Home Sweet Home

by Liz Caskey on September 28, 2011

This week I am on a flash “trip” at home in Santiago between my latest viaje in Argentina and upcoming three-week US tour starting this weekend. More on that at the end of this post.

Traveling like a fiend for business this past year has made me truly understand, and appreciate, the phrase,“There’s no place like home”. As I go from one destination to the next, one airport to another, I started to really reflect on what home means to me; what makes a place home. Does it depend on family and friends? The place itself? A feeling? I would say all of the above plus some creature comforts that you miss by the end of a trip.

I should qualify that while I have become endeared with homecomings from trips, I certainly have an insatiable wanderlust that penetrates the depths of my heart, and has, since I was a little girl. It’s something I cannot shake, I won’t get over EVER, as it’s part of the essential fabric of my being. And I am thankful to be able to travel so much since I know that it fundamentally changes me, for the better, with each and every trip.

That being said, here are five things I totally relish about being home in Santiago de Chile right now:

Cooking

In my business of culinary & wine travel, there is certainly one amazing meal after the next. By the end of a week, I am basically c-r-a-v-i-n-g a big bowl of stir-fried veggies or a huge green salad. Wine? I’ll pass. I love eating out until I have done it to the point of saturation. I am a cook. I start to get antsy if I cannot chop an onion for a whole week or make a pot of stock. I have even pleaded with hotel kitchens to let me clean the spinach for my salad. I need to have my hands in the ingredients. My weekly ritual of eating and cooking heavily involves Santiago’s vibrant fresh markets like La Vega. I miss my caseros who give me the best produce to transform, like alchemy, into wholesome meals whose fat content, exact ingredients, and final texture I can completely control. It is a luxury when you’re on the road to have a home-cooked meal. But more than eating by myself at home, it’s also knowing that at lunch and dinner, I sit down with my husband to share. That is truly the taste of home.

Not All Beds Are Equal

Let’s face it, as humans, the home may be our larger “nest” but bed is where we recharge our bodies every night. Not all beds are made equal. Comfort from the mattress itself to fresh 400-count Egyptian sheets, a cool, silent bedroom, and good blackouts are a must. While I am lucky to stay in mostly deluxe hotels with great beds, it’s still a hotel. Your own bed is a safety zone, much like the blankey we had as kids (err, well I did at least!). There’s something reassuring that feels so good when crawl back into it. I, for one, sleep like a baby that first night back.

Well-being Every Day

While I religiously follow Bodyrock workouts every day in my home gym, on the road, I get pooped and they become more intermittent. An early, full day of activities or meetings, followed by a lunch with wine and lengthy dinner, I get really tired. Going for a run seems, somehow, very secondary to another 30 minutes of hitting the snooze button. Once I get home and am back in my routine, even though my hours are the same, I somehow effortlessly wake up at dawn to workout. I get to see my amazing acupuncturist every week. I feel vital. That’s not to say that I don’t feel awesome when I travel. It’s simply a different stimulation for the mind and soul.

Reflection

One of my daily habits is to wake up early, meditate and read. It’s one of my sacred moments of silence. Of reconnecting with something larger than myself. I don’t like being rushed in the morning either. I need time to pull myself together to confront the day and be mentally ready to crush it. In these moments, I often have insights into the experiences I just lived on the trip. In the midst of travel, you’re in a perpetual state of sensory overload—new sights, sounds, tastes, smells, textures, people. It can be overwhelming–or mostly exciting. Then you arrive home and it all settles. All of a sudden, there’s an AHA. Perhaps it emerges as a new direction I want to take in life in general or business, a blog post (umm, like this one?), a product, or something I now comprehend on a larger experiential level. A shift in consciousness. Something that would have been impossible to understand without going through the process of that trip and coming out on the other side.

People

When I am on the road alone, or with clients, and leave my husband at home with our cats, I suffer. We are very united and for long periods of time (anything over a few days), it is trying and I feel like I leave half my heart at home (I do…). Talking on the phone twice per day is not the same. It’s also not the same to maintain my friendships through e-mail and get togethers every 3-4 months, which seems to have been the case as of late with my schedule (working on that!). Part of what makes home is the people. Your family, friends, pets, caseros, even the characters in your neighborhood like the organ grinder on Sundays or the whistling dude who washes everybody’s cars on Parque Forestal. People are what make a place. The more I travel, while daily life can be different on a physical level, we all experience the same things as human beings. Above all, we want to be accepted, loved, supported, and have a place to call home.

Details on my US Road Show

So back to my upcoming USA road trip since some of you are asking. I will toot my horn for two seconds. After a couple days to see family in Saint Augustine, Florida, I will be a chef at Disney’s Epcot Food & Wine Fest. I would LOVE if you guys who are in the Orlando area could join me on Thursday, October 6 and Sunday, October 9 for live culinary demos (quinoa salad) and pairing with Emiliana Orgánico’s delicious wines. If I have not met you, please come and introduce yourself. I will be tickled pink!

Next stop is Texas, as “y’all” know, one of my favorite states in the US. I will be back at Central Market’s cooking school kicking off a South American Entertaining & Wine Pairing Class where we’ll be “traveling” through recipes, wines, and dynamic presentation through Chile & Argentina’s wine country. We’ll be pairing local appetizers from Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay with the lush wines from Torrontés to Malbec to Chilean Syrah. Classes are: October 10 in Austin andOctober 12 in Houston. There are a few seats left, so sign up soon at links above. I would love to see you all! There will be lots of delicious food, wine, and fun.

In between Central Market gigs, I will be hosting private client events with some of our favorite repeat travelers and their friends. In Dallas, I’ll be hosting a talk with our local partner, Epicopia about the Culinary Signature Tours to South America for small groups that I am personally leading in 2012 in Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. Hope you can all join in. Please drop us a line if you need more information about any of the events. Hasta pronto!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: