Exclusive Interview: Eat Your World

Scott Rosen and Laura Siciliano-Rosen are the founders of Eat Your World, a guide to the best indigenous, traditional foods and drinks in destinations across the globe. Since launching the site nearly a year ago, they have built up a database of local eats with the help of their users, from 125-plus destinations and growing. They’ve spent much of the past decade seeking adventure—of the culinary variety and otherwise—around the world. We asked them some of our favorite travel questions – check out their responses!

1. Who or what inspires you to travel?

We aren’t full-time travelers: We live in New York City, hold freelance day jobs in magazine and book publishing, run Eat Your World, and travel as much as we can. We both need to break out of the bubble, the daily routine, sometimes. There is nothing like experiencing the world by being in it—not reading about it, not watching it on TV, not daydreaming about it while being stuck late at the office. Connecting with other cultures is the way we connect with the universe and it’s how we continue to educate ourselves. With the website obviously, we focus on the cultural aspect of food more than anything else, and we’ll certainly admit to being inspired to travel to a particular destination based upon eating its food here in New York.

2. What are three of your favorite global bites?

It’s near impossible for us to choose, but here’s a three-course meal composed of some favorite dishes: 

Appetizer: kulle, or salty, tangy fruit chaat, from Delhi
Main course: peppery, buttery BBQ shrimp, from New Orleans
Dessert: sinfully sweet and rich sticky toffee pudding, from London

3. Where do you travel for adventure? why?

In the past, some of our more adventurous destinations have included New Zealand, where we hiked the stunning Tongariro circuit and went sky diving (for what proved to be just the first time!); Australia, where we drove the entire length of the country and did a live-aboard diving trip; Guatemala, where we hiked the gorgeous volcanic backcountry for five days; and Sierra Leone, where we lived on the beach for a week (and every day is kind of an adventure). Closer to home, we go to Cape Cod every summer to visit great friends with a boat, some fishing rods, and adventurous, hunter-gatherer spirits.    

 4. What are the top three things you always pack?

Earplugs, a headlamp—both of those help with sleep, the latter for nighttime reading, specifically—and Tums, which are a must while working on the website! (The notebook and cameras go without saying, right?)

 5. What’s the best travel advice you’ve ever received?

A wise and practical traveler-fiend friend once advised us to travel with a Capital One credit card—it’s the only one we’ve found that does not charge extra for overseas use. Saving money on unnecessary banking fees is huge for any budget-minded traveler, especially when you’re adding up those dreaded daily totals (that’s Scott’s favorite job).  

6. We know traveling can sometimes be painful–what’s one of your most agonizing travel memories?

Two words: bed bugs. At a hole-in-the-wall hostel in Guatemala. A run-in with those suckers haunts you for days, weeks even—they’re good travelers, and you don’t want to bring them home. Also, feeling deathly ill in Bali and being physically unable to walk after unwisely opting to ride long-distance on hard motorcycle backs in Cambodia.

7. I’m sure you have tons, but what’s one of your most ecstatic travel moments?

In Thailand, we traveled on a whim to this festival called Phi Ta Khon, held annually in the northeast province of Loei, for which the village dons outrageous masks, gets raging drunk, and parades in the street. For two days we joined them, sleeping nights on the floor of a local family’s home and dancing all day in the rain. I think we spotted one other traveler there. It was incredible.  

8. What’s the one place you always want to go back?

San Sebastián, Spain. We went for our honeymoon in 2005, pre-Eat Your World, and ate our faces off. But while notes were taken for another assignment, we got only minimal content for EYW. It kills us, because it’s one of our favorite cities in the world for food! One day we shall return.

Wanna explore some of their favorite places? Check Hipmunk for flights and hotels!

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