Traveler Tuesday – Marie-France of Big Travel Nut
I've always been impressed by solo female travelers. The only solo travel I've done has been business travel or super short domestic trips. And although I haven't met Marie-France of the Big Travel Nut personally, she's a member of the greater BlogHouse community, and I am honored to have her. Marie-France has been traveling solo for over 2 decades and offers lots of advice and information on her site.
Let’s meet travel blogger Marie-France!
 When and how did you become a traveler?
I had wanted to travel since I was about 12 years old, but I really became a traveller during my first overseas trip when I was 29. I travelled solo in France, visited friends in Switzerland, and joined a tour in Italy for a total of 3 weeks. I was hooked. After that, all I wanted to do was see more of the world.
 What kind of traveler do you define yourself as?
I travel mostly solo and independently, on a budget, with very little luggage, but I don’t really consider myself a backpacker, at least not anymore.
 What do you love most about traveling?
I love the thrill of discovery: seeing new landscapes and cities, learning fascinating facts about a place and its history, tasting new foods and drinks, and having conversations with people from different cultures. I’m the kind of person who gets quickly accustomed to things, so perhaps that’s why I constantly need new stimuli to feel excited.
 What do you dislike about traveling?
Long flights and layovers, and the pain of continuously packing and unpacking. These have become more and more annoying as I get older.
 Why should people travel?
The well-known quote attributed to Saint Augustine says it best: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”. If you stay home all your life, you will die with a very limited experience of the world, and that will be a shame.
Seeing the world for yourself (instead of solely relying on often-biased news reports) gives you a much better understanding of where different countries currently stand regarding a whole bunch of issues (gender equality, environment, etc). You will learn that despite people doing things differently in different cultures, we’re not (for the most part) all that different as humans after all.
Another reason is that travel is a great character builder. It makes you a better person: more patient, more adaptable, more educated, and more self-confident.
I actually wrote an entire post that answers this question!
 What famous person would you like to travel with?
Interesting question. I never thought about this… Travelling with somebody famous would probably be terribly disruptive as they are constantly stopped for autographs and selfies! But assuming they could travel incognito, right now I’d say Justin Trudeau. 🙂
 What are 3 things you won’t travel without.
My Tilley hat, my camera, and since becoming a blogger, my laptop!
 If you’re a foodie, what's your favorite food city? Do you have a restaurant recommendation?
Singapore, although I haven’t been back in a very long time. I’m going to Taiwan next winter, and I think that Taipei is going to give Singapore a run for its money when it comes to food. Forget restaurants; just go to the night markets!
 What's one location on your bucket list?
Madagascar! Every time I see pictures of this country, from giant baobabs to lemurs, to beaches, I ask myself how come I haven’t been there already.
 Do you have a piece of advice for bloggers starting out?
Know what your goals are for your blog and be honest with yourself. Do you want to write about your experiences and create a community of like-minded travellers on social media (which I call a “passion project”)? Or do you want to run a business where the star isn’t you but products you’re selling (niche site)? Building enough traffic on a “passion project” blog to make some money takes a very long time, especially if you don’t know digital marketing. Very few people actually make a living at it.
If you want to earn any income from a blog, make sure that the topic is very specific and addresses a particular audience. It has to be something you know well and can write about for years. Niche down and be seen as an expert. Don’t try to be everything to everyone.
Marie-France's Lightning Round of Favorites
Airport: Changi (Singapore)
Mode of Transportation: Train
City or Country: Greece
Travel Gear: Tilley hat
Travel snack: Granola bars
Book: The Da Vinci Code
Movie: Inception, Oblivion, Star Trek (2009). Any intelligent SciFi.
Song: My Heart Will Go On (Céline Dion). This song still gives me chills.
You can keep up with Marie-France on Twitter , Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and of course on her blog. Wherever you catch her, I am sure you will enjoy her global adventures!
How about you? What would you like to know about Marie-France?
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I would love to have the opportunity to travel like this…to see many places, different countries! Hopefully, one day, before I get too old, I will have that opportunity, but right now, it’s just a dream. Marie-France is very brave, being a solo traveler and I don’t know if I would have the courage to travel solo!
I have travel goals to be like you one day! I want to literally leave my footprint on everywhere that is my bucket list, and beyond! You have given me so much inspiration right now! I want to do more solo ventures! Thanks for sharing this, you have no idea how empowering it is 🙂
One day we will be able to travel like this!! I love the idea of just choosing a new place to explore, however I always worry about where to stay. I never know what places are the best. I want to learn more from travelers like this!
I have traveled alone only a couple of times to visit my sister and friend. But I really can’t travel alone anymore, because I am disabled.
But my admiration, especially for a female to travel alone is awesome! I agree about the book analogy. I have learned so much from traveling! Like Marie-France said eating different foods, learning the history and meeting the people and making memories that will stay with you forever! When we went to a few countries in Europe, a lot of the people knew English! Thank you for sharing!
Marie-France reminds me a lot of myself. I moved abroad alone 7 years ago and spent several years traveling solo and loved it. I eventually met a fellow expat from a third country, fell in love in got married… now we travel together, but I still miss the adventure and dynamic of solo travel.
I would have to agree on narrowing down your topic and being an expert on that. I use to write everything, now it’s mostly just family travel and food. The other topics will go on another blog/s. And I agree with the packing/unpacking. We travel weekly and what’s harder is I have to pack for my two girls as well. So laundry then pack. My luggage hasn’t been unpacked from our weekend trip actually, just the dirty clothes went to the washer. Have fun in Taiwan. I do want to go and try their food. But do love Singapore still coz of their national breakfast – Kaya Toast.
Now I’ve got the feels for traveling again! It’s been so long since I’ve gone anywhere, been living within my means and some how travels always the first thing I sacrifice. But, I’m hoping as the tides turn for me and my blog I can go on a lot more adventures. Great advice, Marie-France about blogging and travelling. Can’t wait to get out there and explore!
This is a great interviewer and really motivates you travel. I heard Singapore really is a beautiful place.
I like your tips to bloggers. I think it’s truly important to have a focus and understand what you really want to do. I think passion is also the driving force to a great product. Your blog could be your product. So it all depends on how you put it together.
Wow!! How brave you were in your 20’s to travel alone for 3 weeks. Love your adventurous heart.
I too think Madagascar would be amazing. I have never traveled out of the US and what an adventure that would be. Can’t wait to hear about your Taiwan trip. I bet it’s hard waiting!
Sounds like there are some pretty great places to travel out there. And She is definitely making sure that she doesn’t only experience one page of a book on life. I had no clue that St. Augustine said that, but it is a very cool quote. The only thing I found cliche was the traveling with Justin Trudeau. I know far too many people who say that about him. And I am not sure he is even all that interesting. Ah well.
i love reasding all your adventures, you are having the best life!
Awesome, never been to europe yet.. also haven’t heard the word travel nut!
I aspire to be confident enough to travel alone.I have a brain injury that often gets in the way in unfamiliar situations`
Her pictures are beautiful! I’d really would love to travel more it seems like so much fun!
Thanks for sharing. I hope someday I could travel too.