I am thrilled to introduce you to a very special travel blogger. Fellow AFAR Ambassador and San Franciscan and yet we have never met in person despite the best efforts of our mutual friend Lindsey! Kristen of Take Your Big Trip believes in just getting out there and doing it, when it comes to travel and life! Something she speaks about publicly at events like Travel Massive and serious venues like on an upcoming SXSW panel as well as of course, on her blog.
She lives what she preaches because at this very moment she is on her own big trip…and with her mother! She is in Bhutan! You can keep up with her at this very moment on her Instagram feed.
She is awesome, so…
Let’s meet Kristin!
 When and how did you become a traveler?
I was always a traveler. My parents were quite adventurous and, as teachers, had summers off so we loaded up the wagon early on and ventured out. First, it was weekend camping and then Clark W. Griswold-like cross country adventures in the minivan to national parks. My first international trip was to Germany in 10th grade. The wanderlust firmly was embedded when I saw that there was a big wide world out there.
 What is travel to you in 10 words or less?
Travel is a way to begin.
 What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?
I love a good train ride. I fell in love with train travel in India in 2008. The trains are lumbering and huge, an incredible system that houses all aspects of humanity. I’d come on, find my berth, and then become a part of a small community and culture for 10-12 hours. We’d eat together, sleep together, converse, and entertain ourselves. There are vendors peddling samosas, chai, books and, toys peel through the aisles. In the 2 and 3 AC classes a porter helps you turn down your bed. I’m very happy in an Indian train berth on an overnight trip with my book and blanket, feeling the rumbling on the rails.
Train travel is also my favorite way to get around Europe because, while more expensive, the train stations are so romantic with possibility and the trains go city center to city center.
 What do you typically do while traveling by plane?
For plane travel, I’m usually in a boredom avoidance mode, so I make sure I have movies on my iPad, podcasts on my iPhone, and a full queue of kindle books.
 What is your favorite travel memory involving food?
I have several because I love eating my way through a place. The DK guidebooks are very helpful because there’s always a page with pictures of the local cuisine so I know what to order at restaurants. I remember being in Calcutta on a tight budget and having delicious street food – pakoras, samosas, curries and rice – for under a dollar. I’d come up to the stands, speak my limited Hindi (which these Bengalis knew) and grab a wooden seat next to the stand with my food in a paper cone or on a metal plate. I was not afraid and just dived right in.
I was in Paris three weeks last year and had a list of “must try” restaurants provided by other bloggers, foodie friends, and travel writers. I shaped my days around lunch at these restaurants – picking one in a different neighborhood each day- and I got to have a very local feel to Paris through each lunch. I take cooking classes too – I’ve made injera in Ethiopia, ceviche in Peru, paratha in India, and tajine in Morocco.
 What is one blogging tip or lesson that you have learned along the way that you can share with my readers?
It’s great to write for yourself, but if you have something to offer a greater community, write for them. It’s a wonderful service to share your experience and expertise via the blog and you’ll gain a readership who cares about what you say.
 Where to next?
Bhutan and Seoul, South Korea! I’m going with the adventure travel company GeoEx, where I consult as a marketing director, and my mother is joining me for the trip. I’m excited see the Buddhist monasteries, Himalayas, and a country known for its “Gross National Happiness.” It is my mother’s first time in Asia, so I’m excited for her to see this part of the world. I added Seoul because I think it’s a great culinary destination and they have wonderful homestays where you can stay with a family.
How about you? What would you like to know about Kristin?