Hi! Welcome to Pancakes & Postcards. I’m Courtney, a 25-year-old, redheaded, half-Turkish California girl with a passion for adventure. I love food and the preparation and the enjoyment of it. I love all sorts of outdoor and fitness activities, especially running, dancing (any type), rock climbing, hiking, water and snow sports, and anything that gets me outside or that gets my adrenaline pumping! I also have a deep love for music, for writing and for reading—anything that makes me laugh or makes me think (preferably both). I like to run even though I am not very good at it, who cares?
I studied International Development and Political Science/International Relations at UCLA (Go Bruins!), which not only instilled a deep fascination with the world around me, but also gave me the desire to spend my life making that world a better place in any way that I can. I’ve been bitten by the travel bug—and bitten hard. I decided to join the Peace Corps and served as a health volunteer in Mozambique, Africa from September 2008-November 2010. Being in the Peace Corps was crazy–though much different than I expected. If you´re interested in how I came to be a Volunteer, check out the Peace Corps/Moz tab on the top of the blog.
My time in Mozambique reaffirmed my love for travel and my desire to see more of the world and work overseas throughout my life. At this point in my life I have visited 21 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia and hope to visit 100 more before I die!
Before moving to Africa, I had never really thought twice about food or nutrition. I lived in the residence halls for all four years (I was an RA), ate healthy sometimes, unhealthy a lot of the time, but I always felt like I took care of myself and that I was in good shape. It wasn’t until moving to a place where I had very little access to nutritious food and had to work hard to stay in shape, after transitioning to a mostly desk-based job and a mostly carb-based diet, that I became really interested in food and and healthy (and balanced!) eating.
I hope to combine my loves of travel, eating, and healthy and happy living free of obsession and deprivation, into a life spent traveling the world, exploring new countries, cultures, and gastronomy, and writing about it to share with whoever might want to hear!
Life update: I’m now living in San Francisco and loving the city, especially the running, the active pursuits, and the food… oh, the food. I’ve fallen in love with this city and hope to share as much as I can of this amazing place here on P&P!
About the Blog
After spending a few months reading different healthy living blogs, mostly to get inspiration for healthy food creations with my limited variety of ingredients, I created Pancakes & Postcards in Spring 2010. I wanted to blog to have a creative outlet, to combine my loves for writing, travel, and healthy living, and also to provide a way to communicate with the world around me from my bamboo hut in Africa. Technical difficulties and lack of access to good internet made blogging a bit difficult, but I did what I could with what I had. The blog will grow with me and change as my situation and my location do–I’m now in a bustling metropolise instead of a hut on the Indian ocean--but my primary goals for P&P are to provide insight into the places, cultures and gastronomy that I have the opportunity to experience, and to chronicle my ongoing pursuit of a healthy and happy life.
This is NOT a traditional food blog. I am NOT a great cook, a master baker, or an exceptional chef. I am NOT a talented photographer who can make bean curd look more appetizing than a decadent chocolate cake. I do NOT post everything I eat–I am of the firm belief that no one would actually want to see that!
What I AM is a person who loves food, especially DIFFERENT food from other cultures and culinary traditions, who likes to LEARN about food and SHARE it with others. I like EASY and HEALTHY recipes, FUN restaurants, DARING street food. I’ll try anything once. I think the worst word that can be used to describe food is BLAND. For an explanation of why I chose to do a food blog and my food philosophy, check out this post.
I’m also an aspiring runner. One marathon down and I still use the word “aspiring”… running and I have a complicated relationship we’re currently trying to work out… as you’ll read about here!
Pancakes and Postcards is devoted to my adventures, both culinary and global! This blog is my adventures embodied… I hope you enjoy the ride with me : )