For those who have caught the travel bug forever, these are challenging times. When we’re down about not being able to visit new places, or simply feeling nostalgic about our favourite corners of the world, many of us turn to the kitchen to recreate our favourite drinks and dishes – ones that transport us to far-flung locales.

We asked food and travel bloggers from across the globe what they prepare when they feel the familiar tug of wanderlust.

Drinking Around The World, At Home

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch – Portugal-based American food and travel bloggers behind 2foodtrippers

“Taking an unexpected break from travel has reminded us how much we enjoy visiting new destinations and trying new cuisines. We were lucky to squeeze in trips to four countries (England, France, Germany and Ireland) before lockdown started in March. For the foreseeable future, we’re grounded at our Lisbon apartment. While home, we’re travelling the world vicariously by crafting global cocktails. Travel memories flood back every time we sip an Italian Negroni or slurp a Spicy Margarita. Hopefully, we’ll be traveling again soon. Until then, you can find us at our home bar. Check out the recipes for our favourite global summer sippers and make one this weekend.”

[Photos: Daryl Hirsch]

Tasmania On A Plate

Andrew & Karen Strikis – Creators of Tasmanian food and travel website Fork and Foot

“As much as we live for travel, it’s easy to forget that travel doesn’t just mean jet planes and cruise boats. Exploring our backyard here in Tasmania has been a joy, rediscovering old haunts and unearthing new favourites.

“It has also been incredibly inspiring to see our gourmet producers adjust to this brave new world. Restaurant doors are finally reopening, yet over the last few months we have thoroughly enjoyed tasting our way around our island home through home-delivered dinner packs, such as this beauty from Prospect House Private Hotel in the Coal River Valley. Cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc, smoky seafood chowder, ethically raised quail, curated Spotify playlist and easy-to-follow instructions for even the most inexperienced home chefs – this is Tasmania on a plate!”

[Photos: Andrew & Karen Strikis]

Feed Your Nostalgia

Liam Collens – Full-time lawyer and part-time Dubai-based foodie travel blogger behind EatGoSee

“As food and eating are integral ingredients to my usual vacation plans, the inability to travel stirs longing and nostalgia. I also just turned the corner where I have now spent most of my life outside of my home country, Trinidad and Tobago, and lockdown has afforded me some reflection. So, I turned these lemons – or in this case, limes – into my family Trinidad Rum Punch.

“Rum Punch conjures memories of family and friends bobbing around the pristine waters of Pigeon Point Beach in Tobago, with a floating, inflatable cooler under the sun. Rum Punch is a fast Trinidadian cocktail made by mixing freshly squeezed lime juice, aged dark rum, cocktail syrup and Angostura bitters. Shake together with ice, then pour over fresh ice and shower with freshly grated nutmeg (optional, but I find it adds a certain depth). Mai Tai fans will enjoy this pared-down, easy-to-make recipe. Together, ‘Quarantinis’ and sunset recreate happy hour from my new home in Dubai, while I decide where to go next as the world gradually re-opens.”

[Photos: Liam Collens]

A Taste Of South Africa

Sarah & Tim Ozimek – Travel-loving masterminds behind Curious Cuisinière

“When we feel wanderlust calling, we opt for dishes that are exploding with flavour – those foods that can immerse all your senses in a captivating meal experience. Like this (really easy) sweet and sticky South African chutney chicken! This dish brings us back to our time in South Africa and reminds us of lazy afternoon wine tastings as well as the exquisite food we tasted while on safari. The flavours of South Africa are robust and captivating, and this chicken plays with a sweet and savoury balance that is quite addicting.”

[Photos: Curious Cusinière]

Indian Street Food At Home

Anubhav Mahajan – UK-based blogger behind From Bowl To Soul

“How I wait for summers every year, not only because it’s time for some sunshine, travel and holidays, but also this is the time I visit my family in India and relish authentic Indian street food. I have a list of local Indian food that I’ve been craving all year round and cannot wait to eat, and every year I make it a point to check everything off. This year, as travel is restricted, to satisfy my wanderlust I’ve been cooking lots of Indian street food at home. My personal favourite is ‘Mumbai pav bhaji’ which takes me back home to my family, friends and my childhood. It reminds me of the rainy days we all sat together and devoured this dish with a cup of hot masala chai, and those beautiful evenings out with friends to have this roadside delicacy. The flavours, taste and the creaminess of bhaji, with warm buttered pav (rolls), topped with onions, chillies and squeeze of lime, all make me nostalgic. Using my mum’s recipe I created this pav bhaji at home.”

