The Night Before: Musings of an Aspiring Food and Travel Journalist

I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.

 — Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

I’ve had a few different careers in my short adult life- high school thespian director, teacher, yearbook adviser, professional stage manager, reality television production coordinator- but in each one, I consistently felt as if there was something missing. At one point, my dream of being a professional stage manager on Broadway was all-consuming, I even went so far as to start looking for graduate programs that would give me the experience and connections I’d need to make this dream a reality. Shortly after my search began, I was having a conversation with my mom and she asked me a simple question, “If money was no object, like if you won the lottery or something, what would you want to do with your life?” Surprisingly to me and my mom, the immediate answer that came out of my mouth was “Travel, everywhere and anywhere. Live like the locals. Learn about the food and culture of every part of this world.” I think we both thought my answer would be something more along the lines of moving to New York and pursuing my theatre career. I’d always had an itch to travel, but I had consistently let “real life” get in the way. In this moment, though, I thought to myself “Why can’t THIS be my real life?” That was the moment, less than two years ago, that I completely changed my life course. That was the moment that I realized my true calling was to travel the world, eating and learning throughout every country, and to share those experiences with the world. That is the moment when I decided I wanted to become a Food and Travel Journalist.

My name is Alysia Cruz, but a good chunk of my friends call me Isa. I am an aspiring Digital Food & Travel Journalist in the USFSP Masters in Digital Journalism & Design program. Tomorrow, I leave for France and Germany on my first adventure in food and travel writing with the help of the USF Federal Credit Union Scholarship.

Professor Keeler is the expert in food and travel writing at USFSP. I’ve taken both Food Photography and Food Podcasting with her and am beyond excited to start this two week journey with her tomorrow and learn even more from her about this world I am working to be a part of. This trip will also put the first two stamps in my passport! I’ve traveled all over the continental United States, so I am ecstatic to be able to take this first trip overseas.

La V Vietnamese Fusion, St. Petersburg, FL

One of my biggest focuses on this trip is non-staged food photography, so expect quite a bit of that in my posts. I want to show the world food as it really is, in its natural habitat, with the people who created it and the culture it comes from.

DB ‘CLOTHESLINE CANDIED BACON, maple, black pepper, fruit mostarda, sweet and spicy pickle
The Edison, Disney Springs, Orlando, FL

Join me as I eat my way through Germany and France- I promise your mouth will be watering by the end of this journey.

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