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5 Tips for Making it Through an Unappetizing Meal Abroad

It is generally well agreed upon that ‘good travellers’ try new things along the way. Keeping an open-mind, we willingly exposed ourselves to fresh behaviors, smells, sounds, tastes, and activities. Afterall, this is the whole point of adventure vacations. These are the experiences we travel for in the first place. They form lasting memories and often change the outcome of our future.

But here’s the part that people rarely like to talk about: sometimes these “experiences” are terrible! – well, at least from our perspective.

The proof is in the numbers. The more you try, the higher the probability you’ll discover something you don’t like every so often. More often than not, these “traveller’s landmines” come in the form of food. I know I’ve been on the receiving end of suspiciously undercooked cuisine. After you’re reassured that “it’s okay – that’s just how they do it here,” what are you supposed to do except scarf it down with a smile?

Although these experiences are often looked back upon as fond memories, it’s pretty tough going when you’re actually in the moment. Here are five tips to help you make it to dessert.

1 » Stick To Your Decision

Being decisive is very important. Rarely will you be obligated to eat. It helps to decide right away whether you’re going to eat or not. Flip-flopping will only make things worse.

2 » Keep An Open Mind

Although you may be certain you’re not going to enjoy a meal, reserve the chance that you are honestly mistaken. After all, you’re being served a meal that at least someone thinks is appetizing. Discover what it is about this meal that is supposedly enjoyable.

3 » Don’t Over Think It

The worst thing you can do is psych yourself out. Try to lose yourself in conversation while you eat and you may get through it without even noticing.

4 » Do What The Romans Do

Nobody likes a complainer. If you’re truly hating your meal, try not to draw attention to yourself. That means blending in. If people are eating with their hands – grab that food. If people are picking up their soup bowl and slurping – slurp away.

5 » Reserve Judgement For Later

Honesty is often the best policy, but no one likes to be told their favourite dish is inedible. I tend to provide honest feedback if asked, but leave out the extreme criticism and laughter!