Thursday, September 18, 2014

Food for Thought

I LOVE to travel.  Whether it's to a national or local park, a region with beautiful natural or man-made sights, or a city I've never been to before, I LOVE to travel.  But my favorite type of travel is probably international.

My first international trip was at university when I went to France to study for a semester.  I then spent that summer traveling everywhere with a Eurail pass.

Since then I've traveled a bit with my husband, but he's less of a traveler than I am.  I've also traveled with friends on knitting and hiking trips and I've occasionally joined with a group of like-minded people on a travel adventure.  But I also don't mind traveling solo.

Some of my recent favorite travels are:
  • A sightseeing, hiking, and genealogy trip with my husband to the Czech Republic to find some of my Bohemian roots.
  • A trip to New Zealand's South Island where I traveled solo part of the time and joined up with Canadian, American, and British hikers and a couple of hiking guides from PureTrails New Zealand for the rest of the adventure.  This would be the trip where my luggage got lost in LAX while I went on to Christchurch.  I received the nickname "Minimalist Mary" during that trip.
  • All of my knitting trips to Estonia and Latvia whether traveling solo, traveling with friends, or joining together with others for various conferences.
I also love to eat, so finding special local treats or restaurants is always fun when traveling.  When I was in Tallinn, Estonia last year, I found a restaurant that I especially enjoyed - the food, the staff, the ambiance.  I had dinner there one night and joined friends for a drink on another evening last year.  I definitely wanted to go back again this year so I showed up at Rataskaevu 16 (the name and address of the restaurant) for dinner on Friday, my first night.  But they were full up.  Bummer!  I see that they are now listed on TripAdvisor as the #1 restaurant in Tallinn.  I was only going to be in Tallinn for two evenings, so I immediately made a reservation for the next night, for one person, and asked for a table in the front of the restaurant.

After a full day of activities in Tallinn, I returned to Rataskaevu 16 Saturday evening for my reservation.  The restaurant staff remembered me and seated me at a table with a view out the front window.  A waitress came with a menu and to take my drink order.  I'm not a beer drinker but I enjoy a glass of wine or, when in Estonia, a pear cider.  I ordered an Estonian pear cider but my waitress suggested Thistly, a Scottish pear cider instead.  Délicieux!  I enjoyed a relaxing evening with wonderful food.

At the end of the evening, the sweet young waitress asked me a question.  She was curious about whether I was traveling solo.  We chatted some and I explained how traveling solo doesn't mean that you are always alone.  In fact, you might actually have more opportunities to meet up with other people, locals and other travelers, than when you are part of a couple or group.  She was inspired and encouraged about the idea of traveling, with or without companions.  Laura-Gerli, I hope you go out and see the world!


  1. How wonderful...I would love to visit Estonia. I am on a budget though :-)

    1. I know what you mean. I'm on a budget, too. That's the good thing about Estonia - it's much more affordable than the other Nordic countries.