This week’s guest interview comes from Doni the founder of Girls’ Guide to Paris, which is a one stop shop for everything you need when visiting Paris, including:-
1. What is your name and where do you come from? Doni Belau originally from Nebraska but have lived in NYC now for 30+ years so you could call me a New Yorker with all the good and bad connotations that implies. We also have two places in France so now I share my time between NYC, Bordeaux and Paris.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc? Part-time but I’m away from my home base at least 4-5 months a year. Last year and this year even more.
3. How do you fund your travelling? I work in the travel field, sometimes I get invited on “blogger trips” other times I fund my own adventures with my hubby such as Iceland earlier this year. And when I lead trips throughout France of course that pays for itself.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why? Tough choice. I’m going to cheat a but here. Paris is/was and still my first love. Japan, particularly Kyoto is my lust filled love affair that keeps me pining for more. And Bali, particularly Ubud where we went for our 25th anniversary is my young love.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why? India. Went to Kerala and Goa a few years ago at the wrong time of year. April is scalding hot and I swam in the ocean next to trash, most of the buildings I saw had black mold all over them and trash was piled up high everywhere. It’s the first place I’ve been in over 55 countries that I was desperate to get back on he plane. However I felt later once back it was unfair to write off a whole country due to one bad trip so I’m going back this November with a friend. This time to the North. Wish me luck!
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it? Of course. China, my mother in law was born in Tsing Tao and I’ve just been to Hong Kong which kind of doesn’t count. I’ve never been to Australia and everyone else in my family has been which seems terribly wrong. I’m also desperate to go to Corsica.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with? An appropriate plug for the country as there is always the phone and computer to charge. A shawl or coat for the plane, as it’s always freezing, noise cancelling headphones and hand sanitizer.
8. What makes you happy and why? Beauty, good food, adventure, new places – generous and kind people. Traveling makes me feel like a new person and opens up my mind continually.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start? I started to find a way to get out of my former line of work, politics and not for profit work. Saving the world is exhausting!! I have always been a passionate traveler and I’ve had a place in Paris for 16 years so that focus was natural for me.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it? Only blog about Paris and all of France specifically dedicated to women, girls and those who love them.
From ESLT – thank you Doni for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels?