How to find community while traveling

Meet the globe-trotting guest who always keeps it local

We love hearing table stories from our guests around the world — especially when they travel for a living. Jacqueline Jensen is a TEDx speaker, a former startup founder, and a “digital nomad” with a serious appreciation for local experiences. With a career in tech and a passion for travel, she knows a thing or two about the way technology can bring us back the magic of authentic human connection. At five communal tables and counting, we couldn’t wait to hear about her top EatWith moments.

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Jacqueline Jensen and I am the Community Evangelist at Piktochart. Before Piktochart, I was a venture-backed tech startup founder and COO. As Community Evangelist, I share our team’s innovation with groups at conferences, digitally through online events, or face-to-face at partnership meetings. I enjoy meeting users around the globe!

I am a digital nomad, which means I travel full-time working remotely. In 2016, I lived in and worked in 17 countries. In 2015, I called 10 countries home. My favorite thing to do when I am traveling is schedule a bicycle tour of the city! My interests are travel, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, meeting with startups, and learning to code.

What are your most memorable EatWith events? Any special table stories to share?

What’s amazing about EatWith dinners is that every single event is memorable. When eating at restaurants or cafes, I find that a handful of places are memorable, but most are not.

One standout moment was at my first EatWith dinner in Budapest with host Balazs. I attended with three friends who were also traveling. One is an incredibly talented artist named Susan Lin. When it came time at the end of the meal to sign Balazs’ guest book, Susan decided to draw all of us at his table. Balazs was very excited by Susan’s unique take on his guest book and it was a memorable moment for everyone.

After your first EatWith event, what made you want to do another one?

I like the idea of bringing back human connection to industries that have lost it along the way. Startups like Airbnb, Sofar Sounds, and EatWith bring humanity to housing accommodation, live music, and dining. I will go out of my way to support local because I have a better experience. That first EatWith dinner with Balazs in Budapest felt like going to a friend’s house for dinner. As someone who travels all the time, it was a really special treat.

Which other EatWith events have you attended?

In addition to my first dinner in Budapest, I attended a four-course Japanese vegan dinner in London with professional chef Jhenn. It was delicious!

While in Madrid, I piloted a concept a local foodie was working on for a vegan tapas tour. We explored Madrid by foot, tasting bites along the way.

I also attended a Spanish cooking workshop at Arantxa’s top floor apartment and terrace in Madrid. We started at her local neighborhood market and ended with delicious paella — with prep tips from her time at Le Cordon Bleu along the way!

My last EatWith dinner was in Mexico City with José Ángel. The simple, traditional food was out of this world — especially his homemade hot chocolate! When I arrived, I was told that José Ángel handles the food and his partner, Luis, takes care of the decor. The table centerpiece, outdoor dining area, and beautiful lighting couldn’t have been more perfect.

Up next in my calendar is dinner with Patrick, a chef born in the Florentine hills of Italy. Patrick now lives in New York City. His Italian menu looks amazing!

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I grew up vegetarian, so the dinner menu would need to be meat and fish free. Other than that, I’m always open to try new things! I’d love to have a menu full of traditional bites that the chef grew up eating. It’s always fun to hear the chef’s memories of each dish or techniques that have been passed down generation to generation.

Upcoming travel plans?

I am all around the United States until August. From there, I head to Bali for Piktochart’s annual company trip. After that, Italy and Montenegro are on my itinerary. I can’t wait!

Have an EatWith experience to share? Let us know! And check out upcoming menus on EatWith — we hope you’ll join us at a communal table (or private dinner party!) in your own city or abroad.

For more stories from the table, check out Tastemakers on our blog.


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