16 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Posted on 19. Apr, 2013 by in Blog

Marie

I had a bit of a surprise the other day. Right after my interview with Andi was published, my Facebook page was flooded with questions.

Who exactly am I? How did I end up in France, of all places, doing this travel blogging thing?

As it turns out, you guys want to know more about me, apparently. I always try to talk more about travel than about me on this blog, because what I ultimately want to do is help, encourage and inspire people to travel to Europe and fall in love with the continent, just like I did.

But the many questions I received on the page, or via email, made me realize that you guys are interested in knowing more. Why, I’m not sure. My ever-doubting self just doesn’t see what could be interesting enough about me to write a 1000 word article! But ask, and you shall be rewarded.

married women traveling solo

About this expat and blogging thing…

It’s always about a boy: Moving to Europe wasn’t necessarily something I’d planned since I was a little girl. But after meeting my husband and sharing our dreams together, we realised that we had to go and live abroad. For the experience, and to test our relationship. And it only made us stronger, feeding our desire to do it again, and again, and again.

France was not necessarily part of the plan: My first trip to France was disastrous. It was cold, unfriendly, unwelcoming and dirty. 10 minutes outside the train station and I already wanted to be home. So needless to say that when my husband learned that he was mutated to France, it was a bit of shock, and I was a bit apprehensive. But with a (very) open mind and (several) bottles of wine, I made it through. Two years and counting!

I have mixed feelings about living in France: That doesn’t come as a surprise, now does it? France offers such a beautiful experience on a silver plate, but reality is very different. The rigidity of the paperwork, the idiotic customer service, the sometimes questionable traditions. Definitely requires a bit of getting used to! But on the other hand, the country is utterly fascinating, its food is delicious, the wine is tasty and cheap, and some of the world’s most renowned attractions are in France. I have yet to decide if it all evens out.

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Blogging wasn’t planned either: Before moving to France, I was working a regular 9 t0 5, 2 weeks of vacation per week type of job as a legal secretary in downtown Montreal. Nothing extraordinary. But the truth is: I hated every minute of it. And with the employment situation in France being what it is, it was nearly impossible to find a suitable job for me. As a new housewife living in France, I started reading travel blogs and researching about travel in France and in Europe. Soon, I figured that “Hey, I can do that too. I know a bunch of things about Europe, and my photography isn’t too bad. Let’s give this a try. It’s not like I have anything better to do anyway except watch bad French soap operas”. Two years later and here we are, 20,000 readers each month and an ever-expanding following. Blogging was never really part of the plan, but now I would never give it up.

It’s not always easy: I’ve written about this before, but blogging isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Schedules are insane, the pay is borderline pitiful and the competition is fierce. There are many, many upsides, mind you. Otherwise I wouldn’t do it. But don’t go and think that I have the most fantastic job in the world. It really isn’t cut out for everyone.

My income is mostly from advertising and freelancing: Blogging itself earns me very little money. Most press trips aren’t paid, and while the industry is indeed slowly changing to our favour, there is still a lot of work to be done. I have to diversify in order to make a living. I do a lot of translating and copywriting on the side, which is my main income.

Before I moved to France, I was an expat in London: Because I wasn’t blogging until I moved to France, many of you may not know that I used to live in London. I stayed there for about a year, and to this day, it’s still the most fantastic year of my life. I keep very fond memories of it, and I try to visit as often as possible.

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Odd facts about me

I’m a crazy cat/dog lady: Ask anyone who spent more than 4 minutes with me and they will confirm this. I simply cannot help myself when I see a cat or a dog. Hello squeaky voice and baby talk. The tinier the animal, the squeakier the voice. That goes without saying.

I’m a bit of a misanthropist: A lot of people will tell you that I have a heart of stone. I don’t let a lot of people in my circle, because to be frank, 90% of the people I meet will annoy me in some way and I will end up ignoring them. I don’t forgive easily, nor do I ever forget. I won’t pity you either. But if you’re in, you’re in for life.

My way or the highway. Part of the reason why I don’t like people? Because I like things to be done how I want them to be done, and I hate being told what to do. Why do you think I enjoy being an entrepreneur so much? That’s one side of my personality I have to work on. I need to learn to be more tolerant.

