Travel Inspiration: Migrationology

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Jul 10, 2013 / 0 comments

Inspiration is one of the best tools in our travel planning arsenal. And inspiration is everywhere, isn't it? From the textiles you see while out and about, to books, to meals, to travel sites - they all contribute to what we want to see, do, and learn about while traveling. One of my very favorite travel sites, Migrationology, is created by writer and fellow foodie Mark Wiens. Now, I know you'll thank me for introducing you to his extraordinary website - as well as another website he writes, Eating Thai Food. Yes. A man after my own heart. I love, love, love Thai food. YUM. But I digress...

Mark Wiens, Bangkok

Mark Wiens, Bangkok. See?

For Mark creatively shares the best of the world - including food - by getting inside the culture, and writing exactly what we'd want to know. One of my favorite articles on Migrationology is 33 foods worth traveling across the world to eat. His article on how to use squat toilets is incredibly useful. And, his 17 reasons you know you love Southeast Asia is just inspired. See what he does to us, dear readers? He pulls us in, with his delicious writing, explorations of food (in fact, his article on a durian buffet inspired one of our teen travel writers, in his article You eat this? Crazy. ), beautiful photos, inspiring and mouth-watering youtube channel, and his je ne sais quoi. He's the perfect window to the world, because he loves being in it so very much.

I'm so pleased we were able to catch up with Mark, and find out the back story of his site, his own inspiration, eating well, and more. Here's what he had to say...

Please tell us about your site, Migrationology...

It’s a blog dedicated to off the beaten path attractions and my personal passion of exploring all aspects of food, especially street food.

Migrationology is not about backpacking around the world and following the tourist route (or going somewhere to get a new passport stamp), it’s about taking your time to discover and learn when you travel - meet people, sample local food. It’s also very much about following your passion when you travel, focusing on what really interests you, whether that be history, culture, food, or anything else.

What inspired you to start this site?

I previously didn’t like writing emails, so I started a website in order to share with my family and friends where I was. I had no idea how much I would enjoy blogging and sharing photos and videos when I started, but now I absolutely love it. So now my inspiration is to share food and travel tips to help others have more rewarding travel experiences.

You are one brave eater! How have you found the reactions to the crazy foods you eat - from both locals, and travelers?

Depending on the country, I get a lot of stares from locals, that are most of the time very excited to see a foreigner sampling something delicious from their country.

 Bengali street food

Bengali street food

You talk about finding a sustainable way to live your dreams and pursue your passions - what have you found that works for you?

A combination of selling ebooks, writing blog posts, freelance projects such as writing articles, doing SEO and social media, and finally producing food videos. Now I’m able to earn a living, but I’m still learning as I go.

How can travelers best dig deeply into a culture/new place?

It starts with an attitude to learn, not to correct. Being flexible, willing to try new things, and being open to different ways of doing things follows. Finally, putting yourself out there by exploring and discovering, is a good way to jump-start memorable experiences.

What are your top tips for traveling off the beaten path?

Walk around... on your feet. Once you’re in a new city or destination just get out and start exploring. Stop at the street food stall where swarms of locals are gathering for lunch or drink a coffee in the busy town center. If you go somewhere far take a public bus instead of a taxi. Don’t just visit the top 5 attractions listed in your guidebook, instead find what locals do for fun, and do that.

Mark Wiens at the grill

Mark at the grill

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

Do the things you’re passionate about, you don’t need to follow everyone else. I would be totally fine with skipping everything in the guidebook and just browsing through a local food market and dining on typical everyday food in a country. If you focus mainly on your interests when you travel, you’ll have a more rewarding trip.