[Photo: Anubhav Mahajan]

A Global Culinary Journey In Jackson Heights

Laura Siciliano-Rosen – Food tour guide, co-founder of Eat Your World. Currently offering customised self-guided food tours of her neighbourhood, Jackson Heights

“For me, living in an incredibly diverse Queens (NYC) neighbourhood among many immigrants goes a long way toward fulfilling wanderlust in between travels, whether we’re in a pandemic or not. People here in Jackson Heights hail from all over Southern and Southeast Asia, South America and the Himalayas, and the food of course reflects this. Just by ordering takeout, my family and I can continue to experience new-to-us dishes and flavours from faraway places. Colombian pan de bono (cheese bread), Thai nam tok moo (pork blood noodle soup), Nepali jhol momo (dumplings in spicy broth), Mexican birria tacos and consomé – dishes like these and so many others sustain us, excite us and give us something to look forward to. It’s become our weekend ritual: I take a break from cooking to order in (and support various local restaurants that really need the business), and we are briefly transported via great food from another culture.”

[Photos: Laura Siciliano-Rosen]

Cooking Up A Tropical Feast

Joyce Oladeinde – Recipe developer, travel and food blogger and travel consultant behind

“I have been itching to go on a cruise around the Caribbean and slowly travel to every island. There’s something evocative about being close to the crystal clear turquoise sea that grounds me. Enraptured by nature and breathtaking views of Blue Mountain in Jamaica and surrounded by the lush vegetation in Trinidad and Tobago. Picking up some coconuts by the roadside and sipping on freshly squeezed pineapple juice on the beach, with sun rays beaming on my soft melanated skin. Surrounded by the friendliest locals, enjoying good music and embracing cultural dissimilarities.

“To satiate my strong desire to travel to the Caribbean, I have been cooking up a tropical Caribbean feast and eating jerk chicken coconut pelau served inside a pineapple, with pineapple salsa on the side (the recipe will be released in my e-cookbook in September 2020). This rice dish is a twist on the traditional Trini chicken pelau and coconut fried rice with Jamaican jerk chicken. The spicy flavours of a jerk chicken, sweetness from the brown sugar and the vibrant vegetables transport me beyond my kitchen to give me a taste of travel.”

[Photos: Joyce Oladeinde]

Vinous Memories

Monique White – Europe-based travel blogger behind An Unstoppable Journey

“I’ve found that wine is a good way to tame my wanderlust during this time of limited travel. Whether it’s a pale and fruity Provençal rosé that calls to mind a summer’s day in southern France with the intoxicating scent of lavender lingering in the air, or remembering the breathtaking landscape of Maipo Valley as I enjoy a glass of the beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend from the winery I visited in Chile just days before COVID-19 caused the world to go on lockdown, or enjoying a Vinho Verde while reminiscing about watching the Rabelo boats bobbing in the Douro River in Porto, wine evokes wonderful travel memories and transports me back to so many special places.”

[Photo: Monique White]

For A Trip To Thailand

Queenie Mak – Chinese-Canadian solo traveller and blogger behind

“I vividly remember the best Thai mango sticky rice I ever ate. It was in Bangkok during my last trip before the pandemic. I’ve been trying to replicate this classic dessert whenever I feel wanderlust calling. Essentially, it has three ingredients: glutinous rice, coconut milk and mango. Here’s how you make it:

1. Wash 1.5 cups of glutinous rice until water is clear (about six times) then soak overnight.
2. Steam rice for 30 minutes or until tender.
3. Boil 1.5 cups coconut milk, a half cup of sugar and one teaspoon of salt until sugar is fully dissolved.
4. Put steamed rice in a large bowl, pour 2/3 of the coconut milk mixture into the rice and mix.
5. Serve a small scoop of rice, a few slices of ripe mango and drizzle the coconut mixture over the rice.
6. Optional: Add toasted sesame seeds or crispy yellow mung beans.

