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Melissa Hie: The girl that eats the  world

Flickr | insatiablemunchMelissa Hie’s Instagram account will catch your eye at the first sight. Her food photos, full of colour, capture the unique culture and atmosphere of the place. Melissa’s account @girleatworld has nearly 400 thousand followers. She has already visited more than thirty countries and continues to eat her way around the world!

Melissa started travelling after she had moved to Singapore. Thanks to its location, it was easy for her to explore nearby countries and she realized that travelling is not as costly as it might seem. Her blog is full of practical tips and travel guides. Of course, she also publishes specialized articles focusing on restaurants and traditional food from various countries.

Her Instagram account is also full of stories. Accompanying the pictures, Melissa shares with her audience interesting facts about the local food, community and cultural traditions. Did you know that oranges are one of the most common foods of the Chinese New Year as they are a symbol of wealth and good luck? Or in which country cheese is knotted into the shape of a braid? Melissa Hie makes food exciting. Let us introduce her to you in our short interview.

Your photos are very original. How did you come up with the idea?

Summer 2013 – I went on my first backpacking trip to Europe by myself. I didn’t feel like asking strangers to take pictures of me and I’m not too fond of selfies, but I AM always eating so I took pictures of food at whatever memorable site I was in. I posted these pictures to my personal Facebook where I received plenty of positive feedback from friends so I kept on taking one at every city I visited, for my own personal amusement.

Your Instagram account has almost 400 thousand followers. Why do you think it’s so successful?  Would you have any tips for beginner travel bloggers?

I suppose it's because the Instagram had a very clear theme. One look at my feed and you know what it's all about. So my tip for an aspiring blogger is to find your niche and be very clear about it.

What is your view on the relationship between the culture and its food?

I think culture and food is very fascinating. You can tell a lot about the culture of a certain place through its popular dishes. For example here in Singapore, many of our national dishes are an adaptation of the popular culture - British, Cantonese, Malay and Indian.

How do you choose which dish you will post? And which are your favourites?

The dish has to represent the place that I'm taking a picture in. Whether it's a traditional snack or meal, it must tell a story! It’s difficult to say what my favorite cuisine is. But these days I always default to Korean or Japanese when picking a place to have a meal - those two are definitely amongst my favorites.

How do you combine your passion for travelling with a full-time job?

It's definitely tough! I can only travel within the 18 days of leave that the company gives me. But I have been creative with that - I often take weekend trips or combine my leave with public holidays to maximize my traveling time.

By Eliška Olšáková - Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs conservation, developmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

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