When traveling I always try the local foods and end up inspired. For example, while in Costa Rica I feasted on Chayote, Escabeche and Gallo Pinto. In Southeast Asia I devoured chili sauce and loved the steamed fish with lime and mint sauce. They make the best sandwiches at Primanti's in Pittsburgh PA with the meat, cole slaw and french fries right on the sandwich. When possible I ask for recipes, always take notes and let my mind wander on the various ways I can recreate dishes using other ingredients and flavors.
The ultimate goal is to make it something that ties regional flavors into something that is uniquely my style. Thinking about the foods I have eaten from all ends of the earth allows me to be more creative when I cook. It also lets me add a twist on original recipes.