“You only live once, but if you do it right, that’s all you need.”
Aloha! I’m Lisa and I’m the writer and photographer behind this travel blog, Cultural Foodies. I am delighted that you’ve stopped by! I began this blog in 2017 when my then-partner-turned-Fiance-in-Greece-and-now-husband and I left our corporate careers to travel abroad for half a year. Our personal journey evolved into this blog, focusing on tips and insights for travel as well as detailed food and travel guides in the destinations we visit around the globe. I only write about places that we have personally visited so that I can provide honest and relevant information. I don’t monetize my blog, so you won’t find any distracting advertisements or pop-ups.
In this blog you will find tips for traveling (both short-term and long-term trips), foodie guides for cities around the world, and our favorite eateries and sights to visit in each of the cities and countries we travel to. A big focus is on the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Northwest, as those are the areas of my deeper expertise having lived in both locations for many years. We also spent three months Living in Mexico, so you’ll find a lot of content on that country as well. We are avid foodies and love learning about other cultures (hence the blog name), so a big focus in this blog is on where to find the best local, authentic food. All of the opinions in this blog are my honest observations and recommendations based on our experiences. All articles are written by me, and all photographs are my own.
Lisa has lived in several different places in America, but has spent the most time on Oahu, Hawaii. She calls home anywhere she and her husband are currently traveling or living in the world. She has a healthy addiction to chocolate and sunshine, is a certified yoga sculpt instructor, loves to cook, write and sing, and is classically trained in opera. She enjoys learning about other cultures and connecting with people through lifestyle, language and food. Her education and career background is in sales and tourism, so naturally she is an outgoing extrovert, always eager to help people plan a trip of a lifetime or even a short weekend getaway. The mountains are her sanctuary and the outdoors is her happy place, especially by the sea. She speaks Spanish and is currently learning Russian, the native language of her husband.
In 2014 she traded rubber “slippahs”, bikinis and kukui nut leis for warm boots, fleece scarves and REI gear when she moved to Seattle, Washington to move out of her little island comfort zone. She lived in the Emerald City for three years where she met the love of her life and now husband, Sasha. While living in Seattle, Lisa worked as the Tourism Development Sales Manager for the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass, two of the city’s iconic attractions. Later she worked in Project Management at Expedia’s headquarters to scale a Concierge Travel Center based in Hawaii where she worked as a Travel Concierge for several years.
Sasha (nickname for Alexander in Russian), was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and moved to Boulder, Colorado with his family when he was 12 years old. He is a dual citizen and fluent in both Russian and English. He has lived all over the world, including India (he’s got a stomach of iron because of this), Australia (he loves to surf), French Guiana (launching satellites when he worked in aerospace), and Boston (he got his Masters at MIT – yep, I married a smarty!😉)
Sasha received his education in Business and Aerospace Engineering and worked as a manager for Boeing in Research and Technology in Seattle. He is 6’7″ (2 meters) tall, making it very easy to spot him in any crowd (he’s big in Japan).
Growing up in Russia, Sasha appreciates theatre, symphony and live music, but don’t let his cultural side fool you; he’s also an adrenaline junkie, always searching for the next outrageous activity that makes his wife have heart palpitations. He is sociable, outgoing, a great conversationalist and can connect with any kind of person on the planet. He is full of curiosity and has a driven, motivated entrepreneurial spirit. Sasha is a co-owner with his business partner of a small real estate services business in Seattle, which has been in operation since 2016.
While we enjoyed our careers, as we entered our 30’s, the world was calling and we ached to explore it. We longed to be outside our cubicle walls with fluorescent lighting, and instead climbing mountains, swimming in sparkling seas, eating ethnic foods, and meeting new people from different cultures. Oh, and getting upside down. 😉
Highly inspired by several books, including Tim Ferriss’ The Four-Hour Workweek, Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding – An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, we decided to take a big chance and make a life-changing move. We decided that adventure was calling and we must go; because what you will learn outside the confines of four walls will be a far greater experience than anything else life can offer you. So instead of choosing a mortgage with the obligation to fill a house full of things, at that point in our lives, we decided to buy a bunch of airline tickets and have a passport full of stamps. We acted upon the travel itch by doing what many millennials seem to be doing lately; we left our stable careers, became minimalist by putting our life into a 65-liter backpack each, and took off on a “mini retirement” in our early thirties to travel the world.
In April of 2017, Sasha and I waved goodbye to the Seattle gloom and rain, and left the country. We traveled internationally for half a year, living a lifestyle of complete freedom, adventure and open possibilities. And indeed, it was life-changing. We were engaged in Crete, Greece in July of 2017 and a little over a year later in September 2018 we went back for our destination wedding in Chania, Crete. Check out the Top Highlights of Our Six Months Abroad.
I shoot my photography with a Nikon D3300 DSLR.
Fast forward to the present day; we did end up buying a home, but as an investment, not to settle down in for the rest of our lives. We continue to travel frequently, but ever since the pandemic and the ability and privilege to work from home, we now spend several months living in different countries around the world to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the culture and live like a local wherever we are. We prefer slow travel where we can really get to know a place inside and out, over quick travel simply seeing the highlights and moving right along to the next place.
I hope that you will find inspiration and wanderlust and have the courage to live out your dreams as well, whatever they may be, travel-related or not. Remember that the greatest luxury in life is being free. You are the artist of your own life; it’s okay to start over on a blank canvas from time to time. Think carefully about what you will create, and make it a beautiful one.
So follow us on a journey through the world…
To get started, hover over the Travel Destinations tab on the home page, and you’ll see all the countries and states we have visited, and my archives chalk-full of resourceful blog posts for each destination.
Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question anytime! I’m always happy to chat. 🙂
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With gratitude, hugs and aloha,
Lisa & Sasha