In our ongoing series of travel/food-blogger Q&As, we meet Andrea Spirov of Inspiring Travellers, which she runs with her partner, John, out of Norway (for now). Their blog aims to inspire others to get up and see the world, and of course seeing is also eating—there’s plenty of food coverage on their site as well. Check out their EYW profile for some of their favorite regional dishes, from Jordan to Australia.
Andrea and John in Cartagena
Tell us a little about your site, and what inspired you to start it.
The goal of our site is to inspire people to travel. We were travelers long before we started the blog, but when we decided to take a yearlong sabbatical we thought it might be fun to interview other travelers along the way, because we always met really interesting, inspiring people on the road. As the site evolved, we ended up writing more about our own adventures and that has taken us to where the site is now. We still try to promote other voices by accepting guest posts from other bloggers and travelers.
In a nutshell, why do you travel?
I think it is equal parts curiosity and restlessness. When I’m stuck in one place, I start to feel a bit stagnant and in need of a fresh injection of ideas and inspiration. The world is so much more accessible to more people now than it ever was, with cheap flights and the internet—and so I’m constantly learning about new places to explore. It’s only natural, then, that I just want to go!
What’s your dining philosophy on the road?
Try everything and don’t hold back. And while I always make sure to sample the local dishes, I keep it international, too. I like to know what cities have, for example, the best Indian food (one of my favorites), and I enjoy learning about the gastronomic and cultural influences that immigration has had on a particular city.
What they call a “mind-blowing curry” in London
Where are you now, and what’s the best (local) thing to eat there?
We have barely scratched the surface of the local cuisine in Stavanger, Norway, where we live. Norway is an interesting place for food because while there are many traditional “Norwegian” foods and delicacies, they are not as in your face as you would think. At least not in Stavanger. The more I talk to people, the more it seems like many of the food staples are made at home by people in the more regional areas—I need to get to know more Norwegians to explore things like this. And some of the things are really unexpected. I just learned this weekend that they make some kind of special ginger ale in Trondheim. I really need to explore more.
What’s your favorite city for food, and why?
Has to be New York City. Where else can you find every type of cuisine you can think of such a short distance from each other?
You have friends traveling to your hometown. What iconic foods do you insist they eat there?
I don’t really have a place I can claim as a hometown, so I’ll throw this question to John. His hometown is Perth, Western Australia, and he says fresh seafood from Kailis Bros is a must (and I agree!).
Christmas cookies at my maternal grandparents’ house were always a favorite for me. I never saw her make them—it must have been such a huge production, because when we’d show up for the holidays there would always be this tremendous spread of different cookie varieties. I can still remember the spread and my favorite type: a soft butter cookie filled with a thin layer of jam, the ends dipped in chocolate and chocolate sprinkles. Whenever I bake for the holidays, I always try to make a few different types of cookies, but I can never find the patience to do more than three varieties!
Photos courtesy of Inspiring Travellers