience. It has occasional remains of vehicles that did not succeed in navigating its steep gradients and poor traction surfaces, and has a catalog of frightening stories of failed attempts at ascending the path over the Northern Lesotho Mountains.” In Lesotho I was proposed to by a girl from one of the mud hut villages. We were stopped in the mountains, a mother and her two adult daughters were hitchhiking. We drove them to Linakeng, almost an hour away. They told us about farming and tough conditions in the cold mountains. We were however also told that the mother’s husband was the chief of the village. They were grateful for the ride. I got a big hug from the mom, who used the occasion to propose to me on behalf of one of her daughters. The prettiest one, even. A future as chief son in law in the middle of Lesotho was tempting. I would presumably tale over the chief title when my potential father in law would call it a night. The average life expectancy is only 48 years, so a transition of power could happen relatively soon. I showed some interest for the offer. My sister wasn’t equally impressed, and we left without .

Describe the last time you tried something new: I never say no to new opportunities or to try new things. Life is too short for that. It’s not too long since I tried orienteering for the first time. A great way to see and feel the nature, enjoy the fresh air while having to navigate and run or walk at the same time. I am not at all a pro, but I loved it!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from traveling: Never to forget that everyone sees their own hometown and home country as the center of the universe. That is something every traveler should keep in mind. It should help keep any arrogance at bay. Travelling has also given me more input an knowledge about people, places and myself than anything else. Not to travel would be a grave insult to my mind and my intellect.

Next travel destination: I’m off to Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) in a week. That was the last new country I visited, number 198 of 198, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

Twipper of the Month – December 2017

Twipper of the Month – December 2017: Tracey Coleman from Brooklyn Travel Addict

Tracey is not your average traveler. Besides being a Travel Writer and having an obsession for popcorn, Tracey is also a Humanitarian. With Tracey’s extensive travel experience and her will to make a difference for people around the world, like in Jamaica and Kenya, we have named her our Twipper of the Month for December 2017!

Tracey has been traveling since the age of 10 and hasn’t stopped since. She travels to sunny locations with very little internet to escape the cold winters in New York. Her travel stories have been featured in numerous publications, including Ebony.com, Travel Noire and Parlour Magazine. Tracey has also been named one of Essence’s “9 Travel Instagrams You Should Follow,” and one of Clutch Magazine’s “9 Women Inspiring Us to Travel.” When Tracey isn’t traveling, you can find her on stage at some pretty cool conferences, including Blavity’s Empower her Conference and the Nomadness Tribe ALTERnative Travel Conference.

What makes Tracey a truly interesting and inspiring individual is her nonprofit organization called Purpose Driven Passports. This community of travelers are dedicated to improving the lives of local citizens in the countries they visit. Their vision, “is a world where families are fed, babies are held, homes are built, kids are inspired, and people around the world are empowered and supported by those who vacation in their communities.” You can help support 3-5 projects they choose every year to provide financial resources, supplies, and people needed on the ground. If you are looking for ideas for community service on your next trip, they also connect travelers with places they can make a big difference in only a few hours on vacation.

TWIPPERS OF THE WEEK

Twippers of the Week: Kate and Jeremy from Our Escape Clause

Current city: None! We’ve been nomadic since May 2016.

Age: 26 & 27.

Total countries visited: 29! We had hoped to hit 30 in 2017, but we’ll kick off 2018 with a milestone instead.

What makes you interesting: We are high school sweethearts who had never left the USA before our honeymoon at an all-inclusive in the Bahamas 4.5 years ago. After buying a house and spending a few years in the working world, we decided to take our lives in an entirely different direction and sold our house, car, and most of our belongings to take off on a 6-month round-the-world trip.

Six months has turned into 1.5 years and counting: we have fallen in love with a life of travel and seeking out adventures around the world. Some of our favorite adventures so far include camping in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, climbing a volcano in Guatemala, cliff jumping in Croatia, tasting wine in Tuscany (we actually just finished up a whole month living in Florence!), and learning to scuba dive in Thailand.

