All posts filed under: Travel

nablopomointro

I am back at home and can type on a real keyboard instead of the tiny digital one on my phone!!! But I just got back from a VERY long (and somewhat dramatic!) six and a half hour bus ride so I’m copping out slightly by writing a quick introduction to my fellow Cheer Peppers, especially those I haven’t met yet! Hi! I’m Anne. I am from Washington, DC (Arlington, VA if you must know…) and I currently live in Marseille, France. This is the second year I have packed my belongings into two small suitcases and flown with them across the ocean to work as an English teacher in French public elementary schools. I’ve been learning French since I was 12 years old, but it’s only in the past 3 or 4 where I have felt truly “fluent” or “proficient” or whatever it’s called when you can pretty much get by on a day to day basis, but still wildly guess the gender of nouns about 85% of the time. I write mostly stories about living …

5️⃣🏘🇮🇹

Today is the first day of NaBloPoMo/NanoPoblano aka National Blog Posting Month! I’m going to (attempt to) make a post each day in the month of November!!since I’m on vacation for a few days and only have my phone to post, here’s a little sneak peek of a post I’ll probably expand on this month. Can you figure out what I did today based on the emoji?? 🚊💺😴🎟🔜1️⃣        ℹ️💁🚶‍↗️↗️↗️🌞⛪️📸↘️↘️↘️😰🍞😋 🏞🚷😕 🚉🔜2️⃣        ℹ💁🚶‍↪️👀🏘⤴️👀🚤⤵️📸☕️🍷😍😍😍📸🌞 🚉🔜3️⃣🤔❌4⃣        🚶‍↘️➡️↗️↘️↪️🏖↩️👀🍦🍋🍯😍😋🌤        🚶‍⤴️↗️↗️⬆️⬆️☀️😳😰😩💦🆙🚶‍➡️➡️➡️🌅😍📸➡️➡️↘️↘️⤵️➡️🤗5⃣🔚 👀🍕🍝🍷🇮🇹 🕗😳🏃‍🚊🔙 🌧😊😴💤👍 ❂

Every. Vote. Matters. – How to vote from abroad

In the past 24 hours, I inadvertently sent myself down a 9/11 rabbit hole, beginning with this extremely well done Politico feature about the reporters, advisors and pilots with President Bush on September 11 and culminating with 5 hours of History Channel and MSNBC anniversary specials. Probably not a great idea to inundate myself with images of horrific plane crashes 7 days before boarding a flight… But it’s really motivated me. It’s reminded me that every single person’s contribution to their country matters. Small actions have the potential to create waves. And less than 60 days before a major presidential election is the perfect time to be reminded of this responsibility. If you are voting from abroad, you must request an absentee ballot in advance. Luckily, it’s super simple. I requested mine in about 20 minutes, and by the next day was notified by my local election board that my request had been processed and my ballot will be emailed to me at the end of the month! Go to https://www.fvap.gov/ and select your state to see registration deadlines. In my …

the gratte-frog

The four of us piled into our Airbnb apartment in Montpellier, France. As my friends began to change into their pajamas and brush their teeth, I examined the bookshelves: A full set of hardback Harry Potter books; several shelves of paperbacks, their titles written upside-down as is the way with French publishers; a small CD collection and an unplugged stereo; three little wooden frogs, decreasing in size. I now know these small wooden figures are called Frog Rasps, or güiros, a type of Latin American percussion instrument. But at the time, I just thought they were funny. Because we are hilarious, Julia and I decided to play a prank on Hannah and Rachel, who were quietly reading in the bed they were sharing in the other room. We waited until it was absolutely. quiet. and then… brrrrrrr-ap! , brrrrrrr-ap! the sound of the mallet stroking the frog’s bumpy back. “What the hell was that?!” we heard from the other side of the curtain that separated the rooms. We had already dissolved into giggles. Because apparently we are 12. …

sensing scents

These days, I have been looking just about everywhere for inspiration : scrolling through my old photos on Flickr, listening in on conversations in the hallways, eating dinner, reflecting on my habits or daily experiences. Today I found it in an old crumpled up bottle of lotion on my dresser. I don’t use it that often anymore because it’s almost completely used up, and I have bigger, newer bottles to try. But I haven’t thrown it away yet because it’s a French brand that isn’t widely available in the US and I can be a little bit of a hoarder when it comes to nostalgic memorabilia. Plus, it’s still got a few good uses left. I originally bought it sometime last February or March to use during travel. The bigger bottles I already had were too cumbersome to pack and not allowed in carry-ons due to their size. This little bottle was not only the perfect portable size, but also multi-purpose: it’s extra light formula was perfect as both a body and face lotion! When I reached for …

the ultimate throwback thursday

In 1999, my family spent several weeks of our summer vacation in Spain. We used a family friend’s tiny guest apartment in Madrid as a “home base” to travel all around the country. At 7 years old, I can’t pretend that I remember much about the trip beyond some sporadic memories, but a big photo album full of shots from the trip helps. Some of my favorite pictures were taken in a small town just outside of Madrid called Segovia. Its massive Roman aqueduct that cuts through the center of the town and the XII century Alcázar have led to Segovia being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What I remember most from visiting Segovia is seeing dozens of cows lounging underneath the immense arches of the aqueduct and a roomful of real suits of armor filling the Alcázar, which was like something out of a storybook or movie! I have looked at these photos countless times, and (with the exception of the acqueduct photo) I had never had a single clue where they were taken. We spent …

Smell the Roses

In dark times, sometimes we just need to be surrounded by flowers. Being fall, it’s not so easy to find many flowers in nature, so I thought it would be a perfect day to throw way way back to a beautiful and flower-filled place I visited back in 2013, when I interned in Paris. Then, I saw from the Chicago Art Institute that yesterday was Claude Monet’s birthday, and I knew my idea was meant to be. In June 2013, some friends and I took a day trip out to Giverny, famous for the residence and gardens of renowned impressionist  Claude Monet. The village is about 80km west of Paris. To get there, we had to take the train to a slightly larger town called Vernon and then a shuttle bus to Giverny. I remember that we all had major issues purchasing our tickets, because the machines in Gare St Lazare only accepted cards with the little chips. We were so afraid of missing the train that we dared not wait in the long line at the ticket …