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What should a single foodie with a vacation do?

Okay, I'm looking for suggestions on how to put these pieces together.

-I've just become recently single
-I had a vacation planned for late the last week of March with my former-girl that I'm not eager to take alone
-My bonus check for the year just came in so I've got some leeway in terms of money
-I'm in my late 20s

So I'm scouting suggestions. I was wondering if there's a cooking class or tour that would be appropriate. I've never done one before and worry they would tend to be all couples or retirees (don't get me wrong, I'll hang out with anyone. I'm looking for the chance to meet some neat people, and it would be nice to find folks that are interested in hanging out with me).

Basically I'm looking for general suggestions. As someone who's interested in cooking and eating, whose got some time and money on his hands, what can I do that would be a unique but still social experience? Thoughts?

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  1. there are sooo many options depending on your budget, and preferences concerning climate, cuisine, demographic, other activities, and culture.

    do a google search for "cooking vacation" - you won't believe how many web sites there are to check out.

    1. Do what I did, get on a flight to Rio,the vibe is amazing, the food is beyond words, the hills and beaches have to be seen, and the women.... Well see for your self. take the leap. Good luck.

      1. Cooking classes at Club Med Bora Bora in the French Polynesia. It doesn't get any better...

        1. A few more details migh be helpful: Do you want something structured? What about an independent trip? How much time do you have? What was the previous vacation plan? What is more important--meeting someone new or just having a good hound time?

          1. Perhaps Vegas? Or Rio? If you want to travel a greater distance, Bangkok would be a good place for a single guy. I've known a lot of single guys who went there by themselves and had a great non-PG-13 rated vacation (not my thing, but maybe yours?). Anyway, Bangkok's got a lot of great restaurants, street food, markets, shopping, cooking classes and nightlife. And there is so much to see and do there that I don't think you will feel alone. My sister was traveling in Bangkok by herself last year and had no trouble meeting people. When traveling in Thailand, I found the majority of them to be extremely nice and friendly.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Miss Needle

              Miss Needle. You minx you. Thailand would be my choice also but at the time I lived in South America and air fare was quite cheap. But a fine choice indeed

              1. re: Miss Needle

                Yes, yes. Thailand is great fun, great food, and cooking classes all over. The classes at The Oriental Hotel in Bangkok are famous, but there are classes in Phuket, Chang Mai, just about anywhere you'd want to go. If you have both money and time, you'll have a blast and won't think of your ex for a second.


              2. There are great cooking classes all over the USA. Google that and see what each offers. Maybe there is a "singles" cooking class somewhere. I myself, would go to Italy.

                1. Not sure if this would be exactly what you're looking for or not but there are a lot of good places to eat in Las Vegas and it's a great place to visit single.

                  1. what languages do you speak?

                      1. You might consider a commercial or supported bike trip. By this, I mean a trip that's organized by someone else--they plan the route, book the hotels, carry your luggage, etc. All you do is pedal and have a great time. You can go anywhere in the world this way. It has lots of up sides: you can be alone when you want to and with others when you'd prefer (e.g,. ride alone all day, ride in the morning with someone and a diff person in the afternoon...you get the drift). You see the area in a completely diff way than if you were in a car or a bus or a train--most of the rest of the world treats bikes as a form of transportation, not as a kids' toy (as we do here in the US). You won't believe how easy it is to meet people. You can bum a ride in the van if you don't feel like riding. You get the economy of travelling with others but still have a lot of independence. Breakfasts and sometimes dinners are included but you're on your own for lunch, so lots of opportunities for exploring. You can rent a bike from the company, you don't have to bring your own. Either way, they always have a mechanic on the trip.

                        Biggest perk: you can eat like a teenager. Don't think that cyclists treat their bodies like temples--most people do these types of trips so that they can eat and drink all day and all night. Seriously, you can stop at wineries, breweries, bakeries, cheese makers, foie gras farms, markets, and even non-food places like museums and cathedrals.

                        There are lots of companies that offers tours, everything from you carry your stuff in paniers and camp at night, to full-service, five-star hotel tours. The difficulty levels (i.e., how in shape or experienced you have to be, the average daily mileage) varies widely too. A good place to start is rei.com click on REI Adventures. If you still want to go in March, you'll probably be looking at Central or South America (I *loved* Costa Rica), the South Pacific (Australia, New Zealand), or southeast Asia. Don't be afraid to call the companies and pick their brains. The best companies hire tour leaders who are native to or who at least live in the country you're visiting, b/c there is a huge diff between knowing the country and knowing the language.

                        And no, people who go on these trips are not all couples or retirees. There are lots of singles and some families (though probably not in March). I've had the opportunity to travel with people from other countries, too. The one thing everyone has in common is that they're all active and very inquisitive, fun people--if they weren't, they'd be sitting on a tour bus rather than a bike!

                        Bon voyage!

                        1. My first thought was....send me that spare ticket! I'll come join you! Last year I looked into a similar vacation of food, travel, people, activities with some structure but also plenty of alone time. Intrepid Adventures had a couple of really interesting trips that combined the local markets/wineries/sightseeing with biking, hiking, whitewater rafting etc...the groups are small and the locations vast. Worth checking out, given your timeframe you might be able to find something on a 'last minute' cheap.


                          i was looking into the chile/argentina trip but sadly the timing didn't work for me.

                          1. Hello. I went to Paris last year, which is a great place for a single guy to go alone. I can't speak for cooking classes, but I speak a bit of French and the restaurants were fantastic to me as a single diner. (I was 27 then). The one 3 star I went to (about 325 euros) was a tad less formal in a good way, which I appreciated, and they know you're there to experience what they have to offer. Paris is also a great city for drinking, easy to get around, relatively safe (same as New York) and relatively good beer and wine are downright cheap, so you can blow that bonus on the super-high end three stars.

                            I'm not the most extroverted person but I had a great time overall. If I do the same type of thing again I'm looking at San Sebastian and Madrid.

                            1. Did anyone say Napa (or any N CA wine country) yet? Maybe it's not unique, but it fits the rest of your criteria.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: yamalam

                                Not really the type of place I'd think of when I think of single guy on vacation, but San Francisco itself with a short foray into Napa or Sonoma might be fun.

                                1. re: yamalam

                                  I found Napa an awful choice for singles. Couples everywhere. I took some wine classes there, which were great, but recreationally, I was really bored. It would have been more fun with a partner.

                                2. BostonBomber - Just curious what you ended up doing. I am finding myself in a similar boat, wanting to take a cooking vacation but having the same worries. Please LMK

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: zefhenri

                                    Since this is the one and only post by BostonBomber on CH back in March 2008, either he got back together with his former-girl and did whatever they were originally planning to do on vacation, or he forgot he posted a query here and did whatever. Not sure we'll ever know what he did.

                                  2. Hey there,

                                    Sorry you're in your 20s or I'd offer to take the other ticket!

                                    Seriously, I have twice taken cooking classes in Thailand, once at the Oriental. With the dollar in the tank, Thailand is a good choice.

                                    I would also look at Australia. They have been experiencing a tremendous foodie revolution for the last two decades. There must be classes there! I do know that some of the smaller vineyards will let you volunteer to help bring in the grapes, but I am not sure if that timing would work for you. I lived in Australia, and I wish I had emigrated!

                                    Have fun and embrace your singlehood. I love going to nice restaurants with a good read. I have never felt uncomfortable in any country doing so, and indeed I think sometimes the servers admire the intrepid woman or man who just loves the food and the rest be d@mned!

                                    1. Check out the Gourmet web site. They did an issue recently about cooking vacations all over the world. Pick your preferred destination, and have a blast!