My Personal Eat, Pray, Love Saga

Over the weekend, the buzz over Eat, Pray, Love exploded all over the travel world. Anticipation for the movie based on the true life story of solo female traveler Liz Gilbert has led to one big conversation over the now released film. For now, it seems as if you either love it or you hate it. Personally, the story resonates moments in my life that puts a smile on my face. Whether you’re a world traveler or astonished by this newfound idea, the film will get to you in one way or another.

I thought about my own personal travels. I’ve done school trips to Europe, backpacked alone and was fortunate enough to even win a few trips. Needless to say, with Eat, Pray, Love one everyone’s mind, I’d like to think about my own personal saga and how I’d apply the following words.

Eat: Peru

For a country rich in culture and history, it is also rich in international cuisine. I’d like to call it the Culinary Capital of South America. Why?

Ceviche mixto piurano

Ceviche mixto piurano by juancarnat

Papas a la Huancaina

Papas a la Huancaina by Peruvian Cuisine

Lomo Saltado

Lomo Saltado by Peruvian Cuisine

Palta rellena

Palta rellena by gege2000frfr

I love Italian food, but there is something about South American cuisine that makes me want to hop on the next flight to Lima, Peru.

Pray: Hawaii

Hawaii wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice for a spiritual cleansing, but for me it absolutely was. In March, 2009, after being laid off and broken hearted, my luck turned around when I found out I won a free trip to Hawaii. Thinking I’d be sulking in a romantic place as a single, I found spiritual guidance in paradise.

The contest was promoted by a Christian University: The University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii. Regardless of life choices, religious affiliation, I was warmly welcomed and personally taken care of by the wonderful people at this campus. To this day, I keep in contact with the people I met who helped me through very tough times. As this was also my first solo trip, I was able to open my eyes and truly see that travel would be a part of my life forever.

How can you not find serenity and tranquility in a place like this?

Sunset beach, Hawaii

Sunset beach, Hawaii by Cougar-Studio

Rainbow Falls, Hawaii

Rainbow Falls, Hawaii by TerryMcT

hawaiian flower

hawaiian flower by daniellebabyx69

Love: Spain

If you’re expecting a fairy tale ending with some hot Spaniard native, keep dreaming. (I know I will.) I fell in love with many things in my few visits to this Spanish country. Recently, my no-reason solo trip to Barcelona in November made me realize a few things.

I love:

  • Sangria
  • The culture
  • The sights
  • The names of train stations
  • The realization that love is defined in many ways and is everywhere. (Couples are everywhere in Barcelona)
  • The ambiance of the lively city with friendly natives.
  • The fact I was able to get a ridiculous deal on a flight for $225 USD Round Trip from New York to Barcelona
  • Being a part of this heritage and wanting to find my roots.

But, pictures speak louder than words in this case: I absolutely love Spain and will find myself there again and again.

Alcazar de Toledo

Alcazar de Toledo by R.Duran

Barcelona sunset HDR

Barcelona sunset HDR by MorBCN

Barcelona sunset

Barcelona sunset by MorBCN

La catedral y el cielo - HDR

La catedral y el cielo – HDR by R.Duran

Have you seen Eat, Pray, Love? If you could substitute your own destinations, what would your choices be and Why?

16 Comments to “ My Personal Eat, Pray, Love Saga”

  1. Anonymous says :

    Wow! Great topic for a post. Hmmm…

    Eat: Florence. Ate SO MUCH GOOD FOOD during my semester abroad.
    Pray: Well, according to Facebook, my religious views are “Viva Las Vegas” and that kind of holds up…
    Love: France. Every time I return, no matter where, my heart swells with adoration. I’ve been a francophile since the age of 5 or so — I can’t get enough of it!

  2. Stacy says :

    Thanks for the challenge — interesting to think about. Here’s what I got:

    Eat: Thailand – Took a cooking class in Chiang Mai and ate more than was safely digestible. So good. The Thais are as devoted to pleasure as the Italians. Speaking of which…
    Pray: Vatican City – No matter your level of spirituality, the grandeur of the Basilica will bring you to your knees.
    Love: Ireland – I absolutely fell in love with the people, culture, and landscapes of County Cork and Western Ireland.

  3. AOBdolce says :

    Oh I love your answer for Pray!!!! How could I forget Vatican City. It poured all day when I went to visit the Basilica. It was such a spiritual blessing; a showering of emotions for me.

  4. AOBdolce says :

    Thank you! 🙂

    Florence had some AMAZING food. I took home a cookbook of Florentine (Is that the correct term? lol) cuisine!

    And, cute answer for pray! Mines is Ethics and Truth (Journalism nerd.) so Washington D.C. might be appropriate in that case.

  5. Great post!!! You saw my answers on FB already, but for me it would be Spain, Australia (play not pray), and Brasil. 🙂

    Barce is the best!

  6. Love it. Good travel blog idea too.
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring. Great read!

  7. Melissa Stanford says :

    this is a great post topic. Good job!
    Here’s my subs:

    Eat: New York City, United States. Is there any cuisine in the world not represented in this city, making it easy to sample the world’s finest (and worst) foods in one great locale?

    Pray: Mexico. The country is steeped in Catholicism. I came back feeling like I should convert.

    Love: Australia. I love everything about it! I met people with whom I am still great friends, and I love everything about the country. It’s my dream destination.

  8. Angie Main says :

    EAT – for me it’s got to be France…those pans au chocolat just make my morning…
    LOVE – Brasil…the country just oozes good feelings and romance!
    PRAY – Iona – a tiny island community off the coast of Scotland (my home country)..there is something magical about this place which you feel as soon as you step off the tiny ferry!

  9. Claire says :

    good post. i read the book (after holding out in protest, because i felt like i would be jumping on the crazed fan bandwagon) and just went to see the movie last weekend. side note-book is much better than the movie….in my opinion.
    EAT-India. LOVE indian food
    PRAY: Hmmm. Israel? The land where Jesus walked of course. I have been there twice, but would like to go back as a more mature person, and not with a group.
    Love: Guatemala. This is where I truly fell in love with experiencing the world.

  10. […] now famous writer of Eat, Pray, Love was once no more than a lone woman on a quest to see the world and find herself along the way. And […]

  11. Tanya says :

    Awesome post! Most of us travelers can easily relate to EAT, PRAY, LOVE. We should add PARTY to that list!!

    1. Michael says :

      Haha. Agreed on the party!

    2. AOBteresa says :

      That’s a good one to add!

  12. Runaway Brit says :

    Wow, I just found this post whilst browsing through a few blogs. What a great idea for a blog post. My nominations are:

    Eat. Greece. Kleftiko is simply the most divine food ever
    Pray. Japan – I loved the simple shinto temples there.
    Love. Cambodia. Great people, great country and I met my partner there 🙂

    1. Michael says :

      Ahh I can’t wait to visit Japan.

    2. AOBteresa says :

      GREECE! OPA! I am dying to go there. I cannot imagine how good the food must be. Great variety of places!