I’m slightly OCD: I absolutely cannot start working if my office is a mess, if the dishes aren’t done, if the laundry basket isn’t full. Sometimes I will clean just to get my mind off of work, but mainly, it’s because I can’t function if it’s not tidy enough to my taste.

Music has a very important place in my life: I cannot for the life of me play any instrument or, God forbid, sing, but I do love me a good record. I’ve had in interest in music from as far as I can remember, and nowadays my playlists are mostly filled with indie rock records.

I sleep like the dead: Tropical storm, tornado, fire alarm, police siren, name it, I’ve slept through it. I usually need a lot of time to fall asleep (my brain just won’t shut up) but when I do, I won’t wake up until my alarm clock blares into my ears.

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I used to be a very picky eater: Back in primary and high school, I would only eat things I was familiar with and that my mom was willing to buy at the grocery store. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I started eating other things, like, God forbid, ethnic food. And it turns out that now, I can’t go a week without Indian, sushi or a Mediterranean salad.

I absolutely can’t tan: Half of my family members are redheads, and DNA being ever so gracious to me, my skin is like that of an albatross. Despite being a natural blonde and not a child of the devil, I cook like a lobster within the first 10 minutes of unprotected sun exposure. I have come to the conclusion that I will never have that Cali glow most blonde girls have.

For some reason, I’m always the youngest. Most of friends are a few years older than I am, and throughout the years I’ve gotten used to being the youngest person around, everywhere. I blame that on being an only child, and being very wise for a 25 year old.

If you have more specific questions about blogging or my life, please ask in the comments section. I will be happy to reply!

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10 Responses to “16 Things You Didn’t Know About Me”

  1. Alison

    19. Apr, 2013

    Wow, we have even more in common than I thought we did. We’re pretty much the same person except for the sleep thing ;)

    Reply to this comment
  2. Nicole

    19. Apr, 2013

    Nice to learn a little bit more about you, Marie-Ever!

    “I’m a bit of a misanthropist: A lot of people will tell you that I have a heart of stone. I don’t let a lot of people in my circle, because to be frank, 90% of the people I meet will annoy me in some way and I will end up ignoring them.”

    ^
    Oh, so they have a name for what I am. Our first meeting in Toronto will be very interesting… but I’ll win you over with my Aussie charm - or some TimTam’s and a slice of toast with some Vegemite ;)

    Reply to this comment
  3. Pascale

    19. Apr, 2013

    That’s so interesting! Email me when you land off in Montreal. I really really want to spend time with you again!

    Je te souhaite un super séjour en Angleterre et en Écosse.

    Bise de la France (pour quelques heures encore)

    Pascale xxx

    Reply to this comment
  4. Adrienne

    20. Apr, 2013

    Goodness. You sound so much like me! Living abroad, because I married someone. Food? O goodness, I didn’t try Cauliflower until LAST YEAR. I absolutely love living abroad. I do NOT want to return to the USA. At all. Whatsoever. For real.

    I am not sure how I would feel about living in France either. However, I’ve only been to Paris for approximately 12hours, and found it to be quite overrated. I blogged about it. It totally is overrated. I am sure other towns are way better!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Andrea

    23. Apr, 2013

    I enjoyed learning more about you! Lovely photos =)

    Reply to this comment
  6. Laura @Travelocafe

    24. Apr, 2013

    It was a pleasure to read more about you. I love your blog. I think you do a wonderful job here. it’s funny how sometimes things turn out and everything falls into place somehow.

    Reply to this comment
  7. James

    24. Apr, 2013

    I have discovered recently your blog. I am happy to read all these about you. Makes me relate a bit more to your posts and journeys.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Andrea

    02. May, 2013

    It’s nice to get to know you a little better! Blogging is a funny world where a persona often comes across more than a person, so thank you for sharing some real bits about who YOU are!

    Reply to this comment
  9. Mareli Strydom

    05. Jun, 2013

    It’s always nice to get to know the “person behind the blog” so thank you so much for sharing this! I also don’t really like most people. I’d much rather glare at them from my booth in the corner of the bar as I share a beer with friends.

    Hope your travels are going well.

    Reply to this comment

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