“I can’t [tell you about travel] because I’m not allowed to travel.” Comedian Katherine Ryan, like most Britons, has been stuck in the UK for too long.
She said: “I want to travel more now that I’m not allowed.
“Now that I’ve not been allowed, I definitely need to go to Thailand, I need to go to China, I wish I was at the Tokyo Olympics.”
The feeling of being stuck in the UK may be felt by many Britons.
Katherine said: “A lot of Britons feel the same way that I do. All these countries moving around the red list, amber list, green list. We don’t have confidence to even try to go somewhere yet.”
One thing Katherine missed the most are all the different flavours that come with exploring a new country.
She explained: “Experiencing the local food and street food and cuisine is half of the joy of travelling. That’s part of what I really miss.”
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And for Katherine, food needs lots of flavours.
She said: “I’ve always loved Asian dishes and ginger and chillies and lime and coconut milk and those kind of flavours.”
The “East” is what attracts the comedian, “not just for flavour but the people and culture” and she’s adamant she’s “got to go as soon as I’m allowed”.
This year, like most Britons, Katherine didn’t fly anywhere. She opted for a staycation.
She said: “We went to the Cotswolds for a little bit in June, July, but even that was tricky.
“We felt we would be in the middle of nowhere and it would be alright. But we didn’t access to swimming in the same way, or restaurants. And it was tough for the kids to have fun, my daughter and other kids that I saw there.”
While her Cotswolds holiday may not have been as much of a success as she anticipated, she’s not averse to a bit of UK exploring.
She said: “I’ve been in Birmingham a lot. We’ve been filming series two of All That Glitters. I love Birmingham and I’ve been walking around the city.
“It’s mostly the walking outside and taking in the smells and sounds and languages and buildings that I miss.”
Katherine’s love affair with Birmingham even extends to the food.
She said she “went to the Indian restaurant that Tom Cruise was in.
“They were not as impressed to have me as a guest. It was not on Twitter, I did not go viral, I didn’t even get a photo with the owners.
“But they treated me the same as if I was Tom Cruise. It’s a wonderful restaurant, just really delicious, authentic, Indian flavours and I loved that.”
Speaking about food and travel, Katherine has surprising insights into places most Britons would not necessarily consider foodie destinations.
She said: “My favourite food has been in the North.
“I think that Glasgow is an early pioneer of vegan restaurants and vegan food.
“They get a bad reputation, people love to make jokes about Scotland not having any vegetables but that’s not true.
“The first vegan restaurants and juice bars that I found were in Glasgow. I started getting these amazing beetroot juices from there years ago, because I wanted to have energy on tour.”
She continued: “And then Leeds and Manchester were the first places that I saw doing Canadian poutine, which is chips and cheese and gravy.
“I know they love chips and cheese and gravy in the North but this is a special kind of cheese and they would have it.”
Katherine is going back on tour in October, and she will try and explore more of the UK.
She explained: “I realised I’ve had access to all the UK, I’ve been to almost every town and city but I need to spend some actual time there.
“It’s only the northern ones where I really get to relax because you have to stay overnight.
“I love Aberdeen, and I love Glasgow and obviously I always love going to Ireland, that’s where my family’s from.
“But this time, I’m going to take some good quality time in Swindon… I’m going to make an effort.”
Food-loving Katherine has teamed up with subscription box service Gousto and their Flavourlust event, which aims to bring the taste of red list countries to Britons in need of travel.
Gousto’s immersive Flavourlust event takes place on September 17 and 18 in London.
Britons can join Katherine Ryan on her food travels at Gusto Flavourlust on September 17.