How Jase Seeks Adventure

Adventure is about open-minded exploration of new ideas - I find that most often when exploring through food.

I believe adventure is found when we open ourselves up to what scares us and venture smiling into the unknown. Adventure is where open-mindedness meets novelty - with a dash of danger. When I travel, my goal is to break my routine and experience something new, something exciting, maybe something a little scary. It’s not always easy to accomplish; some trips end before I can break free of my shell.

I don’t particularly enjoy traditional tourist destinations. I prefer a lovingly overgrown little park to a world-famous museum, a cozy hole-in-the-wall bar over a Michelin-starred restaurant. By trying new things and learning what I tend to vibe with, I’ve started to understand how I open myself up, how I ready myself for my desired adventures. My absolute favorite way to engage with a place is by exploring through food.

Seattle Skyline photo by Robert Ritchie on Unsplash

My first visit to the Pacific Northwest was in 2013 with my best friend, Anthony. We decided to take a trip to Seattle to check out the area as college was ending. He and I hadn’t yet traveled together, but we spent a lot of time together at home. Up to this point, we mainly spent our time playing video games or talking about philosophy. Even then, though, food was a big connector for us; we enjoyed pushing each other’s boundaries - both by visiting new restaurants and cooking new dishes together. It’s easy to look back and see the strong through-line of food adventurous-ness, but we hadn’t consciously recognized that shared love at the time.

After landing in Seattle, we dropped everything in our room, grabbed a bratwurst and some beers, then went right back to the hotel to nap and watch TV until dinner. We quickly fell into a cycle of food, rest, food, food, nap, food, food, drinks & food, sleep, repeat. You read that right, we would often find ourselves having a light lunch, then a snack, maybe a sweet treat and an appetizer, then we’d take a break to rest & digest (and research more unique places to try) before doing it all again next meal!

We had bratwursts with house-made sauerkraut and beer at The Wurst Place (the first time we’d seen a growler at all, naturally we bought one and filled it up), went to the hotel and drank from the growler while watching Chopped, went to a grocery store to get some basic sandwich gear to feed ourselves between excursions, shared a spread of delightful plant-based tacos at El Borracho, and had gelato while meandering around town trying to catch glimpses of the space needle.

Anthony and I relished trying so many restaurants and dishes in such a short time, and we connected deeply with the area as a result. Since that trip, I strive to find local spots off the beaten path. I find a place by finding the local mom-and-pop restaurants and ordering something I’ve never heard of. I become “Adventurous Jase” by turning off the laziness of home and embracing the weird and wild of wherever I am.

Even years later, we still use “Seattle-style” to denote that feeling pulling us towards culinary exploration. We like to do an occasional “Anthony & Jase mess-around” locally, where we release from the ordinary and eat at 3+ restaurants in one evening. Food remains a primary motivator for our adventures, and allows us to connect with places through something we both deeply love.

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- Jase


Cover Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash