Recollecting past travel experiences, often fond memories contain food related highlights. A warm, freshly cooked waffle cone served at the San Diego Zoo, my initial introduction to whipped cream chocolate mousse at the Coronado Hotel, and cotton candy, popcorn, fried-dough, and ice cream delectable creations at theme parks, all serve up a culinary vision of gorging on the unhealthy as a child. Travelling to these locations again, now occupying an adult body, these tasty memories cast a shadow, recognizing that consuming crap creates a catastrophic result leaving depression, fat, and low self-esteem in their wake.

Yet was it the fantasy-filled memory of food or some other aspect that correlated with the palette? Vacation contains magic that transforms our senses, replenishes the relaxation drought, reintroduces joy where depleted, and exposes our day-to-day to different experiences that spark and jar us away from the settling in of comfort. Happiness can easily wash away when we stay within the comfortable lines of life. Crossing into new territory is necessary to charge deadened, lazy, low energy batteries. Removing ourselves from our environments, taking a different route from any norms, and challenging oneself with new endeavors, help relinquish same-old, same-old, and light fires within our hearts and souls.

Therefore, vacation fits these elements of change, enabling one to experience new horizons with heightened senses. When the taste palette is exposed to novel experiences, even first bites, and last bites of food have a greater excitement consciously or subconsciously. New foods that sweeten the sensations can carry a memory long-term heightened by the awareness of exquisite ecstasy, illuminating the experience beyond recurrence. Attempting to recreate that palpable moment is typically disappointing. The parameters that set the stage for the tasting experience cannot be replicated, as the people, timing, do-over actions are not repeatable.

Hence, a memory is just a memory, living its life of fortitude, happily within one’s mind and heart.  Food memories, although dauntingly delectable cannot replace the feelings that correlate with the experience, the where and when, the who and how, often greater than the what. The repercussions of attempting to establish repeatable food memories is futile, and may impede the initial grandeur of its origin. Each food experience contains a different palette from which to paint. Recognizing, this will paint many happen returns only when expecting new results. “It’s a horse of a different color.” (Wizard of Oz)