March 22, 2018

Travel Blogger Interview – Terri Fogarty of @EuropeUpClose

For this week’s travel blogger interview we are lucky to speak to Terri Fogarty of EuropeUpClose. You can follow her on Twitter at @europeupclose.

Hi Terri, thanks very much for answering these questions for The Flaneur.

Where are you based?

Portland, Oregon

What does your blog cover?

We cover all of Europe and a few more countries the people may visit while in Europe (Morocco and Turkey)

How did you decide on your specialisation?

I traveled to Europe many times and fell in love with the land of my ancestors.

How long have you been travel blogging?

6 years

What do you like most about it?

We have writers who travel to places we haven’t been to and we learn a lot from them.

Any downsides?

I always feel that I should be in Europe discovering a new place to write about, so I neglect the rest of the world!

How do you prefer to travel? Backpacking, alone, budget, luxury…?

My husband and I are not backpackers. We prefer as much luxury as we can afford, which puts us in B&Bs and independent smaller hotels.

What do you like visiting? Art galleries, beaches, bars?!

We are culture vultures. We love the architecture, museums, monuments and cultural activities in every city. One of my fondest memories is of seeing the ballet Ramona at the Opera Garnier in Paris.

To what extent are your activities dictated by the needs of the blog?

While on a blog trip, we know that we must tweet, post on Facebook and document our experiences.

How much time a day do you spend on the blog whilst travelling and when back home?

When traveling, I’d say I spend at least an hour a  day. At home, this is my full-time job.

Does your blog pay the bills?

Our blog pays the bills for the blog. We pay our writers and hosting, seo etc and still have some left over for travel.

How do you afford all the travel?

We can only travel to Europe a few times a year unless on a sponsored blog trip

Have you noticed a change in attitude towards travel bloggers since you began?

I think more tourist boards and companies realize the importance and influence of blogs for prospective travelers.

Do you speak any languages?

Unfortunately, no.

How does it help your travels to speak languages?

It would help a lot, but we have had no major problems in our travels, and we usually travel independently.

What tech do you take with you on your travels?

We take a netbook and my iPhone, But I only use the phone in airplane mode.

How do you access the net abroad? Wifi or local sims?

We use WiFi while abroad and make sure our hotel provides it.

How much time do you spend away from home per year on average?  

About a month or a bit more.

How do you pick your destinations?

I read all the articles we publish on EuropeUpClose and some of the places seem to call to us.

Do you ever travel on holidays which you don’t cover for the blog? We just got back from Hawaii… we had to work a bit, but at least we didn’t have to take notes!

What has been your stand-out trip or destination?

Too many to count; every trip is really special for different reasons.  We do tend to prefer France, though.

What meals do you remember as particularly delicious/ unusual/inedible?

My husband and I had a wonderful dinner while seated on the patio of the Hotel Domaine de Rochebois in the Perigord. The food was excellent, the night was warm, the stars were out and we looked out at the lights of the little town of Dome.

You must have gathered some amusing anecdotes on your travels. Can you share one?
On our first trip to Germany, my husband, Bill and I took the train from Frankfurt to Dresden. We had first class tickets with assigned seats but we could not find the first class car, so we boarded in second class, which was full to the point of people sitting in the aisles.
We consulted with a conductor and he advised that first class was five cars up. He suggested that we get off at the next stop and run forward to the first class car. At the next stop we quickly disembarked and ran like blazes with our luggage. Bill made it to the first class car while I lagged behind. I motioned to Bill to board the train as I approached the car trailing the first class car. Bill boarded the train as the doors closed. As I was stepping onto the train, the doors closed in my face. I pressed the ”open door” button, but it didn’t open. The train left and I was stuck in some little town in Germany without a train ticket and no German language ability, while my husband was on the train to Dresden without me.
I went to the station help desk to get assistance, while Bill, after searching the train for me, contacted the conductor to explain what had happened. The train conductor and the people at the train station made telephone contact and let Bill know that I’d be on the next train. Everyone was so helpful in spite of the language barriers, so after a five-hour separation, we had a happy reunion at the Dresden Train station.  And, by the way, I now carry my own passport and train/plane tickets.

What have you learned since you started travel blogging?

I learned that it takes a lot of work and that it take years before you can make any money.

Have you figured out any deep philosophical truths?  or discovered the best blogging platform?


Are there any countries you have visited In which you would like to live?

I’d love to live in the South of France

Any advice for wannabe travel bloggers? 

There are no shortcuts to good content.

Where’s next?

We are thinking about going to Dublin, Ireland next fall for TBEX Europe.

Thank you very much for answering these questions.

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