Saying Farewell to the Nomadic Lifestyle – Why We Settled After 5 Years Of Travel

Saying Farewell to the Nomadic Lifestyle – Why We Settled After 5 Years Of Travel

We can hardly call ourselves “nomadic.” Not in the way that some of our friends have been nomadic. But, we’ve been without a certain home for almost 5 years. And, we realized it was about time to remedy that. There were a lot of factors that influenced the decision to settle after 5 years of travel. A lot of factors in saying farewell to the nomadic lifestyle. But, as this week is the 5 year anniversary of when we left the US, it seemed like the perfect time to explain our decision. Happy Travelversary to us!  What Is a Nomadic Lifestyle? We have nomadic friends. Friends who are way more nomadic than we have ever been. Our friend Kerwin (as in #WhereIsKerwin) claims Houston as a home base, but doesn’t have an apartment there. The Hecks from Hecktic Travels have been nomadic for the last 7 or 8 years until they recently settled down (for reasons out of their control). The Queen of the Nomadic Lifestyle has to be our friend Sherry over at Otts World, who just settled down after over 10 years of travel. The closest thing she had to a home was a storage locker in a borough of New York. In comparison to these folks, we barely can consider ourselves nomadic. We often explain the last 5 years this way: We left the US, we traveled for about 10 months, we had a home base in Bali for almost a year and a half, traveled for about 9 months, and then had an apartment in Bangkok for about 16 months, and then we traveled for...
El Celler de Can Roca Menu

El Celler de Can Roca Menu

The meal that requires more than one blog post. I wrote about our surreal dining experience at El Celler De Can Roca. But, I wanted to dive more into the menu items, for the true food lovers out there. Here is a recap of the over 30 different courses and bites we had during our 4 hour Can Roca menu. We chose the Feast Menu, with about 15 named courses. The other alternative is a tasting of their classic menu. The tasting menu is about 7 courses, where you have a choice for two of the courses. Of course, we went all in. And, I did the best I could with photos considering the lighting, and I did not want to disturb diners nearby. Bear with me.   The Can Roca Menu: Snacks We started with The World, a paper lantern, ceremoniously untied at the table, and opened to reveal 5 bites reminiscent of flavors from all over the globe. In this case, our world included: From Thailand, Thai chicken, with coriander, coconut, curry, and lime From Japan, miso cream with nyinyonyaki, the Can Roca version of a fried, breaded snack From Turkey, focaccia with lamb, yogurt, cucumber, onions, and mint From Peru, a Causa limeña, or a potato based bite with avocado From Korea, a panko fried bread, with bacon, soy sauce, kimchi, and sesame oil The next snack was a Can Roca-themed diorama, with black of white photos of each Roca brother when they were young. This presentation is called “Memories of a bar in the suburbs of Girona, a reference perhaps to the family’s traditional restaurant,...
Surreal Dining at Can Roca in Girona

Surreal Dining at Can Roca in Girona

In part, this dining experience was not about the food. I mean, of course it was. But, having eaten in Costa Brava, and having learned about the history of gastronomy in the region, this was a pilgrimage. And, a surreal one at that. This was our experience dining at Can Roca in Girona. El Celler de Can Roca I’ve written about El Celler de Can Roca before. We were fortunate enough to have a little taste from the menu, after meeting all three Roca brothers, back in 2015. That visit occurred just after Can Roca won the number one restaurant in the world, and the whole world was a buzz about Girona. El Celler de Can Roca is set in a residential neighborhood, just outside the center of Girona. The 3 Michelin Star restaurant is around the corner from the family restaurant and bar, Can Roca. But, the two restaurants could not be more different. Can Roca is traditional Catalan. A family run establishment, for everyday dining. El Celler de Can Roca is not for everyday dining. It is, indeed, a surreal experience. We’ve dined at Michelin Star restaurants before, and even 3 star Michelin Restaurants. But, somehow this was different, and I am not sure why. Perhaps it was due to the influence of Ferran Adria and elBulli in the region. Perhaps it was because we were dining at the number 3 restaurant in the world. Perhaps it was because we scored a last minute reservation, and only had less than 10 hours to let it sink in that we were dining at Can Roca in the first...
8 Unforgettable Luxury Experiences in Costa Brava

