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.
 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.
How about you? What would you like to know about Marie-France?
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