What brands do you love: We have several! Osprey, Gregory, and The NorthFace have all been great to us in terms of our gear. Southwest has our loyalty as far as airlines go: they’re our first choice whenever we’re flying to a destination that they reach.

What motivates you to travel: The desire to continue to learn about the world and experience it in an up-close-and-personal way. Travel has taught us so much about ourselves, the world, different cultures, history, and more, and we are so grateful for it.

Describe the last time you tried something new: Hmm–well, this isn’t a super exotic one, but it is recent! A couple of weeks ago we tried Korean BBQ for the first time in NYC–it was delicious!

What is the best part about having a travel partner: Knowing that someone always has your back. Whether it’s having someone to watch your luggage while you run to the restroom in an airport, someone to divide and conquer logistics with, or a dive buddy you truly trust with your life, there’s a deep peace in knowing that someone you love is always in your corner. Since we are also each other’s spouse and favorite person in addition to travel partner, we have the added bonus of knowing there is no one else we would ever want to travel with more!

What’s your favorite passport stamp and why: Belize and Thailand are a tie–they both used colorful ink and had interesting shaped stamps (a triangle for Thailand, a circle for Belize). We love for our passports to be as bright and colorful inside as possible!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from traveling: Simply put, to relax. Traveling long-term beats impatience out of you–when dealing with imperfect and unpredictable transportation in less developed parts of the world, at a certain point you’ll either relax or live in a constant state of high anxiety! Also, that the world is ultimately not a scary place. We knew that intellectually beforehand, sure, but the ease with which we move through the world now is much greater than the first time we stepped outside the USA!

Next travel destination: Who knows! We’re currently home for the holidays with loved ones in the USA, and while we have several adventures calling our name for January, at some point we’ll need to pick a destination and stick with it! Right now, we’re considering options, near and far, on 3 different continents.

Christmas Cocktails from Around the World

By: Natalie Austin, TWIP

As a Twipper you may have spent the year traveling the world, sampling new treats and discovering new traditions. As you head home for the holidays, bring back more than just photos from your adventures. Why not reminisce about your adventures with a festive holiday drink? Here are five traditional Christmas cocktails from around the world to spice up your holiday season.

Glogg – Sweden

Glögg

If people in Sweden do anything right during the holidays, it’s drink with their loved ones. Naturally, we should be drinking like the Swedes too during the cold winter months. Glogg is a must for those throwing a holiday soiree in Sweden. This mulled wine dates back to 1390, having been a featured recipe in The Forme of Cury, an old English cookbook. Since then, Glogg has been adapted and altered by Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Germany and Austria.Glogg is made of wine and brandy and seasoned with orange zest, cinnamon

Glogg is made of wine and brandy and seasoned with orange zest, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Served hot, this beverage is perfect for warming up during the holidays. Combining sweet and rich flavors, Glogg will quickly become a holiday staple in your home. To add to Swedish tradition, serve Glogg with gingerbread cookies or lussebullar, a sweet bun made with saffron and raisins.

Ingredients

  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons green cardamom pods
  • One 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1 cup vodka
  • Two 750-ml bottles dry white wine
  • 2 cups dry rosé
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preparations

In a mortar, crush the cinnamon and cardamom. Transfer to a 1-quart jar. Add the ginger, orange zest, cloves and vodka. Cover; let stand for 24 hours.

Strain the vodka into a large saucepan; discard the solids. Add the remaining ingredients and stir over moderate heat until bubbles form around the edges; do not boil. Serve hot.

Coquito – Puerto Rico

Coquito

While everyone else will be serving eggnog at their holiday party, mix things up with this Puerto Rican libation. Coquito is made with sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and spiked with rum. The most important ingredient, however, is fresh coconut milk, which gives it a rich flavor. Coquito’s popularity has also spread to the U.S. in recent years. Throughout the month of December you can attend the Coquito Tasting Contests at El Museo del Barrio in New York City.

