I was born and raised in Chicago, a city already known for a wide variety of ethnic groups and food. My mother was a mix of German, Irish, Welsh, and English while my father was Greek.
Growing up, I wasn't necessarily shown the My Big Fat Greek Wedding kind of lifestyle (thankfully), but I was opened to cooking and food preparation from my father's many years in the restaurant industry. While I did not grow up to be a restauranteur (I do web design for a living), I did gain much interest in cooking and cuisine, and learned much from both my father and mother.
I love not only to travel, but experience what I call the "normal life" of the people in said country. As a tourist, you will generally be shown the polished, nice, fun version of life in said country. I personally would rather see what it's like to be a citizen of said country, especially in what they eat. It's a whole different world. I try to bring those experiences into Culinaria.