This article originally appeared on VulcanPost.my.
Recently, I stumbled across this Instagram account named Girl Eat World. Out of curiosity, I clicked on it, and I was hooked. Its owner, who goes by the name of Melissa, describes herself as a regular girl who lives by the motto, "food is the reason you should travel".
Like its name suggests, Melissa's Instagram account is filled with food photos that she takes on her travels. All the photos are taken in the same way: each shot is perfectly composed with Melissa's left hand (usually) holding a food item, with her surroundings serving as a backdrop.
Although I was initially worried that I wouldn't be able to get in touch with her (what if she was in the another part of the world, hunting for good food?), I was lucky enough to be able to talk with her online. Who is this girl?
Melissa Hie describes herself as a pretty regular girl who just happens to run an Instagram account named "Girl Eat World". Originally from Indonesia, she is currently living Singapore. Her Instagram account is basically an unrelenting feed of food, more food, and some of the local delicacies she has eaten while travelling.
What apps/camera does she use?
I thought at first that she might be using a heavy and bulky DSLR, transferring her photos onto her laptop, performing some Photoshop magic or editing them with Mei Tu Xiu Xiu before posting them on Instagram. If this seems too much trouble for a simple Instagram upload, don't be surprised: I've actually seen some beauty vloggers do all these just to have a nice-looking Instagram feed.
However, Melissa clarified that, "I swear by only one app - VSCOcam. Lately, I have also been using Instagram editors. They are pretty good! When I'm editing the picture, I try to choose filters that enhance rather than overwhelm, and to make sure the food-to-background ratio is balanced."
What sparked @girleatworld?
According to Melissa, it all started when she was backpacking in Europe.
"I was in Rome with my good friend Serena. She insisted on taking my picture in front of the Coliseum, while I insisted on eating my sandwich because I was too hungry. The resulting pic was a funny one of me pigging out in front of an iconic background. Since then, I thought about doing a collection of pics like that, of me eating in front of famous places, but the next time I went to Europe I was by myself and a bit shy about asking strangers to take a picture of me. So I took the food pics by myself in front of iconic backgrounds."
As of today, Melissa has been to 32 countries. Luckily for her, her travel experiences have been extremely amazing so far. Melissa said she has never experienced anything on her travels that she particularly disliked - such as a bad case of food poisoning. She said, "If there is something bad, there is usually something good to offset it."
Coming up with concrete travel plans is extremely important, especially when you are going to travel on your own. When asked about things that Melissa does before she goes travelling and food hunting, she replied, "[I visit] mostly local and travel blogs. If there is Yelp in that country, I will use it to get real time recommendations too!"