The travel bucket list – we all have one. It contains all of those locations that spark our wanderlust: Paris, Hong Kong, Bali, Rio. But what about all of the places in between those tourist hot spots?
Travel doesn’t need to be fast-paced or exotic to be special, memorable, or meaningful.
We believe slow travel is the key to discovering travel destinations that don’t make it into the tourism brochures and glossy magazines but are every bit as special as the items on our bucket lists.
Our mission is to uncover the unexpected, the unexplored, the underrated – in essence, the hidden gems in our world. Whether we find those hidden gems in bustling international cities or tiny rural villages, we want to hear their stories and share them with the world.
For us, the beauty of travel is the connection we make along the way – to people, to food, to nature, to culture and history. It’s hard to make a deep, lasting connection when you’re running to the next destination. So, we slow down. We set aside our checklists. We let the location speak to us.
Our first international travel together was an 18-day marathon bus tour of the ‘Highlights of Europe.’ We visited many cities, saw loads of important sites, and checked more than a dozen countries off our list – it wasn’t until much later we realised how little we experienced those places.
Fast forward to 2015. We had lived in Belgium for over 10 years and covered just about every inch of this tiny country. To this day, it still surprises us with new stories to tell. Every. Single. Day. As long as we take the time to listen to them.
Our expat experience taught us, the best way to get to know a place is to live as the locals do. This doesn’t require taking up permanent residence in each new place we visit. It does mean we dig deeper than the tourist highlights. We go where the locals go, do what the locals do, and eat what the locals eat. Most of all, we ask questions. We learn. We connect.
We focus on travel experiences that build connections. Our passions include art, culture, history and, most of all, food. We believe the quickest way to connect with a place is to explore its food culture.
While, currently, our slow travel is primarily based in North America, we have team members in Europe and around the world. From Atlantic Canada to Southern India, from Brussels to Hong Kong – slow is the way we go.
For every destination we visit, we share practical advice on what to see and why you should see it, where and what to eat, where to stay, and most of all, the stories behind the destination.
In May of 2015, we began to live our dream. We downsized our life (again), grabbed our cats, and piled into a motorhome. We took three months to explore the back roads and the nooks and crannies of France and Spain.
Now we are doing the same in Eastern Canada in a Bigfoot motorhome named Yeti. So far we’ve explored the four corners of New Brunswick, the Maritime region of Quebec, the top to the bottom of Nova Scotia, and we’ve driven the Labrador Highway to spend an incredible summer in Newfoundland.
It’s crazy. It’s a little scary. And we love it.
CheeseWeb began as a hobby way back in 2004 for trailing-spouse, Alison, who grew her little blog from a resource for expats in Belgium to an international slow-travel website with a team of 6 regular writers and dozens of guest contributors from around the world.
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a freelance journalist and photographer from New Brunswick, Canada. She is the founder of CheeseWeb.eu and co-founder of RockFort Media as well as the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison is a founding member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association. She contributes to a variety of travel websites and is a Local Expert for AFAR.com. In addition to her passion for travel, Alison is also a foodie, nature lover, jewelry artist, and lover of all furry creatures. She is most at home by the ocean with a good book and a glass of wine or in the passenger seat of Yeti with a map and her camera.
Andrew Matheson is a corporate escapee originally from Nova Scotia, Canada. After 16 years in the IT industry, working for ‘the man,’ he’s paving his own way in this big, beautiful world. Andrew is the co-founder of RockFort Media and the tech guru who makes sure CheeseWeb is always running smoothly. Andrew takes time out from tech to write on his favourite topics – technology, military history, beer, and single malt whiskey. He is Yeti’s pilot, mechanic, and solar installation master. He shares his wife’s love of food, travel, and learning about the cultures of the world.
Buddy is our well-travelled senior kitty, having lived in four countries and travelled to several more. He is the work supervisor and can be spotted cracking the whip from Yeti’s top bunk. He is the official food taste tester and gives the best snuggles in town. He is also an unashamed bed-hog and is responsible for morning wake-up calls, whether you want to wake up or not.
Adriana Yampey is our special correspondent from Germany. Romanian by birth, she’s lived in Italy, Belgium, and the USA, in addition to her current home. She loves exploring the world with her husband, and two kids and has travelled to more than forty countries and almost two hundred cities. She writes about family-friendly destinations in Europe and around the globe. Read Adriana’s articles on CheeseWeb
Monika Lamba Saini is our expert on food and family travel in Belgium. Monika came to Brussels to pursue her pathology career in cancer research, with her husband and toddler. She likes to cook, read, listen to music, and spent time with her family. She is an avid foodie, loves to travel, explore new places, new cultures and also loves to write about them! You can read all of Monika’s articles here.
Kate Matheson is the face behind our info-packed country landing pages. She is a social worker and travel dreamer living on Nova Scotia’s South Shore with her partner, Brad and their brood of pets. Kate enjoys exploring the woods and waters of Nova Scotia, particularly the many lakes and beaches. Kate currently works full time in health care policy.
Adrian Petrescu is a natural choice to be our eco-transportation guru, with his passions for both trains and cycling. Adrian came from Romania to visit Brussels for three days and was hooked. He returned to Belgium in 2007, to pursue his studies, and never left. Adrian writes, photographs, shoots video, and enjoys sharing his adopted coutry with newcomers. You can see all of Adrian’s articles here.
Catherine Reed is our token American. Growing up in a military family, she had the opportunity to become a world traveller at a very young age. In total, she has spent time in 26 states and more than a dozen countries. She loves to explore local cuisines and unique landmarks, particularly those that relate to the darker side of history. She is a passionate writer and tech enthusiast and currently calls Washington State home. You can see all of Catherine’s articles here.