Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits


In a Foreign Country, Do You Enjoy Visiting a Grocery Store?

October 20th, 2015

Episode 149 of 540 episodes

Somehow, I’d never noticed how interesting I found it to visit grocery stores in foreign countries. For some reason, this didn’t occur to me as a “real” thing to do, so I never thought about it — and never went out of my way to visit a grocery store when I was traveling. The other day, though, some friends and I got in an animated discussion about the joy of visiting grocery stores while traveling. And I realized, “This is a real thing, other people feel the same way! It’s fun to visit a grocery store in a foreign city. It deserves to be a proper stop, just like a museum or a monument.” It’s a window into a different culture. It’s fascinating to see the unfamiliar packaging and food items. I still remember the first time I saw unrefrigerated soft cartons of milk in a French supermarket. Now that I’ve consciously realized how much I enjoy doing this, I’ll make sure to do it on every trip. How about you? Do you like to visit grocery stores when you travel? Are there other things you like to do, as well as the traditional sight-seeing, as a way to engage more deeply with a new place?

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