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Associated Alumni

Combining their love of travel, food and blogging

Taking their UNB degrees across the globe shortly after graduating, Luke Martin (BSc’16) and Sabrina Davidson (BSc’16), embraced more than just their love of travel. While teaching English as a foreign language in Taiwan, the New Brunswick couple explored the diverse Taiwan food scene, documenting their discoveries on their blog.

Chopstick Travel, Martin and Davidson’s travel food blog and YouTube channel, takes viewers through the streets, and to night markets and local food vendors, immersing them into the culture as Martin and Davidson sample local delicacies.

“We were always interested in filmmaking and photography before moving away," says Martin. "Our love of food really took off when we arrived in Taiwan and saw the massive variety of interesting and delicious food available. It only seemed logical we would put these two passions together.”

“Certainly, when beginning any new venture there are some hurdles you have to conquer to succeed. We are always learning, especially with the help of our followers, who offer constructive criticism to us in the comment section of our videos."

Now, with more than 80 videos and over 10 million views on their YouTube channel, Martin and Davidson have gained their own loyal following of fellow travellers, foodies and fans. What began as a way to document their travels for family members back home, has grown into wide internet engagement.

“It has been heartwarming," says Martin. "We found that there is a food ‘community,’ and this community is very supportive. We try our best to visit local street food vendors that sell something unique, something you couldn’t see back in Canada.”

Foods like acorn jelly, stingray, eel noodles, chili crab, pork belly and much more have all been featured on their YouTube channel. Martin and Davidson have visited 13 countries since beginning Chopstick Travel in January 2017, including Japan and Malaysia.

This month, they are travelling through Pyeongchang, South Korea, and, as Martin explains in an interview with CBC, they've been commissioned by a promotional agency to feature foods in the 2018 Winter Olympics. In a recent blog post, the couple visit the Pyeongchang Olympic Market, providing exciting food reviews for those travelling in the area. Their recommended list of market food includes buckwheat pancakes, hotteok and short rib patties.

“You can learn a lot about history and culture through local cuisines, and although there are different cultures and language barriers, we all have one thing in common - and that is food.”

The last two years have been an exciting adventure for Martin and Davidson since graduating from UNB in 2016 and beginning Chopstick Travel.

“Working independently has helped us greatly in creating and maintaining the Chopstick Travel channel. I think the long hours and energy spent reading, studying and working teaches great patience,” says Davidson.

Martin, who participated in the biology department’s Marine Block at UNB, says his favourite part of the program was learning in the field with New Brunswick’s nature as his classroom. Now with the world as their office, Martin and Davidson are looking forward to creating more great content and visiting several other countries across Asia and South America. Looking back on his time at UNB, Martin feels his university experience has had a positive impact on this new venture.

“The knowledge you acquire at UNB is not only applicable to that field, but can be applied to all aspects of life," says Martin. "University is not just about receiving the piece of paper; it’s about the connections you make and deciding your path in life.”

Back to Alumni News Direct - February 2018