When you eat mango sticky rice, take a spoonful of equal amounts of both mango and sticky rice. The combination of all the flavours brings me back to Thailand every single time!”

[Photo: Queenie Mak]

Travel From Your Balcony

Marina Cantafio – Zurich-based digital content creator, social media specialist and blogger behind Lovefoodish

“I’m happy to share my personal guide with you on how to travel mentally. I do it by creating a culinary experience at home. It starts with the decoration of your favourite corner of your living space: in my case, that’s the balcony. Herbs and Mediterranean flowers like lavender add a particular holiday feeling. Take your favourite crockery and arrange the dishes the way you would find it in your favourite restaurant abroad. I like to prepare tuna in coconut crust with edamame (find the recipe here). It transports me to the French Côte d’Azur! To experience this moment of joy with harmony, I put on my favourite Spotify playlist with songs that I relate to my travel stories. Happy virtual travel to all!”

[Photo: Marina Cantafio]

Remembering Happy Hour In Barcelona

Lexi Stambaugh – Registered nurse and food blogger behind Passport Flavor

“Travelling is a huge passion for me that has been halted by the pandemic. When I yearn for adventure during this time of quarantine, I whip up dishes that remind me of my most memorable travels. Spain is one of the most incredible places that I have experienced, and their foodie scene is tremendous! I’ve been there several times, and each time I leave with a new favourite dish.

“When I’m experiencing a travel lull, I find myself craving a Spanish-style meal made of small plates (tapas) and red wine. My husband and I will plan Spanish-themed date nights filled with Manchego cheese, patatas bravas and a handful of other classic plates. We always mix up a batch of my copycat Red Wine Sangria to sip on while we chat. If I close my eyes tight enough, I feel like I’m enjoying tapas and fresh sangria at happy hour in sunny Barcelona!”

[Photos: Passport Flavor]

A Quick Trip To Italy

Pelumi Nubi – PhD candidate in cancer research and human genetics, as well as a world traveller sharing her stories on Black Kintsugi

“Of all the 60+ countries I have visited, Italy is one of my absolute favourite destinations. When I think of Italy, I remember my leisurely walks around the Venice canals and the coastal paradise of Amalfi. But what I truly miss is the food, and more specifically, the pasta. Fresh pasta, made by hand and cooked perfectly. On my search to satisfy this craving – and my wanderlust – I discovered Pasta Evangelists, a boutique Italian online shop that delivers mouth-watering restaurant-quality pasta dishes that you can make at home in under five minutes. They actually asked me to make one of their recipes: here’s my easy three-step guide to making Rome’s Famous Rigatoni alla Carbonara. I assure you a mouth full of their pasta is enough to take you back to your best memory of Italy. Pictured is another dish: Pappardelle with beef shin & Barolo wine ragù, absolutely delicious.”

[Photos: Pelumi Nubi]

A Tasteful Mix Of Cultures

Isabella Rancel – Caracas-based cook and content creator behind Cooking Is My Cardio

“The great variety of flavours tend to change according to the seasons of the year; when I think about winter, I imagine a fondue or pasta al dente with a nice glass of red wine. If I think about summer, a very fresh fish is the best option; but something that works in every season is ‘picadera’ (a cheese and meat board). That’s why in these moments of nostalgia, I usually create a board that satisfies my desire to travel, transporting me to my favourite places. I think of Spain, Italy, France and the Arab countries with the different foods that go with it. In my opinion, what defines a good plate is the mix of different flavours and textures – this is where you let your imagination fly and let yourself be surprised.”

[Photos: Cooking Is My Cardio]

Spain’s Special Flavour

Alicia Correa – Colombian-born, Miami-based founder of Alicia’s and author of the recipe book Bake Like a Boss

“Patatas bravas remind me of my first trip to Europe, when I went with my parents. We visited different cities in Spain, and we fell in love with the country, its beauty, its people, the memories… But what we loved the most was how they prepare potatoes. We discovered ‘patatas bravas’ on that trip, and wherever we went, we tried them. Ever since, whenever I go out to restaurants anywhere in the world, I look for ‘patatas bravas’ on the menu. I have also recreated them myself, and I love them. This is my favourite recipe.”

