Archives for category: europe

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Given the strength of Europe’s obvious culinary powerhouses like Paris and Barcelona, Brussels may not immediately jump to mind as a foodie destination. But, there’s more to the city’s food scene than Belgian (not French! As is the common refrain in the city) frites and waffles, as I learned during a recent trip with Visit Brussels.

Case in point, the Lebanese feast we tore through in the Ixelles neighborhood that was one of the most memorable meals of the brief, four-day visit. Think creamy hummus, beets, greens and yogurt-based condiments to drizzle or dollop over it all. Don’t forget the pita, and generous pours of Lebanese wine (my first taste).

Eat, converse, imbibe, repeat. It was glorious. And then the meat course came, and for that I was…not prepared. I should have slowed my roll with the hummus!

And yet, the smell of perfectly charred meat––chicken, lamb, whatever––is painful to resist.

Other culinary moments included stopping for Pasteis de Nata (yes, more than one) in between Art Deco and Art Nouveau tours, amusing myself over Brussels’ “Perfect Egg” dish obsession (like the city’s avocado toast, it seemed like the appetizer was everywhere) and stumbling into chocolate mousse by the scoop near Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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You can’t go to Brussels and not have chocolate.

In short, would return, highly recommend and next time, I’m hitting up some of these dishes.

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For the last several years, the thought of an extended weekend trip never crossed my mind. I was hyperfocused on exploring as slowly as possible. Thanks to my new-ish freelance lifestyle, it was possible for me to work and play for two weeks in Colombia, or most recently, to stretch the limits of the Schengen visa to spend a summer in Europe.

While there, I sampled digital nomad life in a loosely structured environment in Barcelona with Unsettled and learned a lot about myself. Like, how it’s simultaneously distracting and rewarding to live and work from a new place with people who are just as interested and curious about people, pursuing passionate endeavors and new experiences as I am. To be completely transparent, this same experience ate away at my productivity, no thanks (but really thanks) to the cool people I met in the program and all of the horchata, vermut, tapas, sunset strolls, beach days and more.

 

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The stories I enjoy sharing on The Curious Passport are narrative, colorful snippets and oftentimes humorous (at least to me) slices of the places, faces and circumstances I’ve encountered on the road. If you are stirred to any type of emotion except boredom when you read my writing, I call that a win for me. If you are then inspired beyond that, or at least curious to learn more, that’s a win for everyone.

Curiosity keeps you sharp. To possess it means that you are engaged in the space around you. It demonstrates an openness to different ideas, and ideas (for yourself, for others) drive our purpose and help us understand ourselves, each other.

Looking for ideas? Maybe one of my favorite stories from the year might help:

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll stick around for more stories next year.

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2017

In the New Year, my hope is to hone in on exploring experiences that connect ideas from the worlds of travel, food and wellness and its role in illuminating the human condition and its role in helping us live a meaningful life.

I intend to keep those themes in mind as I head back to Europe in the spring. Currently, the plan is to begin in Stockholm and end up in Portugal as a base country by way of Spain.

If you have any recommendations for co-working spaces, creative communities, a good pilates class or coffee shop throughout Europe (because plans can change and my plans are flexible!), please send them to me here: thecuriouspassport at gmail dot com.

I am also interested in collaborating with like-minded individuals, companies, collectives who value storytelling over content, the connection over the bucket list, authenticity over trends. These partnerships can manifest itself in different ways, so if you like what I’m doing over here let’s chat!

That was long, now I’m hungry

Me too. Good news; these featured recipes from Haaps & Barley will fill you up with the good stuff. Whole, nourishing foods, comforting flavor profiles and easy-to-follow preparation means you can eat well without spending hours in the kitchen.

Miso-Marinated Salmon by Haaps & Barley

Photo: Haaps & Barley

Want more recipes? See them all here.

ICYMI

Sometimes I write about travel for other parts of the internet. See them all here.

Are you finished yet

As soon as I plug my social media sites! Find me on Instagram here, because sometimes the plugin on this website refuses to work. I tweet on occasion here.

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