One of the things that I miss the most about travelling, is waking up and having that inner knowing that you are somewhere far away from your everyday reality and enjoying breakfast with this feeling lingering in the back of your mind. I don't know what it is about 'enjoying breakfast' while being away from home, but it has transformative abilities. I think that part of the reason is that breakfast for me is always a time for reflection. I'm a morning person and I relish in those early morning moments of philosophical 'a-ha's'. Breakfast is one of those meals that when organized correctly really is amazing. You have the quiet, reading the paper kind of breakfast which is amazing (and equally reflective) or you can have breakfast with your family/friends, where everyone is in that semi-awake state; more authentically themselves and highlighting what the day will bring. For me, I love both scenarios. However, when you're travelling, these moments are always intensified. At a hotel, you are often having breakfast with your family, surrounded by other travellers you'll never see again. Yet, you are drawn to them - Where are they from? What will the day bring for them? The inner-stylist in me loves to see what people are wearing and just people watch. I think the best moments of the day come when you can reflect like this. Then, you have the breakfast with your family that you are visiting or staying with. You get to sit down with them, catch up on all that's happened since you've last seen them or get excited about what you plan to do that day. Sometimes you even get to enjoy the type of breakfast where people come down in 'spurts' - you know the one where your Uncle is up at 5:30 making coffee, half of the family is making their way downstairs to the table, just talking , looking at the paper and talking politics, what's happening in the city etc. Then the 'late crew' wakes up just in time to eat with everyone else, some of them with just one eye open because they literally just woke up. I love being the observer of this type of scenario because everyone is just being themselves :) Plus, how awesome is it to see your family that you know you may not see again for a couple of years - you cherish these moments because they are the ones you will remember the most.
Now, I can't talk about breakfast while traveling unless I bring up the food. Visiting my family here in North America, it's usually pretty consistent - some type of toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee, orange juice etc etc. Then there is my favourite breakfast, the European continental - croissants, buns, a selection of breads/pastries, various sliced meats, cheese, yogurt, fruit, coffee with steamed milk (my favourite) and perhaps some hard-boiled eggs. I love the coffee and open faced sandwich idea for breakfast. I try to make a healthier 'bread' version by using the European Wasa oat-crackers with cheese, Baltic salami, a touch of mayo and salt/pepper. This somehow transports me back to Europe. However, I have to say that my 'favourite' breakfasts were in Paris. Since I'm the morning person, I'd wake up before everyone else, walk down to the local cafe (which was conveniently located across the street from the Patisserie-Bolougerie) and sit there with my Cafe au lait, people watching, thinking, philosophizing etc. Then when the Patisserie opened, I'd usually grab a few croissants or a quiche slice to bring back to the hotel. I had so many amazing moments during that trip and yet Breakfast was when I was able to let it all sink in. This brings me to the best part of breakfast - coffee. To me, coffee and reflection go hand in hand. No breakfast is complete without a good, strong cup of coffee. I often wonder how many amazing creative ideas, a-ha moments, plans, novel lines and inspiring moments came about during a morning cup of coffee. We all have those moments that are sacred for us. For me, it's usually a combination of traveling and breakfast where I feel the most connected and in-tune with life and those around me. Recognizing this is a true blessings in and of itself :)