“The best way to learn about a destination is through its flavors.” That’s the travel philosophy of Rachelle Lucas, founder and editor of TheTravelBite.com and the next guest for our Travel Talk blog series.
So how does one become a travel and food blogger? In Rachelle’s case, quite by accident! When she felt she wasn’t living her life to the fullest, she left her marketing job in the banking industry to move to Florida and become an inn keeper. When the inn decided to start blogging, it chose Rachelle to lead the charge.
From there, Rachelle discovered her love for sharing recipes and travel stories through a blog. She is no longer an innkeeper, but continues to travel, blog, and try new food all over the world. We asked her to answer a few questions so we could learn more about the fabulous exotic cuisine she has tasted from every corner of the planet.
1) We’ve read that you quit your office job, opened an inn in Florida, and the rest is history. What sparked this decision, and was it a difficult one to make?
What sparked the decision is that I didn’t feel I was my true “authentic” self. Many of my friends were happy working downtown in an office environment, but I always looked out the window with a longing for something different. I was successful. I had a great job with a big desk and my own office. I just wasn’t happy. After staying at a bed-and-breakfast and mingling with the innkeepers all morning, I was hooked! Their 9-5 seemed more like my Saturday morning. After that, it wasn’t a hard decision to make. The most difficult part in any goal or dream is identifying what you want. Once you have that in mind, it’s just about enjoying the journey and the process.
2) Do you mostly travel domestically or internationally?
Right now, it’s mostly been international. I just got back from Hong Kong and my next trip is to Holland. Though, last time I counted how many states I’d been to I was right around 20. So there’s still lots to explore here too!
3) Where is your dream destination to visit, and why?
I always answer this as, “any place I haven’t been.” The world is huge and I’d like to see as much of it as I can. Currently, the top place on my list is Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’ve not yet traveled to South America, and the reason I picked Argentina is I love the wine and food. Plus, I’ve taken a few tango lessons and think it would be fun to dance the tango in its country of origin.
4) Out of all the places you’ve visited, where did you find the ‘best’ cuisine?
My favorite cuisine is from Southeast Asia, such as Bali and Thailand. There’s just a layering of flavors and textures that’s exciting to taste. Each bite has a balance of sweet and sour, salty and bitter, a hint of zest from citrus, a bit of heat from spices, and a creaminess from either coconut or peanut. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
5) What’s your best tip for adventurous travelers looking to try food off the beaten path?
If you’re venturing off the beaten path, you’re likely to encounter some yummy street food. Just be sure to go with a local who knows best. If it smells delicious, but looks unsanitary, don’t eat it. That one meal isn’t worth ruining your vacation by catching a case of traveler’s belly.
6) How many recipes have you collected over your years of traveling?
Well over 100. I only have a small portion online. The rest are in a decorative box in my kitchen.
7) What is the most ‘out there’ type of cuisine you’ve tried?
Good question. It was probably lunch at El Celler De Can Rocca in Girona. It’s known for its wine cellar, but also molecular cooking. The food was delicious, but each bite was also a work of art. There’s no way I could have recreated it at home.
8) What are a few ‘must-try’ foods of the world in your opinion?
There are ‘must-try’ foods in every country. In South Africa, I say biltong. In Bali, burbur ayam. In Thailand, the exotic fruits such as mangosteen and rambutan.
9) Where in the world are you headed next?
NYC next month, and then Holland!
Thanks for joining us today, Rachelle! For recipes, travel tips, and more, visit Rachelle at TheTravelBite.com.
Sounds like a dream job! Would love to travel the world. Similar to Rachelle’s story, I too long to break out these four walls. I’m not at the peak of my career yet but I must say that having an office job does seem to supress my inner enthusiasm for exploring. I’m not a big fan of routine! I hope to have the opportunity to travel more often and figure out what I’d like to do for the rest of my life.
Rachelle rocks! Just met her and her husband in NYC last week.