Travel Q&A with Mark Wiens of Migrationology

Travel Q&A with Mark Wiens of Migrationology

To me, Mark Wiens is the Professor of Gastronomy at the University of Migrationology. Like a modern day Indiana Jones of food, Mark takes us around the world to delve into the best of street food and culture, searching for those wonderful gems.

Cool. But why’s this on a hiking site?

I guess the Indiana Jones reference wasn’t enough, huh? Dang.

Adventure Strong is about hiking and traveling, seeing the world, pushing our comfort zone and living life. Experiencing local food is part of life’s great adventure.

In fact, I first found Mark’s work when I was doing research on Thailand. I watched some of his videos about Bangkok and local food and although I don’t consider myself a “foodie” I was found myself hooked.

Not only are the videos good but his blog posts are great too. I’ve listed a few at the end of the interview for you to check out.

About Migrationology

Before we get started, I recommend watching this video about Mark’s background. He has one of the most interesting stories of any travel blogger.

Migrationology by the Numbers

2 free eBooks (1 on Migrationology & 1 on Eating Thai Food)
4 Travel and Food eBooks
29 countries visited (if I counted right)
54 months blogging
224 videos (mostly food but also travel)
5,027,357 views on YouTube

Interview with Mark Wiens

Mark Wiens food grill

If it’s possible to narrow it down, what are your 3 favorite meals?

I can’t say these are my top three meal choices (there are way too many), but here’s what initially came to mind:

1. Southern Thai food – My wife is from the south of Thailand and a meal of fish curry, flaming spicy soup, and some shrimp paste chili sauce, a few plates of rice, and I’m very happy!
2. South Indian meal – A huge pile of rice accompanied by a diverse variety of both seafood and vegetarian curries, some mango chutney, all placed on a banana leaf and eaten with fingers is always satisfying.
3. Korean style BBQ – When it comes to barbecue, I love the way they do it in Korea. After ordering meat, you grill it all on the table top before you and garnish it with leaves of lettuce, garlic, and chili paste, and eat it along with a magnificent selection of banchan side dishes.

(I definitely agree with Mark’s choice of Korean BBQ.)

What are your favorite flavors or palates? (sweet, spicy, seafood, etc.)

Spicy and sour would be my ultimate duo of satisfying flavors. Combine that with any sort of seafood, like fish or shrimp, and I love it.

Do you have a go-to snack when you’re traveling?

Any and all kinds of nuts: peanuts, cashews, almonds, whatever is available locally.

Migrationology - Indian Food

How’d you like Ghorepani Poon Hill trek in Nepal?

I absolutely loved it. Being a lover, not only of food, but also of nature, the trek was one of the highlights of my visit to Nepal.

Have you gone trekking or hiking in other countries? If so, what has been the most memorable hike?

Yes, I’ve done some trekking in the US, mostly around Arizona, the Grand Canyon and around that area. Also, when I was in the Philippines I did some trekking in the North of Luzon to see some unbelievably beautiful rice terraces. Overall though, due to the magnitude and scale of the Himalayas, trekking in Nepal was probably most memorable.

You’ve been traveling since 2008, when did you realize you wanted to turn your interest (passion?) into a full-time lifestyle?

While traveling, I took a break to teach English for a year in Thailand, and while teaching and realizing it wasn’t the job for me (despite having a good experience), is when I decided to turn my passion into a full time lifestyle.

With all the choices, why did you choose Thailand to become your home base?

Well, the short of the story is that I was traveling around the Philippines when a friend of mine from the US wanted to join me. He asked, “where should I buy a ticket?” So not knowing where I was going, I said, “how about Bangkok?”

At that stage we both were low on finances so we both decided to teach English for a year in Thailand. During that year I met my Thai girlfriend, who I later married. So Thailand is home base!

That’s the way traveling is, things fit into place.

When you started out building your site you were living for less than $300 in Bangkok. Is it still possible to live in Bangkok and bootstrap a business like that?

Yes, it’s possible! It does take discipline and requires one to live outside of the center of Bangkok, eat locally, and take public bus transportation, but it’s possible if someone wants to save as much as possible while building an online business.

How to Live Like a VIP in Bangkok for $285.06 Per Month

Can we expect to see some cooking videos or books?

I really hope so. It’s in my long-term plan to make some video recipes and possibly create a street food recipes ebook, but not sure exactly when that will happen.

Is there anything you’d like to mention?

As I write this I’m in Tanzania and on my way to Zanzibar, hopefully to research and write a travel guide and make lots of food videos. From Tanzania I’ll be traveling to Ethiopia, a country I’m really looking forward to visiting!

The best travel tip I have for any traveler is to be flexible and have patience. These two characteristics are extremely important wherever you choose to travel.

Love food and travel? Check out Mark’s ebooks: Eating Thai Food, Vegetarian Thai Food Guide, 101 Things to Do in Bangkok, Delhi Travel Food Guide

Migrationology in the Philippines

Great Posts by Mark

Mark Wiens is a traveler with a serious passion for food. Check out his eating adventures on Migrationology and watch his tasty food videos on YouTube.

Thanks for reading and until next time – take a hike!

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Comments

  1. says

    I wish someday I could follow Mark’s footsteps as I really love food and traveling a lot. I guess he currently lives in a really great place. I can hear sounds of insects and birds while he’s talking in the video. :)

  2. Tim Moon says

    Hi, Jemma! Thanks for commenting. Mark lives in Thailand but I have no idea if the video was filmed at his home. But I agree with you, I think we all wish we were following in his footsteps. haha!

  3. says

    Great interview!
    I really like Mark’s blog and youtube channel. Now that I’m planning a trip to Thailand, I’ve been reading/seeing his stuff more than ever.
    Nice job with the interview and overview on his work! It makes it sound as appetizing as it actually is! :)

  4. Tim Moon says

    Hi Zara! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I bet you’re going to have a blast in Thailand. Any plans once you get there?

    Cheers!

  5. Siri Mitiska says

    Hi Mark,
    I was born in Bangkok but moved and have been living in the US in the past 40 yrs. I also lived in Hawaii for more than 20 years and recently moved to VA. I so much missed good Thai foods. I love to watch your video eating all those great foods and the places that I missed. You do a great job on your Youtube videos. The color is so vibrant in HD and made the foods look super good….my mouth watered just to think about them. I am glad you decided to make this as a career. You blessed me so. Thank you, thank you, thank you and keep on eating

  6. Tim Moon says

    Hi Siri, thanks for commenting. I know what you mean about the food looking really good in Mark’s videos. He does a great job!

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