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Suzy Guese imitating a statue in North Carolina
TRAVEL INTERVIEW WITH SUZY GUESE
Fiesty and creative Suzy Guese
‘suffers’ from a strong wanderlust, like the rest of us travel fanatics. Naturally, her travel blog is filled with great personal travel stories, perspectives and destination information. But Suzy also has something very special and unique on her site. Something that helps out everyone, including herself, fellow travel bloggers, and travel fans alike. That something is her weekly series, ‘Suzy Stumbles Over Travels’, in which she encourages fellow travelers to submit their stories. Suzy reads through all of them, makes comments on the participants’ blogs, chooses her 5 favorites of the week, then promotes them all on FB, Twitter, Stumble Upon, and her own website.
Brilliant! Not only does she attract readers to her site looking to find the best stories all in one spot, inadvertently also perking her site in many ways, but she greatly helps all of us bloggers who submit our stories. I first discovered Suzy through this series and I promptly began submitting every week. I’ve found her tweets, FB posts, and Stumbles really help draw new people to my site. For that I’m eternally grateful. Thanks Suzy! Meanwhile, Suzy also writes fantastic travel stories herself.
In today’s interview we get behind the scenes of her ‘Stumbles Over’ series and also find out a lot about Suzy’s world travels, her love of Italy, and what other places she’s dying to visit. Let’s get started:
Q1. Your ongoing project, ‘Suzy Stumbles Over Travel’ is simply brilliant! How/why did you come up with the concept?
Thanks! I started the segment to help other travel bloggers and writers get more attention for their blog posts. I had my blog up for a few months and saw a lot of bloggers doing weekly features of blog posts around the web. From what I saw, most of the segments were featuring most of the top travel blogs. I also was sick of seeing the same blog posts re-tweeted. It seemed hard to find articles from bloggers who might not being getting the tweets they would like. If my commenting, tweeting, stumbling and placing a link to articles on my Facebook page helps other travel bloggers looking to get noticed, then I have accomplished my goal of the series.
Q2. When did you start the ‘Stumble’ series?
I started it in April of 2010. I have been doing it since that time. I did stop it for a few months, as I was busy traveling. I couldn’t stop it too long and within a few months I reintroduced the series again.
late night reading for Suzy Stumbles Series...
Q3. What’s the highest number of entries you’ve had in a week?
I don’t know exactly as I have been doing it for a year and half now, but the busiest weeks I receive 25 to 30 submissions. It really depends on how much others promote the series or get over the shyness of asking for a little help.
Q4. Do you ever get overwhelmed with reading all the entries, or do you simply love reading that much? How do you squeeze in the time to read, comment on, and post all of them?
I do enjoy reading all about travel from all sorts of different viewpoints. I really learn a lot about people and places all around the globe. I will say though that it is a very time consuming process. Although by doing it, I am committed to spending the time. I usually try to do the majority during the week, and leave a few for the weekend. I sometimes procrastinate and end up doing the majority on the weekend. Since I work full time as a freelancer, I can set my schedule to squeeze in all of those stumbles whenever I have a free moment.
Q5. You’re a self-proclaimed lover of Italy. What’s the draw?
While I haven’t been everywhere, Italy has moved me unlike any other place. I think a large part of my love for the country starts with the language. I studied it for years. Italian carries so much meaning and insight into this culture. The landscape, the people, the cuisine, the diversity from one region to the next, the history, Italy seemingly has it all.
Q6. What are your 3 favorite of favorite places in Italy? What’s special about those spots?
I studied abroad in the town of Ortigia on the island of Sicily. It is the old town center of the ancient city of Siracusa. Ortigia is by far my favorite place in all of Italy. Step into Piazza Duomo by day or night and I challenge anyone not to agree with me. Ortigia is a stunner.
I also love southern Sardinia. While I haven’t made it up north, I rented a car for a week and drove around the south of the island. Sardinia is so naturally beautiful from its waters to its hills, I had a hard time resisting the island.
Lastly, I can’t forget the tie between Florence and Rome. I have sentimental attachments to Florence for I did a homestay there with an elderly Florentine couple. They became my Italian parents amidst a city that looks like it just dropped out of the Renaissance. Rome is where I fell in love with Italy. The fountains, the ruins and the gelato are easy to fall for, no matter your age or position.
Q7. Besides Italy, what are 2 other favorite countries and why?
Portugal had a feel unlike other countries I have visited. I traveled from the north of Porto to the south Algarve region. It is a place of great diversity and tradition, where the contrast of young and old is ever present.
I just took a road trip through the US South and strangely I found myself appreciating my own country more. We often criticize our homes and try to go as far away from them as possible, but when you consider how massive the United States is and all that it contains, it is a pretty remarkable place.
I know you said just two, but I have to toss in Ireland. Ireland is one of my favorites for you can find yourself stuck down a narrow one-way lane, and four men will rise to save you and back you out of trouble. Ireland’s great humility is hard to deny.
Q8. Where are you based?
I make my home in Denver, Colorado. I was born and raised here so it is home. It is always a nice place to come home to and to leave at the same time. I just need to plan my travels out of town around any snowstorms and I can still love Denver.
Q9. How much do you travel in a year?
I try to go somewhere each and every month. I will plan a few big trips a year where I will spend anywhere from a month to three months in a place.
The youth of Porto, Portugal jumping into the River Duoro copy
Q10. What’s your ideal type of travel- in terms of length of trip, destinations, activities, accommodation, etc?
My ideal type of travel is to spend three months in a country. I like renting apartments to feel more a part of a foreign place than someone just looking in from their hotel room. I enjoy making one spot my home base, away from home, and traveling on the weekends or on day trips around the country. I would prefer to spend three months in one country, focusing all of my attention to it than spending three months in 25 countries. I enjoy exploring the history of places, going in a museum or two, eating local desserts and definitely finding something natural, some secluded beach to swim or mountain to climb.
Q11. Nowadays many people are out traveling the world long term and nomadically. Does that appeal to you, or would you rather have a home base and make shorter trips out from there? In either case, why the preference?
The idea of not coming home for years doesn’t really appeal to me. I think you can travel for extended periods of time, but traveling long term would wear me out. I prefer to go live in places for a few months at a time and come home for a bit of a break. Travel can be exhausting if you are getting up and going from place to place each day or every few days. I need to sleep in my bed at home every once in awhile and see my family. Although, I wouldn’t mind if someone tossed me a round the world ticket for a year of travel.
|Suzy having dinner with Loriana, her Florentine host mom
Q12. Are there any places you’re just dying to go visit? Where and why?
Everywhere! I am dying to see the Greek islands. I always say I will go and never do. I also am curious about the Middle East and Africa. Most of my traveling has been centered on North America and Europe. Anywhere I can branch out my worldview I am dying to visit.
Thanks Suzy for your behind the scenes look at ‘Suzy Stumbles Over Travel’ and for sharing personal insights on your travel life.
Go check out Suzy’s own travel stories and the great round-ups of travel tales from around the globe: