All posts tagged: Travel

When in Provence…

In April, one of my best friends came to visit me in Marseille all the way from Chicago! Laura and I spent a couple of days chilling at the beach in Marseille, and then departed on a 3-day road trip through the beautiful villages of Provence along with two other friends. We were a little early for one of the main attractions – the famous lavender fields were not quite in bloom – but we completely enjoyed ourselves and the Provençal landscapes all the same! I will admit that, for some reason, the prospect of planning a road trip thoroughly intimidated me! Maybe it’s because I had no idea what would be do-able in a given day, because I don’t actually even know how to drive, or because we had no particular destination and there is SO MUCH to see in the region. Luckily, our fellow travelers were super low-maintenance, so coming up with an itinerary, though intimidating, boiled down to choosing a few “Must-Sees” and then filling in the gaps. CAR RENTAL We decided …

20 mars – travel bug

Today, I have the travel bug. To be fair, I have it quite a lot of days. So often in fact, that I’ve twice picked up and moved to France. But the travel bug requires not only day dreams and travel guides and beautiful photographs. It also needs a touch of forethought, a bit of planning, and a whole lot of researching and comparing. Today was the day that I finally got down to business. I planned and arranged to visit my friend in London in May. I arranged to rent a car to drive through the beautiful provençal countryside when another friend visits in April. I booked a one night stay in Paris with the same friend. My spring break has also started to take shape with some potential travel options coming into focus– think southern Spain and/or Portugal! I also settled on a date and bought a ticket back home to the United States on May 22, and have already arranged for my personal Uber driver (my mom!) to pick me up at the airport! The …

13 mars – priorities

One of the best things about teaching in France are the school holidays. For each 6 weeks of school, we have a 2 week vacation– not too shabby! While I like to take advantage of these breaks to relax, I’d be remiss if I lived in Europe without traveling around as much as I can. After all, who knows how long I’ll even be here! This week I’ve been corresponding with a friend who I haven’t seen in 2 years. She recently graduated and moved to London and I plan to take advantage of being (relatively) close to England to finally visit her! As we coordinate dates, I look at my empty calendar for the month of May. My teaching contract ends April 30. My visa ends May 15. So far, my plan is to  pack up, go to London, and then head back to the United States. I tell her, “I’ll either come the week ending with May 20, or the week after May 20. I haven’t really decided. I haven’t booked tickets from Marseille to London yet. …

11 mars – hiking aux Goudes

2:40 PM Text message from Mom: Now they are calling for a snow storm on Tuesday!! I may finally get a snow day off from school! Friday was just some flurries! 2:41 PM Reply: That’s crazy! Meanwhile, it’s 71 here and we’re heading to the beach… Kelsey and I met at the line 19 bus stop at 3:20 and ten minutes later we were off on our weekend excursion. On the program: A hike through Les Goudes, known as “le bout du monde” to the marseillais: the end of the world. An area along the southern coast of the city of Marseille, Les Goudes are right at the entrance to one of France’s National Parks, Le Parc National des Calanques. On our very crowded 45 minute bus ride past a stretch of commercial beaches filled with sun bathers, the 15 minute wait for a second bus, and 7 minute drive careening around winding coastal roads, we watched as the buildings and landscape changed shape around us. Where tall apartment buildings were, we now saw modest, fishing dwellings. …

10 mars – Top Ten Cities in France, So Far

Yesterday, I enjoyed reading a variety of “list posts” and, as I am lacking in inspiration today, I am following suit. And so, for the 10th of March and the 10th day of the Slice of Life Challenge, I offer you my Top Ten Cities in France, So Far (limited of course by the cities I have visited, which are heavily concentrated in the south-east of the country) 10. Nice Going to Nice at the end of January was probably not the best plan. Its long stretches of pebble beaches were all but empty and the town felt a bit deserted. Next time, I’ll be sure to visit during beach season! 9. Annecy All the guide books will tell you that Annecy is the “Venice of the Alps” because apparently every city that has anything that even remotely resembles a canal is liable to be compared to Venice. This picture perfect town is really stunning, and as a result, also really touristy. 8. Aix-en-Provence Not going to lie… After hearing stories and stories about how amazing this city is from hordes of study abroad …

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🔚 👀🍕🍝🍷🇮🇹 🕗😳🏃‍🚊🔙 🌧😊😴💤👍 ❂

Thanks / No Thanks

Well, all of a sudden I’ve been in France for a full month! Boy has it flown by or what?! Little by little I’ve been settling into Marseille, into my new job, into different expectations and realities, with help from so many people (and in despite of some others…) Thanks to my mom who dropped me off at the airport. No thanks to my 25kg suitcase (plus 2 other bags). Thanks to the AirFrance employee who let the extra 2 kilos slide with no fee. No thanks to the diva in front of me in the ridiculously congested customs line at Charles de Gaulle airport who yelled at me for apparently cutting her in line when I was merely trying to take the outside lane on a turn, rather than bottleneck all 3048302 of us through the inside curve. Thanks to whatever caused a ten minute delay of my TGV that allowed me to make it on with a few minutes to spare! No thanks to metros without escalators, train platforms with large gaps, cobblestones and sidewalks full of dog …