Meet the Travel Bloggers: Charu Suri of ButterflyDiary

This week’s Meet the Travel Bloggers’ interview is with travel blogger, Charu Suri of ButterflyDiary.

When, why and how did you start your travel blog?
I’ve always liked keeping a record of my travels, and I used to write in journals a lot. The transition to an online venue was just a matter of time. I started my travel blog officially about two years ago, when I rebranded. Before that it was just a mix of musings and reviews.

How did the blog get its name?
I love butterflies and the way they travel—elegant and unhurried. Each one has such a colorful story, so I thought it’d be a perfect way to describe the social butterfly in all of us. The name ButterflyDiary made sense for an online journal filled with colorful tales.

Travel blogger Grand Canyon photo Matthew Minucci

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon, photo/Matthew Minucci

What is the thing that keeps you the most jazzed about blogging?
Definitely the people I’ve met and the places I’ve visited. Both are extremely important to the whole blogging experience. I’ve formed lasting friendships and shared my passions with extraordinary travelers and learned a lot from them. I’ve also learned so much about various locales, cuisines and cultures. I wouldn’t have had this in any other profession.

What excites you about travel?
The sense of discovery and the journey. I love learning about history and new cultures. I love the culinary experiences too. Every time I visit a new place I discover something about myself in the process. Each visit—whether it’s a weekend getaway or a cross-continental trip—gives me goose bumps because it makes me realize just how darn big our planet is. So much to learn and take in each day!

Travel blogger Elliot's Beach Chennai India photo Matthew Minucci

Elliot’s Beach in Charu’s hometown, Chennai, India, photo/Matthew Minucci

What kind of traveler are you?
I recently rebranded to focus the site on affordable luxury and culture, because I’m not a camper—I’m a glamper! But all kidding aside, I have done all—luxury, bargain, backpacking and I’m super flexible. I prefer glamping to camping, but there’s something beautiful about roughing it in the woods too. I just happen to love the details such as turndown service, a quality breakfast and newspapers delivered to your door. I think in my other life I would be an amenities concierge! But I think if you’re into travel, you get the most out of the experiences by being flexible. The most important thing is to enrich your mind.

You just had a baby. How do you think being a parent will impact your travels and travel choices?
It will definitely be different but I’m not sure much of my travel experiences will change. I will definitely look out for more kid-friendly activities but children—as I have just now discovered—are super flexible, especially in their early years. They learn from you. Erika already has enjoyed our outings and I’m sure she will be a great traveler. We just need to bring the extras-like stuffed toys and diapers when we travel!

travel blogger Matrimandi photo Matthew Minucci

The “Matrimandi” in Auroville, Pondicherry, India, photo/Matthew Minucci

On the road, do you seek out some experiences more than others?
I adore photography, so my eye is always wandering for that photo op, or scenic view. I also love the outdoors, so I’m prone to go where there are natural landscapes. I’ve been a life-long vegetarian but am a real foodie, and I absolutely love learning about the local culture and history by talking with insiders and getting to know the lay of the land through the natives, rather than the tourists.

Is being in your comfort zone important to you?
I’m a stickler for certain things like clean, comfortable hotel rooms but apart from that, I’m totally open to exploring every nook and cranny of a destination. I’ve never done stuff like skydiving or zip lining—they intimidate me—but that’s not to say I won’t give them a try one day. The only way to get over fear is by facing it. I’m afraid of heights but I’ve still driven our car up Mount Washington and gone on panoramic hikes in Yosemite and the Smoky Mountain Range in South Carolina. Bit by bit I’m learning to be less afraid of steep places—the experience is totally worth it!

What’s your most memorable travel experience or favorite trip ever?
I recently wrote about it for the Team Red Blogger Relay. It was during my trip to Kruger National Park in South Africa. We were in an open-top jeep and walked alongside a pride of lions for nearly an entire mile. They were so close that we could reach out and touch them. It was the most terrifying and awesome moment of my travel experiences…and I’d so do it again.

travel blogger Jordan photo Matthew Minucci

Charu with a Bedouin in Jordan, photo/Matthew Minucci

What’s your favorite place on earth?
That’s a tough question. I would say Rome, Italy. I absolutely fell in love with everything there when I was a student studying Latin with the Papal Secretary at the Vatican. We soaked up Rome while speaking (yes, speaking) Latin during a summer abroad at college and the three months I spent there were nothing short of a Roman Holiday moment. Till this day I cherish my memories there.

Where are you off to next? 
Most likely, St. Lucia. My husband and I got engaged there and we think it would be such a treat to revisit the lush island with baby Erika and to see how it has changed.

What’s the biggest fantasy on your bucket list and why?
To do the Silk Road. I’ve been dreaming of doing it for years because I am obsessed with the Orient, but I want to make it happen.

travel blogger BuggerflyDiary photo Matthew Minucci

Charu at the Butterfly Farm in Aruba, photo/Matthew Minucci

Charu Suri left a career in Investment Banking to pursue her passions — traveling and writing- several years ago, and has not looked back since. A full time freelance writer, traveler and Social Media consultant, she loves to write about history, vegetarian food, culture and photography. As a new mom, she’ll be paying a lot more attention to kid-friendly “green” destinations in the near future. An ardent lover of cupcakes and coffee, she’s always on the hunt for cool cafes with Wi-Fi. Her husband, Matthew Minucci, takes most of the cool photos found on the site and soon Baby Erika will be making several appearances in her travel posts. You can read ButterflyDiary and follow her on Twitter.  

Introducing Erika:

travel blogger photo Matthew Minuccci

Erika with the glass-beaded bangle: she looks puzzled…, photo Matthew Minuccci

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6 Responses to “Meet the Travel Bloggers: Charu Suri of ButterflyDiary”

  1. Charu
    September 19, 2019 at 8:11 pm #

    Thank you so much for having me Billie! Travel blogging has brought me the good fortune of meeting you!
    Charu recently posted..Southern Belle: Western Kentucky University Museum Houses “Ordinary Objects” by Extraordinary AmericansMy Profile

    • Venkataraman Ravi
      September 19, 2019 at 10:59 pm #

      Suri When is Charu visiting India next time? I would like her to come and address the IIT Alumni club members on her travel adventures. Cheers Ravi

    • Billie Frank
      September 20, 2019 at 6:37 am #

      Thanks, Charu. I so regret not coming out to meet you at the spur of the moment in Santa Fe. If only I’d known! Thanks for the wonderful interview.

  2. S.RAJAH IYER
    September 19, 2019 at 8:33 pm #

    I like thereasons for the name”Butterfly”diary and amazed at th timely pictures of a street vendor of Chennai in the Elliotts beach.These small things make the entire travel experience a once in a life time achievement I believe..
    I am really proud that my daughter is ‘fluent’ in Greek and Latin too!

  3. Traveling Ted
    September 20, 2019 at 4:53 am #

    I have been following Charu for years on twitter and she is awesome. Now I am following her and baby Erika on instagram. Great interview and nice to learn a little more about her.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Four adventure travel activities I want to tryMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      September 20, 2019 at 6:43 am #

      I agree Ted. I’m really enjoying learning about all the bloggers who’ve contributed to the series.

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