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I’m not a big coffee drinker. By that, I mean I don’t have to drink a cup every day when I wake up. However, I do like coffee, and I’m always on the lookout for that perfect cup.
As a travel blogger, I tend to spend quite a bit of time in cafes. If I had the choice, I’d probably pick a hot chocolate or a chai latte. But coffee does serve other purposes than just tasting good. More than one chiropractor suggested a cup of coffee for headaches, as I used to get migraines often. It works! If I start to feel the ache coming on, I’ll get a small cup, and the result is nearly instantaneous.
Coffee is also good when I haven’t had enough sleep, and need to get that blog post done before I take a nap. Or on a cold, rainy day. Or…
Then there are the drinks that you just have to try at least once. Like Bosnian coffee when you visit Mostar, Bosnia. Similar to Turkish “kahva,” it’s easily the thickest coffee I’ve ever drunk. Or “cham” in Kuala Lumpur, a mixture of tea and coffee.
Since I’ve been in Edinburgh, I’ve truly come to understand and appreciate artisan coffee. There are hundreds of these cafes in the city, each a little more quaint than the last. I spend most of my time in Brew Lab, where the coffee is feckin’ delicious and the internet is fast. Problem is they’re usually bursting at the seams, so getting a table can be tough.
The only problem with all those cups was that I had them alone.
What truly makes the perfect cup of coffee is who you get to drink it with.
Sweden is certainly not known for the quality of their instant coffee. But enjoying a Swedish fika (coffee time) in a lighthouse on a tiny island with wonderful friends was more memorable than the best espresso in Italy.
Hannah was one of the very first people I met in my travels, and although she probably has no recollection of me, I’ll never forget her introducing me to a chai coffee at Cafe Ronak. I only had a couple hours to chat with her, which wasn’t nearly enough. Sure, the coffee was fantastic, and was actually one of my first cups of artisan coffee. While that was only a couple weeks into my travel in Bristol, it was one of those moments when I really understood why I traveled. Finding that perfect cup of coffee or the best meal was a large factor. Finding that new friend to drink it with was all the more so.
Some people think that traveling is scary or dangerous. Others consider themselves introverts and don’t like to strike up a conversation with a random person at a cafe, even in their hometown. I think that the most important part of travel is meeting new people around the world. Traveling is about getting outside your comfort zone and experiencing something new.
After all, we’re all from Earth, and part of the human race.