Read this post on your lunch break today

I really like you. Yes you, my dear reader. Awww… I can see that you’re blushing and I think it’s cute. Seriously though, I like you so much and I spend a fair amount of time thinking about your likes and dislikes. Then, I spend even more time trying to apply what I think I know about your preferences to this blog. As a reader of blogs myself, I certainly know what I like and don’t like – but I’m not you. Tricky stuff, right?

My favorite type of travel blog posts are ones that offer a little something extra, ones that don’t read like an impersonal guide book. I like thoughtful reflections (like Monday Travel Memory: Amsterdam over on Those Dam Americans), entertaining stories (like Switzerland Tried to Kill Me on Chantae Was Here), or humorous observations (like anything The Everywhereist has ever written). That being said, I actually get the most blog hits on review-based posts like the one I did on the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland –  not my attempts at thoughtful reflections, entertaining storytelling or humorous observations.

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Again… tricky stuff.

So after all this thinking, a happy medium is probably best. After all, I frequently field questions that cover both bases. Friends seem to want to know just as much about big review-worthy things like the views from atop Burj Khalifa in Dubai as they do about small things like squat toilets in Asia. They also seem to be just as curious about personal stuff like if Andy and I were able to get our minds off of cancer in Colombia as impersonal things like what the food was like in Spain.

So that brings me to this post. In this post I’m bringing you some insight into something that is pretty common but might get skipped over by a lot of blogs. It might not get as many hits as a post about The Louvre but I do think there’s some interest to it. You probably do it daily, but you might not have done it on another continent.

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you lunch…

What lunch is like at home

  1. Make sandwich.
  2. Eat sandwich.

What lunch is like while traveling on a budget (aka grocery store style)

First, you should determine the day and the country. If it’s Sunday and you’re in Europe, you’re screwed. Hang your head and go here – and afterwards, never breath a word of it to anyone. If you determine that it’s not a Sunday in Europe, read on…

  1. It’s 11:30 AM and you’re starting to feel a bit peckish after a morning of sightseeing. Ask someone for directions to a grocery store… better yet, use the term ‘supermarket‘, it seems to be more universal. Now, try to decipher what they are trying to tell you in (fill in the blank language) and pray to the navigation gods for good luck.
  2. Follow directions to grocery store, get lost, repeat step one.

    Supermarket in La Ceiba, Honduras.

    Found it! Taylor and Courtney have followed directions well in La Ceiba, Honduras. (circa 2012)

  3. Navigate through aisles of groceries in search of easy lunch options.

    Ketchup aisle at a supermarket in Munich, Germany.

    A whole aisle devoted to ketchup? Upon investigating, I determined that this was not accurate at this grocery store in Munich, Germany. (circa 2012)

  4. Notice the things that you might not see at home. Take pictures of said things for your travel blog.

    Supermarket Pork Shop in Dubai.

    Browsing through this section of the store in Dubai, UAE made me realize just how many random things contain pork. (circa 2013)

  5. Look around some more. Take more pictures.
    Eggs at a supermarket in Guatape, Colombia.

    Did you know that eggs aren’t refrigerated in many countries? Not here in Guatapé, Colombia. (circa 2013)

    Supermarket eggs in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland.

    And not here in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland either. (circa 2004)

  6. Make your selections, go to checkout, attempt to answer tricky checkout questions involving who knows what.

    Supermarket in Dubai, UAE.

    We are taking pictures inside your grocery store. Do we look like we have a frequent shopper discount card? Do we look like we have a clue what you’re talking about? I think not. Let’s move on shall we. In Dubai, UAE. (circa 2013)

  7. Sift through your foreign currency as fast as you possibly can while getting dirty looks from impatient shoppers behind you.
  8. Trek back to your hotel.

    Walking from the supermarket in Sintra, Portugal.

    Walking with groceries in Sintra, Portugal. (circa 2011)

  9. Get lost, ask for directions.

    Walking from the supermarket in Cartagena, Colombia.

    Oh, and it will probably start raining like it did here in Cartagena, Colombia. (circa 2013)

  10. Return to your hotel.

    Attic apartment in Lisbon, Portugal.

    Climbing five flights of stairs to our attic apartment in Lisbon, Portugal. (circa 2011)

  11. Prepare your food, tackle temperamental gas stoves, struggle with sub par cutlery and figure out where all the plates are hidden.
    Cooking at a hostel in Dublin, Ireland.

    Andy cooking for me in Dublin, Ireland. (circa 2012)

    Cooking at our apartment in Lisbon, Portugal.

    Andy and Sam cooking in Lisbon, Portugal. (circa 2011)

    Cooking in Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Another one of Andy cooking for me. I usually do the cooking at home but on trips, as a thank you to me for doing all the planning, he tends to cook for me like he did here in Edinburgh, Scotland. (circa 2012)

  12. Enjoy your meal. (All that and I have no pictures of any of us eating meals we’ve prepared ourselves. Lame.)
  13. Put anything that might need refrigerated in your hotel mini-fridge.

    Mustard and mayonnaise in Cartagena, Colombia.

    Another thing you might not know… many condiments around the world come in bags, not jars, like this in Colombia. (circa 2013)

  14. Feel free to improvise if you do not have a refrigerator in your hotel. A snowy roof accessible from your window will do just fine.

    Food on a snowy roof in Frankfurt, Germany.

    This plan wasn’t foolproof – a bird did end up stealing this sandwich in Frankfurt, Germany. (circa 2012)

  15. It’s now 4:30. Start thinking about what you are going to eat for dinner. Seriously, that took all day.

And that, my dear readers, is lunch. I sincerely hope for the sake of your work-place productivity that your lunch did not take that long today but that you were able to enjoy this post on your lunch break.

Also, remember, I really like you. (There you go again with the blushing.) Feel free to leave any feedback about what you like best or don’t like best in the comments section.

9 responses to “Read this post on your lunch break today

  1. Pingback: Friday’s Five Favorite Things: Traveling with an electrician | See Jules Travel·

  2. I love going to the grocery stores in other cities and countries…it gives me an interesting and amazing insight to the life of those that live there…thanks for sharing this with your readers

  3. I was quite literally laughing out loud when I read this. Especially the part about the frequent shopper discount card. Seriously the number of times I have had well-meaning checkout ladies spend 5 minutes asking me about that…first words, then trying to use sign language, eventually finding a translator. Haha, Meanwhile me, standing there idiotically, money in hand but no clue what is going on.

    • Exactly! I have a hard time believing someone from Safeway or Fred Meyer would spend that long trying to get their point across about a rewards/club card. I appreciate their well-meaningness but if it looks like a tourist and acts like a tourist, it might just be a tourist!

  4. I actually really like your posts about things like this. This is the stuff I always wonder about – how in the world does one eat while traveling? Filing this away in my “Someday” mind folder…

  5. I can totally relate to this! Or you get everything necessary for a delicious lunch and can’t find the one keystone ingredient the meal needs because you don’t know what it’s called/if they even have it! Lunch is always an adventure… haha!

  6. Pingback: Foreign Findings: An experiment in the way we travel | See Jules Travel·

  7. Pingback: Travel Fail: We gain a day in the Irish countryside |·

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