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Sure, people and statues are great, but my favorite part of travel is the food. Not just how delicious and varied it is but also the act of gathering around a table and sharing a meal. Maybe my Italian heritage is the cause. Growing up with a great cook for a mom and a family that always ate dinner together (including as a big group at every holiday) made eating an enjoyable, social experience. In junior high, my best friends and I spent every Sunday afternoon at a low brow steakhouse with an all-you-can-eat salad bar because of the ritualistic camaraderie of the meal. Even now, my ideal night out is a long dinner (plus drinks and dessert, of course) with a small group of friends. We’ve often been asked to leave after conversation and wine overflowed the restaurant’s operating hours. While I don’t remember every famous landmark that I’ve seen abroad, I can recount plenty of excellent meals in vivid, mouth-watering detail.

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Magnifying Glass IconThis post is part of our Travel Product Review series. At Tortuga Backpacks, we love to find the perfect tool for the job. We couldn’t find the perfect travel backpack, so we created it. When we find other great products, we like to let you know about them with a review. The following review was unpaid and unsolicited. It reflects the opinion of its author only and is based on his/her own experiences.

Traveling, especially through airport security, is a horrendous hassle. Thanks, TSA! In addition to your bags, you must carry your ID, ticket, and something to entertain yourself with on the flight. While passing through the security line, you can’t keep these valuable items in your pockets. You can either throw them loose into a bin and risk losing them or jam them into your bag and pray you can find them later. Once you reach your seat, you must juggle which items go in the overhead compartment, which go under the seat, and which you want at your fingertips, all while other passengers push past you to get to their seats. Fret no longer, loyal readers, there is a solution: Scottevest travel clothing.

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A brief summary of the awesome-est things I had the privilege of seeing and doing in 2010, organized by country:

India

Cities visited: Hyderabad, Delhi, Agra

Taj Mahal in Agra India
(Photo: tehzeda)

Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal looks far more spectacular in person. Even the best pictures do not do it justice. Fun facts:

  • Built by Mughal emporer Shah Jahan as a tribute to and mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Awww, how sweet
  • Designed to be a symmetrical octagon
  • Wearing shoe covers is required to protect the gleaming white exterior and petrol-based vehicles are not allowed in the surrounding area

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