360i partners with Rachelle for the Alamo Travel Guide series, where she combines her love for food and travel to contribute vacation ideas and trip planning tips. She’s been featured in People Magazine, USA Today’s Top 10, and was recognized by Trip Advisor as one of the Top 25 Culinary Travel Blogs to follow for her travel tips, innovative podcasts and vibrant photography.
We caught up with Rachelle to learn more about the history of her blog, her most unexpected culinary experience and what’s next for her.
360i: How did your blog start and what spurred your passion for all things food and travel?
Rachelle: “I started blogging back when I owned a bed and breakfast in 2008. As a member of the local lodging association, the idea of blogging came up and since I was the youngest person in the room … and most people in our small town thought that blogs were for teenagers – little did they know – I became the designated blogger. After that meeting, the blog Innside Story was born. I used the platform to share stories about our local inns, town events, and breakfast recipes. It was through working with the other innkeepers, many of whom are retired chefs, that I learned how to cook and developed an appreciation for food.”
360i: Did you always know you’d frame your professional life around food and travel?
RL: “Not at all! My background started out in banking and marketing. I used to eat frozen dinners and burnt toast when I was in college. I think my appreciation for food began as an innkeeper, but the foundation for culture and food began with my family. My mom’s side is French Canadian and my dad’s side is from Puerto Rico. So I grew up eating tourtiere (a French meat pie) for the holidays and mofongo, a plantain dish, as a teen. To be honest, I was a picky eater back then, but I think as adults, we get nostalgic for the food from our childhood.”
360i: Now that you’ve evolved into a food and travel blogger, what’s your favorite part about being an influencer in this space?
RL: “My favorite part about food and travel is learning about new recipes and spices, or trying familiar foods prepared in different ways. I love visiting farmers markets and definitely look for food tours wherever I go. But besides tasting delicious foods and experiencing new places, I enjoy having a variety of things to do and a different schedule every week. It keeps me on my toes as I’m constantly creating and learning.”
360i: Are there any Influencers you look to for inspiration or just admire – whether it’s the content they create or how they’ve built their careers?
RL: “For inspiration, I love Marie Forleo and Michael Hyatt. They’re both business influencers, so I learn a lot from them. I’ve never met them in real life, but would love to! They’re both inspirational and provide great tips for achieving work/life balance, which is sometimes hard to do as an entrepreneur.”
360i: What is the most unexpected food or culinary experience you’ve ever had while traveling?
RL: “Most recently, it was discovering the Dumpling Trail in Richmond, BC. Richmond is just outside of Vancouver and they have the largest concentration of Asian restaurants in North America with over 200 restaurants in three short blocks. It was amazing to try all kinds of different regional Chinese cuisines within such a small city.”
360i: What kinds of work are you hoping to do in the future?
RL: “I’d like to continue what I’m doing now with content for the blog. For the podcast, our topics are usually seasonal. We did a whole series about the National Parks for the Centennial Celebration this year. Coming up, we have interviews lined up with cocktail experts and historians to get us into the spirit of things for the holidays and the New Year. I’m also hoping to create a cookbook based on globally inspired flavors in the near future.”