Taking Asia 2013

As a recent college graduate with a full time position start date in September, I’ve found myself in a strange transitionary period where I don’t belong anywhere but at the same time everywhere is home. I feel as though I no longer belong in Milwaukee where I attended college or in north suburban Chicago where my family resides. Also, I don’t quite yet belong in California where I’ll move to for work later this year. I’ve found myself at a fork in the road. However, this transitionary or grey period in my life presents a time of total ambiguity, and as I’ve realized immense possibilities. Although the inevitable can’t be ignored, in September I’ll be moving to California and begin working, I realize I’m incredibly blessed to have this time to live in the moment simply and earnestly.

So with this time between graduation and work, I’ve decided to embark on a sort of Thoreauvian journey pursuing all the things I love, particularly food and culture. Culture is fascinating to me because it’s the history, customs, and languages that comprise the complex identity of a group of people. A collective’s culture tells their story: where they’ve been and where they’re headed. Also, while culture can easily bond individuals, it can also quickly divide. On the other hand, I believe food is the ultimate bridge between people. After all, we all have to eat. I love trying different kinds of food, and I really can eat anything. I’m infamous in my family for being a balut aficionado. Similar to culture, I think food tells a story but just requires a different form of listening. I guess you could call me a “foodie” or a person with an insatiable appetite for soulful foods and a sophisticated palette. But put simply, I really just like to eat a lot.

Back in August, I discovered that my friend Mary, also a fellow foodie, would be graduating college early as well, so we decided to go on a trip and eat our way through Asia. The metaphorical fork in my road transforms to a literal one, or in some places transforms into a pair of chopsticks. In five weeks, we will taste a little bit of the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China in that order.

In the coming weeks, I’ll try my best to share stories of my trip here. I hope to post frequently, but some parts of Asia has limited Internet. Also, let’s be honest, I’m a slow eater and a slow writer, so time will have to be prioritized.

Currently, Mary and I just left Singapore and are now in Melaka, Malaysia. I’ll have to blog about Singapore later, so these posts might not tell you a chronologically story of our trip. Did I mention this is my first time blogging? Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy the stories that these different cultures have to share and develop a hunger to explore some of these places for yourself someday.

Stay hungry,
Louella

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