Ingredients

  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • One 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup white rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Preparation

Beat together the evaporated milk and egg yolks in a medium bowl. Strain into a 3-quart pot and simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Transfer the egg yolk mixture to a blender, and blend in batches. Add the remaining ingredients, blending at high speed until frothy. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate until chilled before serving.

Sorrel Punch – Jamaica

sorrel

Sorrel punch has been a Jamaican tradition since the late 1600s and served throughout the islands during the season of giving – and for good reason.  Not only is this exotic cocktail delicious, but healthy too! Made from dried hibiscus flowers, sorrel contains anti-inflammatory qualities, high levels of Vitamin E, and can even contribute to weight loss. The hibiscus flowers are brewed as a tea, then spiced with ginger and mixed with rum. Sorrel punch is typically served with rum fruitcake, a dessert made with white wine and rum soaked fruits.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) dried sorrel calyxes (also called jamaica or hibiscus)
  • Two 1-inch cubes of peeled fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 5 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups amber rum
  • 2 cups ice cubes, or to taste
  • Lime and orange slices for garnish

Preparation

In a heat-proof bowl combine the sorrel, ginger and the cloves. In a saucepan bring 5 cups of the water to a boil, pour it over the sorrel mixture, and let the mixture steep for 4 hours or overnight. While the mixture is steeping, in a small saucepan bring the remaining 3/4 cup water and the sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and let the syrup cool. Strain the sorrel liquid into a pitcher, discarding the solids, stir in the sugar syrup, the rum and the ice cubes, and garnish the punch with the lime and orange slices.

Ponche Navideño – Mexico

Ponche Navideno

Every Mexican holiday party is only complete when a bowl of Ponche Navidendois served. Made in a boiling pot with a wide variety of ingredients, Ponche Navidendo is a beautifully colored beverage soon to be a household favorite. After the water is boiled, a whole host of treats are added like apples, pears, prunes, oranges, guavas, raisins and walnuts. For your own personal touch, add your preferred liquor such as brandy, rum or tequila. With all its gorgeous fruit, it’s easy to pretend that we’re being healthful this holiday!

Ingredients

  • Water
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers (jamaica)
  • 12 tejocote fruits
  • 3 large cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cone piloncillo (or 1 cup brown sugar)
  • 12 guava fruits, quartered
  • 8 tamarind beans, shells and veins removed
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 stalk sugar cane, peeled and cut into 3″ sticks
  • 1 cup prunes, quartered
  • 1 cup pecans or almonds, shelled

Preparations

In a medium pot, bring 1 quart of water to boil and add hibiscus. Turn off heat and cover. Steep 20 minutes.

Cut the tops and bottoms off the tejocote and cut an “X” in one end, scoring the peel. In a small pot, bring 1 inch water to boil and drop in the tejocote. Boil 8 minutes. Drain and cool. Peel and discard the skins. Set the fruit aside.

In a very large pot, put about 1 gallon of water. Strain the hibiscus tea into it, discarding the flowers. Add the cinnamon and piloncillo. Bring this to boil and stir to dissolve the sugar.

Add remaining ingredients and stir. Simmer 20-30 minutes or until the apples have taken on a pink color.

Serve hot in mugs with a shot of rum or brandy for the adults.

 Cola de Mono – Chile

cola de mona

Cola de Mono, or ‘Monkey’s Tail’, is a Chilean beverage served as traditionally and favorably as eggnog. It’s quick to have you “swinging from the trees” when served generously! While it looks similar to eggnog, Cola De Mono has a more similar flavor to a White Russian. Made with coffee, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla extract and your choice of white rum, brandy or vodka, it is sure to be a family favorite!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 can (14oz/400g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup brewed espresso bean coffee (i.e. strong)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pisco, aguardiente, eau de vie, or aquavit

Preparation

Bring water to a boil in a large pot with cinnamon sticks and cloves Reduce heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. Strain Stir in condensed milk, coffee and vanilla. Allow to cool, then chill. Stir in liquor, and chill again before serving.

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