On today’s edition of Hg2’s ‘Meet the Blogger’ series, we’re catching up with Julie Falconer. Originally from California, Julie is a London-based travel writer and consultant. She writes a travel blog called A Lady in London runs a travel website called VisitingEU, and helps people plan trips to destinations all over the world.
Check out previous ‘Meet the Blogger’ posts here.
You’ve been blogging about your travels for five years now; what would you say the highlight of your adventures has been?
I get asked that question all the time, and it is a really difficult one to answer. I believe that if you keep an open mind when you travel, you will enjoy everywhere you visit. There are certain places that stand out in my mind for certain things, for example the Maldives for beaches and Chile and Namibia for landscapes, but I couldn’t choose just one highlight.
With 90 countries under your belt, could you pick up a top five of places every Hedonist should visit?
This is also a difficult question, as there are so many amazing places around the world. If I had to narrow it down to five, I might choose San Sebastian in Spain for food, the Maldives for beaches, Langkawi in Malaysia for relaxation, Namibia for the nature and wildlife, and Paris for the overall experience.
Which is your favourite London restaurant that you’d recommend all of your guests to try while they’re here?
I love Nahm at the Halkin Hotel in Knightsbridge. The restaurant serves Thai food, and the balance of flavours is really amazing. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to have dinner at Nahm in London and its sister restaurant, Nahm in Bangkok, one month apart. It was great to be able to compare the two, although the one in Thailand left my mouth slightly on fire from all of the spice!
On your blog you detail some of the stresses of grocery shopping here in the UK. Have you found many other irritations in a life across the Atlantic?
I wouldn’t really call them irritations; they’re more cultural differences. Lots of little things are different from country to country, but keeping an open mind and a sense of humor about them makes it easier to adapt as you go.
Thanks to your blog’s success, you often get invited to exciting London events. Which has been the most hedonistic pleasure you’ve been able to sample?
I once got invited to spend a night at the 51 Buckingham Gate hotel in London, and they put me up in the biggest suite I have ever seen. It had three bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and a huge sitting room. Everything was decorated impeccably, and I even had my own butler. There was so much space that I almost didn’t know what to do with myself!
Constant travellers such as yourself can sometimes find it difficult to maintain a satisfying home life as friends and family never know when their loved one is going to be around. How do you make sure you keep in touch with the people who matter?
Social media is the easiest way to keep in touch, both while I’m traveling and when I get back. Additionally, most of my friends know that I travel a lot, and many of them travel almost as much as I do, if not more. We’ve gotten used to planning things well in advance and making sure we’re all up for spontaneous gatherings when we are in London.
How do you keep your travel experiences exciting?
I try to go to a different place every time I travel. With few exceptions—going home to San Francisco to visit my family, for example—I don’t go the same place twice. When I visit somewhere new, there is always the excitement of exploring it for the first time and discovering what it is about the place that makes it unique in the world.
Which destination can we hope to hear a Lady’s recount of next? Are there any other projects you’d like to take on in the future?
Right now my top three destinations are Botswana, Mozambique, and Ethiopia, so I’m hoping to travel to all of them in the next year or two. Apart from that, now that I have completed my goal of visiting 90 countries before my 30th birthday, I would like to come up with another long-term travel goal. In the meantime, I hope to do some more traveling around Europe.
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