Meet the new boss of Stray Asia

There’s a new face leading Stray in Southeast Asia. The Orange Team is stoked to welcome Melissa Hutcheson as the new Boss of Making Things Work in Asia (General Manager Asia).

After only one month on the ground in Laos, Melissa’s already bravely eaten unidentified insect salads, joined in an epic water fight for Lao New Year and discovered the wonders of Lao-Lao (rice whiskey).

Melissa Pii Mai

We asked her a few questions to learn more and find out how Asia’s treating her so far…

1) First things first, do you have any nicknames we should know about?
Mo, Mel but never Missy. Some folks call me ‘Honeybee’ because Melissa is Greek for honeybee.

2) Where are you from originally? We can’t place your accent.
I’m originally from Boulder, Colorado, but only lived there until I was six months old. Since then I’ve been a nomad, living in many parts of the US which is why my accent is so “interesting” to folks. And, I’ve had a few stints living in Prague and Valencia.

3) What’s your favourite travel destination and why?
My favourite travel destination is a place I haven’t been yet. I’ve got quite a long list of places I must visit. If you’re asking about places I have been, then NYC, Paris and little Nelson, New Zealand are fabulous destinations.

4) When you were little, did you dream of pursuing global domination via a hop-on, hop-off tour company?
It was either that or join the French Foreign Legion, and their uniform is a bit too confining for me.

5) Name one orange thing you love (other than an orange bus).
Cheetos. Delicious, nutritious (because the package says they are made with real cheese) and crunchy delights…mmm.

CheetosCrop - Wikipedia
“Nutritious” Cheetos are definitely orange! (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.)

6) What’s the best thing you’ve eaten in SE Asia thus far?
Red ant egg salad. I had a few bites of this tasty food before I knew what is was. Once informed I had to summon the courage to eat more, but it’s pretty damn good!

7) Finish this sentence: Lao-Lao is…
Something that can very easily put you on a path toward enlightenment, or hell. Take care when Lao-Lao comes out…

8) You arrived just in time for the Lao Pii Mai festival (Lao New Year). What did you think?
Pii Mai was a great introduction to Laos and Lao culture. People are gentle, yet really enjoy a good party! There was no shortage of water or BeerLao for three days.

Pii Mai in Luang Prabang

Looks like Melissa is settling in nicely and ready to lead the Stray Asia team to great things. Welcome to the team, Honeybee!

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Emily is a native creative nerd. This creative crew member's favourite stop is Bay of Islands.

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