Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Raymond Cua, a Traveller and Foodie based in Toronto.
Hi Raymond, Please tell us about what it is that you do.
I'm a Toronto-based full-time food & travel writer, photographer and content creator, and the founder & publisher of Travelling Foodie, exploring the world while highlighting culinary experiences as a way to enjoy destinations. I have experience traveling in over 25+ countries and more than half of the United States and Canadian provinces.
Please tell us more about your journey.
Even before I started Travelling Foodie, I was traveling at least three times a year for vacation, and I typically eat out multiple times a week. I was already taking photos and videos even before I thought of running a blog and was privately sharing them on Facebook since 2007.
In 2014, I was on a 2-week road trip with my siblings across the United States to visit various National Parks across different states and also enjoy local cuisine along the way.
Culinary has always been an integral part of my travels. I've always believed you can learn so much about a destination's culture, history, and agriculture just based on culinary. I noticed there was a gap in the travel where the main focus has been to the attractions only.
That's when I decided to start posting on Instagram @travellinfoodie. I realized that I was seeing all these beautiful places and having all these culinary experiences and thought, instead of just documenting them for myself, why not share them with people who might be interested or inspired by them.
I was just sharing my usual food and travel content on Instagram, which was normal for me to do because I was already doing them on Facebook and Yelp for years. About a year into doing Instagram, that's when I started getting opportunities. And coincidentally, that's also when I got really lucky and got featured on Instagram by a lot of big global media outlets like Travel + Leisure, BBC Travel, and Huffington Post. It just started progressing from there.
Since then, Travelling Foodie is on all major platforms: a website, two Instagram accounts (1 for food and 1 for non-culinary travel), YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok.
I left my last corporate IT job in February 2017 to run Travelling Foodie as a full-time business. I haven't looked back since.
What's your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience since starting Travelling Foodie was in 2019 when I traveled in Asia for three months, visiting the Philippines, Japan, India, and Singapore. It was the longest trip I've ever taken. I saw some awesome places, tasted amazing dishes, and learned so much about the people and culture of the destinations.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
– Passion: Always focus on the passion, and not the numbers. The passion and the love you put in your work because that's what people notice and what will make them want to follow.
– Authenticity: Have your own unique voice/content that makes you, YOU. This sets you apart from others. Plus, always have your audience's best interest by maintaining the integrity and authenticity of your account, even if that means turning down opportunities.
– Valuable Content: Strive to produce content that brings value to people. With valuable content, people will want to visit, follow or share on their own. Let your content speak for itself.
– Diversify: Diversify your platforms. You won't know when one platform will go down. Being in all the major platforms means my combined potential audience grows since I am leveraging the user base of each platform
Any message for our readers.
There is so much beauty in this world. Travel, explore, taste, and enjoy what it has to offer.
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
You can find out more about me on my Food Instagram handle @TravellinFoodie and Travel Instagram handle @JourneyTraveler.You can also check out my YouTube channel.
Thank you so much, Raymond, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!