8 Unforgettable Luxury Experiences in Costa Brava

Two years ago we happened upon Costa Brava, what we then termed the unknown culinary tourism corner of Europe. To be completely honest, we knew nothing about Costa Brava at the time. The only thing we knew was that the tourism board worked with bloggers, and for us, at that time, it was enough. Since then, we’ve spent enough time in Costa Brava that we decided to move to Girona! A lot of our decision was based on the food and wine, and some of the most unforgettable experiences in Costa Brava! What surprised me during this most recent visit was how many luxury experiences in Costa Brava there really are. I knew about the incredible gastronomy offerings, but we found so much more to experience during this last visit. Following the Michelin Star Trail One of the main reasons why we keep returning to Costa Brava is because of its food! Costa Brava is home to 14 Michelin Star restaurants. Now, this might not seem like a lot in comparison to Paris, New York, or Tokyo. But, when you consider the size of Costa Brava, and that it’s largest city is home to only about 100,000 people, it’s incredible. If you love food, and high gastronomy, then one of the most unforgettable experiences in Costa Brava is to follow the Michelin Star trail of restaurants that are sprinkled through the region. The Girona Teritori d’Estrelles, or Girona Land of Stars, is the perfect way to spend a holiday in Costa Brava. Eating. Is there any other way? Dining at El Celler Can Roca At least one of the...
The Hoffmans Are Moving to Girona (aka Why It Was Time To Leave Asia)

The Hoffmans Are Moving to Girona (aka Why It Was Time To Leave Asia)

After spending most of the last four years in Southeast Asia, we felt it was finally time to leave Asia. As often happens, not only did we feel a little Life ADD kick in, but we realized we wanted some more comforts, and a different experience. Over the last 5 years, we’ve explored Central and Eastern Europe and Central America. We made Ubud, Bali, our home base for awhile. And, we kept an apartment in Bangkok. While living in Bali and living in Bangkok we continued to explore Asia, made frequent trips to Europe, and even took a culinary road trip across the U.S. But, even when we had these apartments, they never fully felt like home. We always referred to them as our home base, rather than our home. There were a lot of reasons for that, but in the end it meant we had one foot in and one foot out, and continued to feel like we were living a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. We left our apartment in Bangkok at the end of February, and have been on the move for the last 3 months. Within weeks of leaving, I knew we needed to find a new home base. I was tired of carrying everything we owned with us. In fact, over the last 3 months, I’ve managed to shed some of our possessions, in both Italy and Ireland, with a promise that we will be back soon for them. Overall, I was exhausted. I needed a home. And, I needed something more than just a home base. After a little deliberation, we are proud to announce,...
Where To Eat in Europe in 2017

Where To Eat in Europe in 2017

It’s mid January, and we have virtually none of our 2017 travel plans in place. That is a little unusual for us. We know we are flying to Berlin in March, and will be eating our way through Costa Brava again in April. But, other than that, things are pretty up in the air. I do know we need a little break from Bangkok. I’ve been dreaming about European food and wine, and part of our planning seems to be focused on where to eat in Europe in 2017. I found this infographic about where to travel in Europe in 2017. Although this list is for overall travel, HomeToGo also had a specific list on where to travel to eat in Europe in 2017 as well. I was surprised at how similar their list was to the cities I would like to travel to this year.  Our Top 5 Cities to Eat in Europe in 2017 Barcelona and Catalunya We love Barcelona! It’s one of our favorites cities to visit, and has been for years. We love exploring the tapas bars, and drinking cava at adorable little champagne bars. But, there are loads of fabulous places to eat in Catalunya as well. Just one of the areas of Catalunya worth exploring is Costa Brava, which runs north from Girona to the French border. Luckily, we will be returning to Costa Brava this April, for an entire month of drinking Emporda wine and eating Catalan seafood. We can’t wait! Bologna and Emilia Romagna It’s no secret that we love traveling and eating in Emilia Romagna, the Italian region that includes Bologna, Modena, Parma,...
Our New Food Traveler's Guide to Emilia Romagna is available on Amazon now!