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In the latest interview, meet Nassie from Snippets of Paris!
Hello! Or rather Bonjour from Paris! I suppose I’m not the standard travel blogger because I do travel a lot but I don’t usually blog about it. I’m Canadian but am actually now based full-time in the City of Lights.
It all started with the travel bug. After traveling extensively in Europe, North America, and Asia, I thought that instead of smaller trips I should try a working holiday visa. I wanted to base myself in Europe since that would make it easier to travel since flights are so much cheaper than in Canada. I was able to get the visa for France (after handing in a giant stack of paperwork), and so I leaped at the chance. And wouldn’t you know it, on my 2nd day in Paris I met my now Other Half? So I stayed in Paris.
This idea of “slow travel” has always been big for me, it is why I came on the working holiday visa in the first place, so my blog today focuses on this idea of visiting places across France, but also what life is like here. So it is a bit of a peek behind closed doors if you will. There is a lot more to France than those pretty Haussmannian buildings!
How long have you been traveling for?
My blog has been around for just under a year, but I’ve been writing it in my head ever since I first came to France. There are so many little things that still catch me off guard, no matter how long I’ve lived here.
France is one of those places that is so different from coast to coast, with all its hidden nooks and crannies, and culture is so distinct as well. I think I will never run out of things to talk about.
What tips do you have for new travel bloggers?
I would say socialize and get to know others in the same field.
There is a world of information out there, and it is so nice to exchange ideas, tips, and learn from one another. In a way, you learn more than you ever could from just reading a book, or taking a course.
What do you wish you knew before traveling?
I wish I remembered to take better pictures!
There are so many places that I have been, where I didn’t take decent pictures, which is fine, but not really helping my blog that much!
Or there are a lot of pictures that I have that are completely disorganized and it would be a mammoth task to try to catalog.
Why do you love to travel?
I travelled a lot as a child, and I definitely got the travel bug from my parents. Visiting something new, just the change from the daily routine.
But the best part I think is learning about new cultures, their history, and really, other points of view.
What’s your best and worst travel experience?
Well, the best, of course, has to be coming to Paris and meeting my other half, the first week I was here. (It sounds like there should be romantic music playing or something, but it was actually quite ordinary!)
I suppose, it has to be arriving (solo) in the Uluru in Australia mid-summer where it was over 45C and finding out that I had booked myself a hostel “outdoor cabin” without air conditioning.
I had already been a bit under the weather, so I pulled out the emergency credit card, called a taxi, and had it take me to a nice air-conditioned hotel!
Do you prefer solo travel or traveling with others?
I’ve met some of my best friends traveling solo! We became such good friends, we started planning annual trips where we would meet up in a new country to travel together.
So it went from solo trips to traveling together, but I find that there is an inner spirit of openness when traveling solo, then when traveling with someone else.
What’s the best place you’ve been to?
I really love Stratford and the Alsace region of France. The food, the architecture, the history, there is just so much in this tiny corner of the world.
What’s your biggest travel tip?
Try to rent those little wifi boxes that give you data as you travel around a country. I got one when we were in Japan, and it was a life-changer.
No need to ask for directions, getting hopelessly lost, is the museum open or not, dodgy internet cafés, etc. All the information is easily at your fingertips.
Is there one thing you like to do, see, or buy with every place you visit?
I used to collect a chachki from every place that I visited, but I had to stop that when I moved to Paris.
I already had so much stuff, I didn’t bring it over from my parents’ house in Canada.
And Parisian apartments are so small, there simply was no room for it.
So basically now, I focus on mental chachkis. I try to make it a point to take a couple of hours and just wander around town.
I always like to imagine what it is like to live in the place I’m visiting, so I like to leave this spare time, without trying to checklist off a museum or an activity that in the end, I may not enjoy as much.
What’s the best food you’ve had while traveling?
Can I say escargot? I tend to get queasy at any sort of bug, but I was pleasantly surprised to find how good escargot is.
Plane or train? Train definitely!
Hotel or hostel? Hotels definitely, after my Oz hostel adventure.
City or nature? I’d like to say nature, but I really am a city girl.
Popular site or off the beaten path? Off the beaten path
Suitcase or backpack? Backpack, I’m a big believer in packing light. Nobody wears that many shoes anyway.
Fast travel or slow travel? Slow travel definitely. I once did an Eastern Europe tour in 15 days, and the entire thing was a blur. I’m not even sure today where exactly I went, it went so fast, changing countries, languages, currency, etc. Never again.
(It helps that we have 8+ weeks vacation on average in France.)
Professional camera or iPhone photography? iPhone photography
Warm or cold weather? Warm
All photos used throughout this post are taken by Nassie from Snippets of Paris.