My Travel Blogger Interview series continues this month with Stephanie Langlet, a French travel blogger who is in love with the tribes of Bastar, in Central India. With her 15 years of experience in blogging, Stephanie has a lot to bring to the table. Here is my interview with her:
- Tell us a little about yourself: Who are you? Where are you from?
I’m Stephanie Langlet, a French travel blogger living in Gascony, at 15 minutes from the Basque Country, a very beautiful and traditional area of France.
I’ve been a travel blogger for more than 15 years and I am now launching my own travel company. I’m still exploring the opportunity to launch two services my readers are asking me to do: writing some articles for the travel magazines and books or/and proposing some cultural tours focused on the traditional festivals and cultures.
- What is your blog about and how did you start blogging?
I started blogging 15 years ago with Amatu Artea. But in 2012 I met the fascinating tribes of Bastar in Central India and have decided to promote their traditions, culture, and the festivals of Asia in my blog Tribes and Minorities. I also began promoting my area with my blog Travels France.
- Do you travel for work or for pleasure?
I was traveling for pleasure only until now, but I’m currently launching my own company to promote the cultures of the tribes and the minorities in India and help their preservation.
- What is the most stunning place that you have ever visited?
Without any hesitation, it was the Indian Tribal belt. I was in the district of Bastar during the World’s longest festival, Bastar Dussehra and literally fell in love with the tribes. Three years later, I celebrated it for the second time then went to the neighbouring state for a second confidential Tribal festival, Dandari, where I was the first foreigner. It was two incredible experiences, first because I was able to use my popularity there to spread some messages of love and respect for the tribes; second because I was the only outsider with the tribal people of a remote village in the mountains.
- Do you feel that blogging takes time away from your social or family life?
Blogging definitely takes time and so does travel. But I try to take my little one, Jahan, – my westie dog 😀 – with me as often as I can. I also have to admit that I have a lot of story ideas I don’t have time to write about!
- What is the one thing that is too large or impractical to travel with that you wish you could take with you when you travel?
When I go to Asia, I would like to take my Jahan with me but of course it’s not possible.
- Are there any countries that you would not consider visiting and why?
I won’t visit the countries or areas that force me to travel with a guide. I want to be able to see the reality of life in these places by myself, and not only what the officials want me to see.
- Do you have any funny travel stories?
When I was in Bastar for the second time, the locals were so happy that I was on the frontpage of the newspapers, on TV or radio each day. It all happened because of my blogs and my love for this Tribal culture.
- What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
Celebrating Dandari festival in Telangana was a real adventure as there’s no information available online. Even my Indian journalist friends didn’t know about it. I searched for information for 2 years before finding a local journalist who invited me at home and took me to the festival. Dandari is the Diwali of the Gond Tribe.
- What is your favorite mean of transportation (plane, train, car, ship)?
I always use the local transportation. As I’m fascinated by the traditional cultures, I travel close to the people and use their local busses.
I’m also often invited by the locals, both to the local festivals but also to travel with them.
In a few places like Sulawesi, Vietnam and Cambodia, I’ve also hitchhiked, always with the aim to interact more with the locals.
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