My 5 questions to … Stephanie Duval

During my adventure of becoming a ‘real’ blogger I bought some books with tips and tricks about blogging.

One of those books was ‘how blogs work‘, written by Stephanie Duval.
Stephanie is a Belgian blogger living in Switzerland. She has many talents, not only does she blog on 70percentpure but she is also a photographer and freelance journalist.
She’s all about beautiful design and loves to travel.

Here are my 5 questions :

  • When did it hit you, you like to travel and blog about it? Was it one holiday in particular?

It wasn’t a holiday, but I remember the trip very clearly. It was a press trip organised by a British fashion chain, and perhaps the tenth or so trip I had to take for work. It was a lot of fun – staying in a beautiful hotel, experiencing the best of London, even a private performance by Paloma Faith, way before she became famous. I was traveling home on the Eurostar and looking through some of the snapshots that I’d taken and I decided it was just too much fun to keep to myself. As I was mostly traveling for work, I’d find myself alone a lot of the time, or not really able to share my thoughts with other journalists that I didn’t really know that well, so I created 70percentpure.be as an outlet for those experiences. Besides, when I needed to come up with a name for the blog that night, I was inspired by a piece of chocolate that I’d brought from that trip to London: it was 70% cacao.

  • What was the best hotel you’ve ever been to?

I don’t know if it was the best hotel, but it sure was the best hotel experience I’ve ever had – though it has more to do with what happened there than with the hotel itself. When we arrived at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and got settled in by the pool with cocktails and ceviche, on the second or third day of our two-week trip through California, my then-boyfriend proposed to me. It was the perfect setting and the perfect night, and so the perfect start to our amazing holiday. I can remember all the little details of the hotel so well: the ping-pong table we almost wrecked with our competitiveness, the gorgeous succulents in the garden, the beautiful room… We returned to the hotel during our honeymoon and even stayed in the same room. It will always be a special place to me.

  • What holiday surprised you the most? What country/city was more amazing than you thought it would be?

My first time in Los Angeles was on another press trip, and I was so surprised with how much I loved that city from the first moment. Of course I stayed in a gorgeous hotel, met amazing people and got to take a look behind the scenes of the L.A. fashion industry, so that definitely helped. But I’ve gone back there twice with my husband and I still love it so much. It’s the perfect mix of big city humdrum and laid back beach vibes. It also has the best museums and restaurants – I’d say my experience there perhaps even trumps my New York experiences, which before always ranked at the top of the list.

  • What holiday was a disappointment? When you thought it would be great but really wasn’t.

I had one horrible experience when traveling to Istanbul for work. I missed my first flight, they lost my luggage, I missed half of the program at the destination and was left to my own devices much of the time. It was in winter and the weather was terrible, and the person in charge of the trip was a creep. I locked myself in my hotel room for the better part of the last day, and was super relieved to go back home. It’s a shame because I didn’t get to discover anything in the beautiful city, but the circumstances just weren’t there to experience Istanbul the right way. I’ll need to go back some day to change my opinion about it. 

  • What country/city/hotel is your #1 on your wishing list?

My wishlist is never-ending, and it’s hard to pick just one place. I’d have to say Canada though. I’ve only been to Vancouver and I loved it there. I’m especially drawn to the combination of gorgeous nature and bustling cities – best of both worlds. I’d like to see more of Canada soon. Besides that, there are plenty more places in the States that I’d love to visit. A trip along the East Coast is high up there, too. And closer to home I’d love to revisit Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen. I’ve only been to these cities on business trips without my husband, and I’d love to experience them in a more relaxed way with him.

A special thanks to Stephanie. Not only for this interview, but for her advice in her book as well.
stea

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My 5 questions to … Clay

While browsing the web looking for travel inspiration I found Clay. He’s a twenty – something U.S. traveler, university student and entrepreneur.
While he travels he writes about his adventures on the road while giving plenty of tips and tricks to enjoy traveling without exploding your budget. His upcoming adventure is moving to Scotland.

He was so kind to respond to my 5 questions to keep others inspired!

  • When did it hit you, you like to travel and blog about it? Was it one holiday in particular?

Nope! It wasn’t a particular holiday. It was completely random, really. I remember 2 months out from graduating high school asking myself if the career path I had chosen was what I wanted in my heart (it was being a police officer) and I asked myself what I would do if I could do anything. Like any sane person I said “Travel the world!” Luckily I had some writing chops and was recognized by my peers as being talented in that area which gave me some confidence, so travel writing it was. About a year later I launched Headed Abroad.

  • What was the best hotel you’ve ever been to?

That’s a tough question! I would have to go with this place I stayed in Dearborn, Michigan. I can’t even remember the name of the place, but it was typically used for business travelers. What I liked about it the most was that it was 10 or so stories tall and the entire middle was carved into a giant atrium. There was a bar and lounge area at the bottom and a big pool (i’m a sucker for pools) inside. 

  • What holiday surprised you the most? What country/city was more amazing than you thought it would be?

The holiday that surprised me the most was a trip I took to Florida. I spent a week traveling through tourist areas in cities like Orlando. I’m typically not a big fan of tourist attractions, but there was the Harry Potter World at Universal and of course being a massive fan I had to go.

  • What holiday was a disappointment? When you thought it would be great but really wasn’t.

Hmm, good question! I can’t say I have one particular holiday that was a disappointment because i’m generally fairly satisfied when i’m traveling. A recent disappointment though that I had was plans to head to Colorado that ended up falling through. Travel plans falling through is the worst!

  • What country/city/hotel is your #1 on your wishing list?

The number one on my list right now is Scotland. I’ve heard incredible things about it and i’ve been wanting to go for years. I even read a guidebook on it because I wanted to go so badly even though I didn’t have any plans at the time. Thankfully, in early to mid-August i’ll be moving there for 3.5 months just outside of Edinburgh and taking a guided tour of the Highlands as well as a few other trips when I can afford them. I’m going to have to find a new #1 pretty soon!

If you’re curious about Clay’s adventure in Scotland or interested in his tips and tricks while traveling you should definitely check him out here : headedabroad