I read an article today in a very popular magazine published by someone I usually agree with and admire (except the time she highly recommended this incredibly awful hole in the wall hamburger place in Miami but I don’t mean to digress). The article suggested multiple restaurants and ice cream shops in every state in America that readers could stop by and enjoy specific, recommended, items. They article described these places and meals in great details and you finished the article rather hungry. The author also talked about associating food with good memories in different cities the author had visited. While I’m sure the author meant well, this article reinforced our very food-centric American culture. I too, used to be guilty of this mindset. When I would go home to New York to visit family, I would have to have lunch, dinner, or even breakfast at certain restaurants or delis or my trip was not complete! Sometimes my trip’s itinerary was set around what eateries to go to in what order! Don’t judge me! I have another friend once who planned her Disney vacation around where she was eating every meal! And while on vacation, my parents tend to plan the next meal while eating the current meal (ie we plan lunch at breakfast and dinner at lunch).
But what if instead of focusing on food, we focused on activities or on socializing? I bet my trip to NY would have been more enjoyable if I had prioritized going to walk around Central Park with old friends instead of only meeting at my favorite pizza place. I would have gotten fresh air and exercise while catching up on years of gossip instead of just a lot of calories and fat! I also probably would not have come home five pounds heavier. And think about it, meals tend to be finite… you eat and then the event is over. Activities can easily branch off into continued activities. A jaunt around Central Park could lead to more activities around New York City. Eating may have still been involved, but I’m betting we would have eaten less if eating was not the sole activity. So here is some food for thought for the week… I’m going to plan my traveling around activities rather than meals!