Whenever I’m traveling I seem to find a few things that always remind me of home. The Hard Rock Café is one. There’s virtually one everywhere, the burgers are decent, the drinks are typical, and after weeks of eating heavier, local food, sometimes all I want is a burger and fries. The other, is Starbucks. I am a coffee junkie. No really, I’m not myself until I’ve had a cup of coffee (or 5) in me. Starbucks is another place that’s basically everywhere and always the same. I can get exactly what I want, how I want it and become a real live person fairly quickly.
But that’s not what I want to write about. Just as there are places abroad that remind me of home, whenever I come home I seek out things that remind me of my travels. Olives remind me of Lisbon because that’s where I first learned that I truly like olives. I had tried them many times and it never stuck, but Lisbon changed my mind. Red Sangria brings me right back to my first day in Barcelona sitting by the beach in the sun and soaking up…well…everything. Caprese reminds me of the incredible Mozzarella in Italy. Escargot and flakey croissants take me to France. And white cherries remind me of a train ride from Munich to Saarbrucken.
All of those things are relatively easy to find here in the States. I may need to go a bit out of my way to get them, but overall, I can find them. Australia on the other hand, wrecked me. While traveling through my friends introduced me to Tim Tam’s. A Tim Tam is a chocolate wafer wrapped in more chocolate. I. Love. Them. I remember sitting around with friends snacking and drinking and just feeling like I belonged. Tim Tam’s remind me of the girls I visited, the friends I made, and the homes I invaded.
Recently, my boyfriend decided to surprise me and have a box of Tim Tam’s shipped here. After I found out. I was pretty excited about it. I won’t lie. But I wasn’t going completely insane over them. I mean really it’s just chocolate. When they arrived however, everything changed.
The site of that brown wrapper (I got the originals) nearly knocked me on my ass. I was jumping and skipping and overall freaking out over chocolate. Let’s put this into some perspective here. I am nearly 30 years old, and I was JUMPING over a chocolate wafer. After they sat in the fridge and re-hardened to their actual shape, I couldn’t wait to have one. That first bite is when I realized that my excitement had virtually nothing to do with the actual Tim Tam itself (even though they are damn good) my enthusiasm was more about the memories that they represented. In one bite, I melted and my entire trip to Oz came flooding back. Every street, every beach, every tour, drink, coffee house, family meal, it was all there.
Some people think that when you travel you just go and see and come back the same way that you left. But if you’re lucky, everything changes, and if you’re luckier still, you can find little reminders of those moments everywhere you look or in everything you eat.