- So tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you begin to have a passion for all things English?
- Was Anglophilia something that attracted you to your wife, or did you infect her after you got married?
My wife is an Anglophile by proxy. If she hadn’t met me, I doubt she’d be into it at all. We met in college and our early days really had nothing to do with Britain until we went together for the first time in 2004 (where I proposed on the Eiffel Tower). She didn’t quite know what she was getting herself into at first. She jokes now that England comes first in our relationship followed by her, which is not true obviously, she’s first (followed by our 1 year old, then England).
- You run an awesome website called Anglotopia. Why did you start Anglotopia? What is its primary purpose and has that changed over the years?
sad that we hadn’t been to Britain in a few years because we were so poor. So, I thought, why don’t I start a website about this passion as an outlet – so I founded Anglotopia in our apartment closet (my office at the time). The first site, compared to now, was an embarrassment, but as traffic grew, I knew I was onto something.
- When you started your website did you ever think that one day it would be getting hundreds of thousands of pageviews a month?
Not really. It always feels good to watch your traffic grow – it means your onto something and that people enjoy it. When we hit our traffic peak last year during the Royal Wedding (35,000 hits in a DAY), I just could not believe it.
- Anglotopia is now your full-time job, correct? What was it like to make that leap to earning a living off a website?
It was a tough balance. Then something unexpected happened – I was laid off from my job in late March. Rather than find another one, my wife and I just agreed to go for it and work for Anglotopia full time. Haven’t looked back since and it’s been the best year of our lives. I work from home now, Anglotopia has a basement office decked out in everything British. I spend every day working on what I love and I don’t miss any of the baby’s milestones. The balance work/home balance is sometimes hard to maintain but I can’t imagine a scenario where I would go back to work in a ‘real job.’
- Obviously Anglotopia fills a need for a very passionate niche. Do you think number of Anglophiles is growing? Why do so many people around the world have a need to learn about England?
I don’t know if it’s growing – a lot of people are closet Anglophiles, whether they watch Masterpiece on PBS or pick up a book on English history from Barnes & Noble. A lot of people have English, Welsh, Scottish, etc. heritage, so it’s also a way to connect with their forbears. I think when there’s a big event like the Royal Wedding – we seem to have more ‘mania’ for all things British. But I think it’s always there.
- How much time have you spent in England, and do you intend to move there?
- In researching posts for my own blog I’ve come across hundreds of castles, manors, forests, lakes, etc. It’s all gorgeous, but I’ve wondered if spending a lot of time in Britain could ever get monotonous. Have you ever been burned-out by one too many castles or museums?
I don’t know – I’m sure it’s possible. I had a chat with an American Expat on my flight back from London and he was entering year five of living in Britain. He said he loved it there but after 5 years, there’s only so many castles and stately homes you can stomach. So, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
- If you could eat in any English restaurant right now, where would it be and what would you order off the menu?
Well, I’m hungry for Breakfast right now so I’m thinking of this little breakfast place across from the Gloucester Road Tube station. The food isn’t that special but they have this machine that crushes fresh orange juice on the spot. It’s the best you’ll ever drink.
- Do you have any “words of wisdom” for Anglophiles or Britophiles who think they might never get to Britain?
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