I'm Tara.

I'm just a silly little girl who likes to go places and tell her silly little stories.

SLK documents the adventures I've had across 5 continents & who I've become on my journeys. 

You can read my full story here!

5 reasons to take a cooking class abroad

5 reasons to take a cooking class abroad

It's no secret that I love good food. One of the best parts of traveling to far away places is trying the local cuisine. Admittedly, it can sometimes be limiting being a vegetarian while traveling, but I want to try everything that I can! I've tried grasshoppers in Thailand and chapalele in Chile. I've had spicy jeow in Laos and gorged myself with falafel in Greece. It's ultimately part of the experience. 

Aside from eating the food, one of my favourite activities to partake in while abroad is to learn how to cook like the locals do! In Peru, Laos, France, and Greece cooking classes have been among some of my favourite memories in each new place. 

Let me persuade you to take a class while you're abroad!

making dolmades at cooking classes in Athens, Greece, 2014

making dolmades at cooking classes in Athens, Greece, 2014

1. You learn about the local culture

French cooking class taught me so much more than 'soup is sometimes served cold.' Over the course of a couple hours, I learned all about how France was the first country to ban supermarkets from throwing away unsold food. Instead, they must give it to charities or services that are similar. Similarly, in Peru, we learned about how the country's poverty has ultimately led its people to become more creative in the kitchen. There is such a connection between the food of a place and its culture, and taking a course in local cuisine is a great way to learn! 

2. You'll make new friends

In Laos, we 'made friends' with a couple of Parisian volunteers who had been working in Vang Vieng. In Greece, I exchanged e-mails with two girls who live currently in the same town where I grew up in England. In Peru, we ate at a tiny table for four with a couple from America on their yearly holiday. In France, well...people weren't entirely friendly... You get the point, though. Taking a cooking class is a great way to meet new people!

these potatoes are small and full of grooves. it's said that before a woman could get married, she had to prove herself to be good wife material by peeling one of these suckers to her future mother-in-law's approval, 2015

these potatoes are small and full of grooves. it's said that before a woman could get married, she had to prove herself to be good wife material by peeling one of these suckers to her future mother-in-law's approval, 2015

3. You'll gain new insight to what you've been eating

Tash and I once attempted to make our own food at our hostel in Arequipa, Peru. Little did we know the capsicums {bell peppers} we bought were actually chilis. I rubbed my eye chopping one and immediately learned my lesson. A few days later at cooking lessons in Cusco, we learned about the deceiving chilis. We also learned that there are over 1,000 varieties of potatoes. All because we took a cooking class in a tiny hole-in-the-wall kitchen in Peru. Most classes also offer a tour of the market or take you there to watch how the local people buy their food! Market stall scams, bartering tricks, what berries are in season, etc.-- you can learn it all by spending a few hours with a native chef. 

putting this photo on here in case I ever start to feel cool. #stayhumble #thatsmile , 2008

putting this photo on here in case I ever start to feel cool. #stayhumble #thatsmile , 2008

4. You'll get a cool souvenir...+ I'm not even into souvenirs...

Besides photos, new Master Chef skills, and possibly leftovers, the cost of every kitchen training class I've ever taken covers a cookbooks. That way you don't have to remember everything you learn or write down recipes as you go. Whether you keep it for yourself or give it to your grandmother, it's an extra takeaway and kind of special! 

part of our Lao dinner for four...enough food for an army, 2015

part of our Lao dinner for four...enough food for an army, 2015

5. You'll get more bang for your buck

I've ever taken a cooking class where I didn't leave as miserably stuffed as on Thanksgiving day. In Greece, for the cost of our class {on top of making friends, heaps of laughs, and a little dancing...} we made a dinner consisting of dolmades, eggplant and feta pies, roasted lamb, quiche, and potatoes {Greeks do food so right}. All of that on top of bottomless wine. I can't remember a time I was more full than after a cooking class. I always manage to leave with a year's supply of food in my belly, so trust when I say you get your money's worth. 

learning to make sticky rice in Laos with Grace, 2015

learning to make sticky rice in Laos with Grace, 2015

If nothing else, there is always a laugh to be had at every cooking class. I can't recommend signing up for one highly enough, guys!

Just try it and tell me how you like it, k?! 

a guide to temple etiquette

a guide to temple etiquette

3 fortunes, 1 Touk

3 fortunes, 1 Touk