Hello dear readers!
Today's interview features Nathan, a.k.a foodie flashpacker! He loves Vietnamese food, like I do! Foodie twins! Find out what else motivates Nathan, and what kinds of adventures he's been on so far (there are many!).
About Nathan and his Blog
- When did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging in February 2014, at the two-year point of my trip. I was slowing down in traveling quite a bit but I wasn’t ready to go home. I also knew I couldn’t maintain the pace I started with- the first 18 months I would change cities every 5-7 days! I needed something to structure my time.
I had started following a lot of bloggers when I was researching my trip and throughout traveling had met and become friends with several of them. When I decided to take a break in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a bit I became good friends with some bloggers and they really motivated me to start my own site.
As I travel, I am always seeking out dishes unique to that area and trying to find where the locals are eating. When I started the blog I felt that other people must be doing the same, looking for food experiences when they travel. My goal is to help others that travel like me find the best and most interesting dishes and places to eat on their trips.
I wrote a post about why I started blogging when I did. When I look back at that post I cringe, as it was pretty awful, but I had to start somewhere! You can check it out here if you like: http://foodieflashpacker.com/why-start-a-travel-blog-now/
- What topics does your blog cover?
Mostly where to eat in the various cities that I visit. I try to cover all ends of the spectrum so a traveller of any budget will find use from my site- everything from Michelin star restaurants to the best street food. If I spend a lot of time in a city I will also develop city guides showing what to do and where to stay along with where to eat. I occasionally do hotel reviews as well.
A good example of a typical post that I’ll do after spending quite a bit of time in a destination would be my Ultimate Guide to Bali.
- What does a typical day look like for you?
My favourite thing about working for myself is that I never have to set an alarm! So a typical day for me is waking up around 8:30, lying in bed checking emails and social media before getting up and making or going out for breakfast.
If I’m in a new area I try to see/do “tourist” things in the morning before it gets too hot.
I usually try to dodge the midday heat by spending that time working on my site or completing freelance jobs that I’ve taken. Most of the time I do this in a café where I can have lunch and work at the same time.
In the evenings, I’ll meet friends for dinner and drinks and then usually move on to dinner at somewhere that’s been recommended to me- hopefully so I can write about in a post about that city!
- What 5 items would you bring to a deserted island?
Is a boat an option, lol? I would have to bring my iPhone because I’m so addicted to it, a solar powered recharger so I could keep using the phone, my Kindle, a hammock, and maybe some flares to flag down a boat or plane to get me off the island!
- What’s your all-time favourite quote?
I wish I could say “every quote from Anaïs Nin because she has so many incredible ones (seriously, Google her quotes) but if I’m forced to pick just one I would say it’s “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
I’ve found this to be so true even before I started my trip but even more so since then. It’s crazy how meeting one person can change everything and take you down a path you never would have seen yourself on otherwise.
Sometimes I think about how different my life would be if I hadn’t met some of the people in my life and it’s incredible.
I actually wrote about one of those meetings for a Chance Encounters submission call by BBC Travel. Even though they ultimately passed on the story I decided to use it on my own site and it’s gone on to be one of the most popular stories I’ve published. You can read it here if you like.
- What’s your favourite recipe of all time?
Ok, so this one is kind of funny. I’ve travelled all over the place so I could pull out some exotic recipe to try and sound worldly but instead I’ll give you one that I have such a happy memory attached to.
In my hometown of Oklahoma City there was a chili cookoff at one of our favorite local bars. My friend encouraged me to enter with my chicken chili recipe, which is actually an adapted version of Ina Garten’s recipe.
On the day of the cookoff I was hungover and didn’t even want to go shopping for the ingredients, much less participate in the cookoff.
Long story short, I ended up winning the cookoff and some of the other contestants were so mad because it’s a chicken chili, which they felt wasn’t a real chili.
Years later, I still love this recipe and laugh every time I think about that day. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chicken-chili-recipe-1942939
- What’s the worst food-related disaster you’ve ever had?
As much as everyone warned me to go vegetarian in India I didn’t and I ended up with a terrible stomach parasite. Not a virus or upset stomach—a parasite. I had to go on prescription medications- it was awful.
I thought because I was only eating meat in high end restaurants I was safe but I was wrong. Really, really wrong.
Next time I’m in India I will definitely be going vegetarian for sure!
- If you had to have one food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This one is an easy question for me. It would be the perfect charcuterie platter that I had in Italy that I’m still talking (and writing) about a year later: http://foodieflashpacker.com/charcuterie-showdown/
- What are your favourite local and foreign dishes?
So many! For a local dish, since I’m from the U.S., I would say our burgers. I’ve had some amazing burgers all over the world and as awesome as they are, no one does burgers quite like we do at home.
Foreign dishes would be everything Italian, anything Vietnamese, all things Mexican and if you have roasted or grilled octopus on your menu I will always order it.
- What are your favourite 5 pizza toppings?
I don’t even need five- my perfect pizza is a cracker thin crust with Canadian bacon, jalapenos, and extra sauce. If I were going to add anything to that pizza I would maybe say mushrooms but that’s it!