My Top 10 Favorite Travel Memories – Part II

This is a continuation of last week’s Blog Post: My 10 favorite travel moments. Here are my last 5 favorite memories, in order particular order.

Missed last week’s blog post? Find it here:

Selfie just outside of my infinity pool. Hello Pitons!
One of their sanctuaries. Image from
  • Staying in Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia

This luxury resort is built upwards in to the mountain side on Anse Chastanet Beach over-looking the Caribbean Sea. What makes this resort majestic are the rooms, which they call Sanctuaries (how boughie?!).  With the fourth wall entirely missing, I had an unobstructed view of the sea and the Pitons (even from my shower!). The best part, I could also embrace St. Lucia’s sweeping views from my in-room infinity pool that seemingly floated out in to nature. From the top-notch service to their organic cuisine, this is one of the finest and most unique resorts in the world. Want to know exactly how special this place is? They filmed the end of Jake Pavelka’s season on the Bachelor at this resort! Please don’t judge me. I have a lot of other redeeming qualities.



This was the view for miles.
  • Boat ride in the Algarve Region of Portugal

The Algarve is Portugal’s southernmost region that is known for its rugged cliffs, sweeping views, and superior beaches. The best way to see all this coastal beauty is to take a boat ride. I took mine in the town of Lagos. It was a very small boat – nothing impressive – but it didn’t have to be because what I saw spoke for itself. We traversed through sea caves and I had a front row view of the unique rock formations and stunning beaches that make up Algarve’s coast. Although seemingly a simple moment, those views have always stuck with me.  I think mainly because it took me by surprise. I didn’t have anything planned for the day and while aimlessly wandering I just happened to run in to this man offering boat rides by the sea. Now, it’s not common practice for me to get in to moving vehicles with strangers, but in this instance, I’m glad I did!



The adorable and friendly local butcher.
  • Chris Milano’s Food Tour in San Francisco, CA

I am obsessed with walking food tours. I try to do one in every place I visit. I love getting to know a place through its culinary history. It’s the best way to visit the city’s culinary hot spots, indulge in the region’s cuisine, and understand why each dish is culturally relevant. I have probably done upwards of 10 food tours in my lifetime and although they have all been great, Chris Milano’s Foodie Adventures in San Francisco is my favorite thus far. We booked a tour of the Mission District (San Francisco’s Latin area); a part of the city I would have never explored had it not been for this tour. And, if I know food, and trust me, I do, there is no better place to find authentic food than outside of the tourist area – where the locals eat. The food we tried in all 7 places was so unique and delicious. We visited a local butchery, tried local delicacies like Coconut Buns and Huaraches (a popular Mexican dish consisting of corn dough topped with beans, meat, and cheese) and learned a lot about the history of the district. I loved that this made me step outside of my comfort zone and try things I would have never ordered on my own.



The Pintxos offered on the bar top. So many options!
  • Eating Pinchos in San Sebastion, Spain

So, I’m not sure if you see a pattern here, but if not, here it is: I travel to eat. My favorite Instagram hashtag is #havefoodwilltravel. One of my top five favorite places I’ve ever visited is San Sebastian. It is a charming resort town on the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s Basque Country. What makes this place worthy of my dreams is that it not only has world renowned restaurants but also a bar food culture that you can’t find anywhere else. Welcome to the world of Pintxos. Dive right in – you won’t regret it. A Pintxo is a small regional specialty served at a bar and usually ordered with a beverage. You can either grab a simple snack from the trays sitting on the bar top or order one of their more specialized bites hot from the kitchen. Here is the fun part: I traveled from bar to bar looking for delicious bites to eat. But the Pintxo culture is about more than just the food, it is about the energy of each bar, the honor system in which you pay, the locals you meet along the way, and the stories that come with doing something new and unique. Wake up American: Spain’s version of a bar crawl is far more fun.



Making Pasta! Image from:
  • Market Tour and Cooking class in Bologna, Italy

Another one of my favorite things to do while on vacation is to learn how to cook the local delicacies, but here is the catch; I refuse to take just any cooking class. I don’t want to be stuck in a prop kitchen with 15 other people following one instructor. Where’s the charm in that? Instead, I prefer to find local people willing to bring me in to their home to teach me to cook. What better way to learn how to make pasta than in the kitchen of an Italian woman? This class in Bologna was my first foray into cooking with a local and has earned its place in my travel hall of fame. We met in the market, and over coffee, created our menu for the night. Then, we shopped like the locals do, in an outdoor market. Afterwards, we went back to her apartment in the city and prepped, cooked and told stories all night long. I learned to make pasta from scratch, that you could eat zucchini flowers (for the record – SO delicious), and that making pasta by hand takes a delicate touch. We got to sit with our teacher and her husband and eat the fruits of our labor. And yes, we even drank wine like the locals do – in mass quantities. Bueno!



What is your favorite travel memory? Tag Tina Knows Travel in your Facebook or Instagram posts or leave me a comment below.

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Tina Salloum
Tina Knows Travel, LLC
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