Who is the Foodie Flashpacker?


Foodie Flashpacker is a food-focused travel blog by Nathan Aguilera, where he writes about his travels and delicious meals. Nathan quit his job working at a corporate law firm to set off on what he thought at the time was going to be a six-month tour of Southeast Asia. Now, nearly four years and sixty countries later, he is still traveling full time and has turned his passion into a career working as a blogger, freelance travel writer and social media manager.

1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)

Out of nearly four years of travel one of the moments I’ve been the most awestruck was standing before the pyramids of Giza. As a child I was always obsessed with anything to do with Egypt but I never thought I would actually visit and see the tombs and pyramids in person. They always seemed too far off. I had never met anyone that had actually been. For me, it was a pivotal moment of the trip to be standing there and soaking in the history. 

2.)If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do? 

Can I say everywhere? I want to do the northern lights in Finland in one of the glass igloos, I want to dive the sardine run in South Africa, I must make it to Antartica at some point, and I’ve never been anywhere in South America. 

But if I had once choice, money is no object, I really would like to dig deeper into Africa. It’s such a huge continent that I’ve barely touched and I feel it has so much to offer.

3.)What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?

 I was so scared to leave my home in Oklahoma City. It was really difficult because I had built a nice life there for myself. A good job, great friends, a nice house- all the things you expect. And I wasn’t leaving because I was unhappy. Some people say you have to give up the good to go for the great but I already had the great. I was giving up the great for the unknown and that was scary. 

Years later I’m still not exactly sure where I found the courage. I guess because I had told so many people and talked about it for so long that I felt like I was locked in. Once I sold all my things it was a done deal. When you no longer have a house or any belongings it kind of makes leaving easier! 

I’m so glad that I found the courage to leave- I had no idea then that years later I would still be traveling and have made a career out of it.

4.)What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?

Waze, maps.me and Google maps for getting around as I’m constantly lost!

XE for currency conversions

Tinder for meeting locals or other travelers as I’m generally traveling solo.

Facebook messenger for staying connected to everyone back home and those that I meet along the way.  

5.)What place do you wish more people have seen?

Eastern Europe! I’ve been going every summer for the past four years and I absolutely love it. It has all (ok, most) of the benefits of Western Europe at half the cost. Every summer I’m surprised by what an incredible value that part of the world is. Great beaches, incredible food and wine, stunning nature — something for everyone.

6.)Best advice you have been given and by whom?

“Just go, otherwise you’ll never know. Home is always here for you to come back to if you don’t like it.” – my mom 

7.)When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?

 Daily. Constantly. Too many times to name.

The kindness of strangers remains impressive but is no longer all that surprising. People all over the world are mostly great, despite what the media would have you believe.

8.)What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?

I was on a volunteer trip in Kenya delivering medical supplies and building a playground at an elementary school. We had several days of downtime so my friend and I hopped on a bus to Mombasa for some beach time. This was the first time I had ever stayed in a hostel and met long term travelers- people that had been traveling for 6+ months or even a year. My mind was blown! I became obsessed with the idea and when I returned home I began researching how I could do it for myself. I started following a bunch of different travel bloggers and set out to make the dream a reality! Within 18 months I had sold everything I owned and left on what I thought would be a six-month tour of SE Asia but in my mind I always wanted to travel for a year. It’s now been almost four years!  

9.)I travel because…

There’s so much more to see. The more I travel, the longer my wish list becomes. 

People will always tell you “if you liked xxx then you’ll love xxx”. This sets into motion me researching a new destination and updating my list!

10.) My favorite travel or business book is…  

This may sound crazy and unconventional but Anne Rice’s ‘Interview With a Vampire‘ made me fall in love with New Orleans before I went the first time! The way she described the city made it seem so magical. 

11.)  How about hotels?  What’s your favorite or one you’d recommend?

 Whatever one is on sale when I log into Booking.com lol. I tend to look for apartments as I try to stay in destinations for several weeks at a time now so I often rely on Airbnb. When I’m only staying a few days I love to find local guesthouses so that I can support the community and hopefully get a locals perspective and advice on the area.

Lastly, can you please recommend a resource for up-and-coming travel writers; this could be a course you know, a book, conference etc. 
If you’re just starting out Nomadic Matt’s course is immensely helpful. His IT guy Chris did the first half of the course which guides you step-by-step through installing/setting up your site. 
If you’ve been blogging for a while but haven’t yet made money check out my friend’s Blog Monetization Course — they’ve assembled a bunch of experts who explain how their sites became profitable and how you can implement their suggestions for your own site. 
Nathan is currently living in Merida, Mexico where he will explore more of the country as well as Central America, enjoying delicious cuisine along the way and writing via Foodie Flashpacker.

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Lori Leroy

Lori Green LeRoy is a mom to two young boys, and currently indoctrinating them into the wonder and awe of exploring the world, so far 27 states and 11 countries. She writes travel pieces for several websites as well as her own blog: www.mapsmemoriesandmotherhood.com

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