There are many travel/food bloggers grinding away on YouTube these days, including yours truly. One who has quickly made a name for himself over the past year or so is Max McFarlin, the small-town twenty-something from rural Arkansas behind the web show and food blog My Kind of Eats. In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we chat with the food and travel enthusiast about everything from the importance of travel to his decades-long love affair with food to his favorite destinations around the world. Check out his best advice for those who want to travel find out where he’s off to next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
Growing up on a farm in Arkansas I never really thought travel was a possibility for myself. It wasn’t until I rewarded myself with a trip to NYC (I was headed to medical school) that I fell in love with what seemed like a whole different world to me.
Max McFarlin of My Kind of Eats enjoying a meal in an outdoor market
What does travel mean to you? Why do you feel it’s important?
Growing up in a place where not many people leave their home town, for me, travel has opened my mind to so many different circumstances and ways of life. I have always been open-minded, but it is not until you travel to other places and see other cultures that you learn we are all different yet the same. Travel also helped me realize I still have so much to learn about myself.
You run a blog and YouTube channel called My Kind of Eats. Can you please tell us a bit about it? How did it come about?
Food. It’s what I have loved since I can remember. However, it is more than just food. To me, food gives me a first perspective of a country or cultures, history, way of life, and values. I have always wanted to have my own travel/ food show since I was 12 so I think it was a matter of time until I realized I had to chase this crazy dream.
Max McFarlin of My Kind of Eats admiring the bananas at a street market
On your blog and YouTube channel, you showcase unique dishes from around the world. When did you first learn that you had a passion for food?
I have had a passion for food for as long as I can remember. I got an “Easy Bake Oven” when I was 4 years old for Christmas. I grew up in the kitchen. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are in the kitchen. My life has always revolved around food.
You’re from a small town in Arkansas. What makes your hometown a great travel destination? What should people do there when they visit?
I mean you can drive through it in 3 seconds and it has a population of 127 people, so well. I am not sure hahaha.
Max McFarlin of My Kind of Eats getting a taste of the local flavors
How many days/weeks do you travel in any given year? What types of places do you like to visit?
Well, last year I was on the road every single day, as I was backpacking. This year I have a permanent home, but I find myself trying to travel every 2 or 3 weeks of a month.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
More about other cultures and the foods available. I hope someone could watch my channel, travel to that city, find the dish I had on my channel and know what it is and not be afraid to try it.
Max McFarlin of My Kind of Eats enjoying the local cuisine
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
China, Malaysia, Korea
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of your top 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, the best place to have lunch, the best sightseeing, etc.
- Kek Lok Si Temple
- Eat every and as much as you can
- Enjoy the diverse culture
- Walk around Georgetown and see the art
- Enjoy a thriving coffee shop scene
Max McFarlin of My Kind of Eats diving into a bowl of noodles
How many countries have you visited so far?
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
You trying to start a fight with people? Haha I am really moody so just matters the day for me.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
Max McFarlin of My Kind of Eats getting an up-close look at the local cuisine
What is your favorite travel movie?
I don’t think I have one. I do not watch many movies. I have other things I could do…like travel!
What is your favorite international airport?
Right now, would have to be Singapore Changi Airport. Easy to get around, food everywhere, the Jewel, and easy access to the city.
Which city had the friendliest people?
I think this answer is a little biased, but anywhere that Chinese is spoken. Because I can speak a little Chinese when you speak someone’s mother tongue they instantly light up and want to get to know you.
Max McFarlin of My Kind of Eats enjoying a meal on the side of a narrow, bustling lane
Who is your favorite travel companion?
I have always been solo!
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
Edit! Or if I want to relax I always read or study languages.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
Working with Sri Lanka Tourism, I got to visit villages of people that had just been on the run from war less than 10 years ago. To see how happy they were to have a visitor and just their overall joy with life was a great thing to see.
Max McFarlin of My Kind of Eats meeting the friendly locals
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Be ready for frustrating things to happen. Be open-minded. Don’t forget to experience things instead of being behind a camera.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
Books (or kindle), Phone(GPS is really all I need on it), Wow, other than that I cannot really think of anything besides obvious things like adapters, chargers, etc. I am a very minimalistic person so I never really bring much with me anyways.
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Not sure I have traveled enough to know that answer! I think that’s the fun part! I am still looking for that place and still learning about myself along the way. You just never know sometimes I think I will love a place and I don’t or vice versa.
Max McFarlin of My Kind of Eats admiring the view
What is your favorite travel quote?
Oh here are two I like.
“LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.”
DRINK HEAVILY WITH LOCALS WHENEVER POSSIBLE ~ ANTHONY BOURDAIN
Where are you headed next?
Wherever the wind takes me! Not so sure right now, but I know I will be ready for it!
Just a guy from Arkansas chasing his dreams of traveling the world, meeting amazing people, and trying all the delicious food I can find!
I am from a small farm in the states, I am now taking advantage and the opportunities I have to travel the world in search of some of the most delicious foods, unique places, and friendliest people.
A lover of street food, good laughs, and learning about other cultures. I hope to indulge in all these things and more as I bring you along with me on my epic journeys.