04-16-2008 14:17

1. Describe ‘Michele Lean’ in 10 words.

Adaptable, fearless eccentric, seizing every moment, just living and being.

2. How did you end up in Travelogue?

By force. I held Yin captive until they agreed to let me join the team. It was a little hard convincing the team to take her back but chocolate bar bribes can be very persuasive.

In truth, I was living in Melbourne and looking to move somewhere new. When I saw an opening on the Travelogue site, I applied. The moment I found out that I’d gotten the job, I jumped around my house screaming for at least 10 minutes. Before I knew it, I was flying off to Beijing for the first time, without knowing what to expect. I’m F.O.P, fresh-off-the-plane and proud of it.

3. What’s the best part about the job?

My office is pretty much outdoors and I get to meet people I normally wouldn’t encounter. In Xinjiang, I met a Khazak hunter who trained his eagle to help him hunt and in Yanji, I nearly froze my toes off on Changbai Mountain. And that’s a normal working day.

4. We see you on TV but what are you really like?

I blame my need for punctuality and order on being a Virgo but in reality, I also love chaos, mess and uncertainty. While I might look like a ‘posh princess’ (according to Marc and Yin), I’m actually a boys’ girl at heart who packs a mean punch but still enjoys the occasional cry over chick flicks. An overgrown child with an adult persona, I always say what I feel and do what I say, which sometimes gets me into trouble. I’m extremely independent but will always rely on the people I care about to keep me grounded. I love anything vintage and

5. What do you do in your spare time?

When I was in Melbourne, I would cook up storms. There were days when I’d just pick a recipe, go to the market and then cook enough to feed entire armies. Sunday brunches were my favourite times, I’d buy oysters, cheese, fruit, freshly made breads and pesto – whatever I could get my hands on. I can’t cook Chinese food so it’s not quite the same here in Beijing but I still spend quality time with my DVD player and friends at home, armed with delivery menus. I’m just a normal 20-something, I club, experiment with different art forms, score markets for great deals and vintage ware, spend too much time online, read, walk and watch the world go by. When I have time off, I go scuba diving and travel as much as I can. Funny, seeing as it’s already my job to – I guess I just can’t get enough of it.

6. What travel tips would you give your viewers?

See, do and eat like the locals. Bring Imodium. Go with an open mind and never compare it to home.

7. What is your life philosophy?

Try everything at least twice. The first time so you can say you have and the second so you’ll know whether or not you really like it.


Editor:Liu Fang