[Photo: Alicia’s]

Transported To Italy Via Munich

Bethany Coleen – Toronto-based food and travel blogger behind Feast and Wander

“When I experience strong feelings of wanderlust, I go through my memories and bring myself back to the streets of Munich, Germany. One of my fondest memories in this historical city was visiting an authentic Italian restaurant with a friend, with the owners having immigrated directly from Italy. When we arrived at the restaurant, the owner could speak Italian and German but knew few words in English. We laughed as we tried to ask questions and gesture with our hands that we wanted to order pasta. Somehow, the owner figured out what we wanted and eventually brought us the most incredible spread – ravioli pasta stuffed with ricotta cheese, a linguine alfredo and the most decadent chocolate tartufo that I’ve ever had.

“Although I will never be able to cook as an authentic Italian, I love to make a version the Canadian way – at home, in my kitchen! I start by pouring a glass of white wine, play some Frank Sinatra on Spotify, and then start to assemble the ingredients to make my homemade alfredo sauce with freshly grated parmesan cheese. After it simmers and is brimming richly in flavour, I pour it over ravioli stuffed with fresh spinach and ricotta. With each bite, I am transported back to that slice of Italian heaven in Germany, and love every moment!”

[Photos: Bethany Coleen]

Fresh By The Sea

Andrea Tavío – Miami-based food blogger and cook behind YUM, Let’s Eat!

“When I think of travelling, the first thing that comes to mind is Hawaii. It’s a magical place where I feel completely happy and calm. I close my eyes and think about its warm breeze and the smell of the sea, and I get in the mood for fresh tuna with a glass of very cold Champagne. Tuna is the most important and traditional fish in Hawaii. Their food has a lot of Japanese influences given by immigrants who came in the 1800s to work in the sugar cane fields – and they created the poke, a dish that’s very popular nowadays. So when I feel like travelling, this is what I love to enjoy at home. But what I’d really like to enjoy watching the sunset in Hawaii is a SUSHI TOWER: Crispy golden rice in toasted sesame oil, fresh tuna in a creamy spicy mayonnaise sauce, sweet crab salad, avocado, seaweed, capelin and eel sauce.”

[Photos: Andrea Tavío]

When In Mykonos

Alejandra Rodríguez – Madrid-based healthy lifestyle blogger behind TastyRide and Be Tasty Market

“When I feel like travelling, I first think about where in the world I want to be. Then, I get inspired by the gastronomy and flavours of that place, and create a recipe or dish that makes me feel like I’m actually in that country or city For instance, today I feel like going to the beach, and I would love to travel to Greece again. The city of Mykonos enchanted me; its Mediterranean gastronomy and its flavours fascinated me. On these hot summer days, cold and refreshing dishes are a must. I’ve decided to prepare a creamy roasted eggplant salad with flavours from Greek cuisine, and thus remember my days in Greece. You can find the recipe on my Instagram profile, where I explain step-by-step how to make this delicious dish.”

[Photo: Alejandra Rodriguez]

The Flavours Of Florence

April Blaszak – Solo traveller, photographer, outdoor enthusiast and blogger of The Unending Journey

“I don’t cook. Hate it. And as much as I try to add new things to try on my travels, that daring stops with food. I am simply not an adventurous eater. But when I think back on my adventures, there are a few places where food quickly pops into mind. Vietnam and mi xio ga go hand in hand. Belgium and chocolate cannot be separated. But for me, there is one food experience that leaves me salivating when I think of it and itching to go back.

“Italy is a food lover’s paradise, especially if you love pasta and gelato, which I do. But the pinnacle of Italian food, for me, lies in Florence with a classic Florentine dish. Venturing away from the busy tourist centre I was in a quiet street in a neighbourhood filled only with locals. A small trattoria caught my eye. Not sure why, as there was nothing fancy or appealing about it. The menu had horrible English translations. But something about ‘pasta, beef, milk, sauce’ sounded good.

“That first bite of penne strascicate was heaven! And every bite after that. When the waiter came to take my plate, you would never have guessed that there had been any food on it to begin with! And as amazing as the food in Florence is, every night for the three nights I was there, I visited my little trattoria and revelled in a plate of penne strascicate. I can’t wait to get back to Florence. Not for the history, the culture, or the art, but to rediscover the flavours and delight of penne strascicate.”

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