Sept- Dec 2014 684

All European Capitals Before 30

I’m not one of those people who likes to set travel goals. I feel like trying to count one’s travels is akin to making them like a work project; it takes all of the fun and spontaneity out of it. However, I recently found myself setting the goal of visiting all of the capitals in Europe before I turn 30.

I don’t know why I changed my mind about goal-oriented travelling. Maybe because the winter and my work situation have made it feel like I haven’t travelled in months and that I NEED a little break. Maybe because, heck, I’ve already visited a fair number of capitals (and live in one, oh hey Paris). Or maybe because I absolutely love Europe and because I feel like it’s a worthwhile undertaking.

In any case, the goal has been set, and while I don’t have any immediate plans to check another city off my list, I’m confident that my future plans will permit me to achieve this little project of mine.

To motivate myself, I thought I’d do a little summary of the capitals I’ve visited. So, here it goes…(in order of first visited to most recently visited)

Continue reading “All European Capitals Before 30”

Sept- Dec 2014 709

Se Débrouiller

The verb se débrouiller in French is difficult to translate. If you consult a dictionary, it will tell you that the English equivalent is “to manage.” But that doesn’t quite capture the sense.

Rather, this word means something like “if you want it, if you’re smart enough, if you work hard enough, you might succeed achieving your objective.” The utility of this word is that pretty much anything from finishing a degree to moving abroad to simply figuring out how to open a door (I’ll explain) can be described by se débrouiller.

This word also heavily implies that ain’t nobody gonna help you get what you want except you. Continue reading “Se Débrouiller”

Paris March 2014 023

Secrets of Being an Au Pair

Being an au pair can be a great experience for young people looking to travel, learn a new language, or work with children. Your housing, food, and health insurance are paid for by your host family. In addition, many host families will let the au pair use their car, they will pay for a transportation pass, and they will pay for a cell phone. Some very generous families will even pay for the au pair’s flight and language classes.

And while it’s true that au pairing does offer many advantages, I found when searching for information about being an au pair, there was a lack of information about personal experiences. If you’re interested in being an au pair, you can find plenty of information on Au Pair World about legal requirements, there’s almost nothing about the everyday details (although this post from Ashley Abroad is incredibly helpful for those interested in being an au pair in France).

So, given this lack of information, I wanted to do my due diligence and contribute what I’ve learned about being an au pair.  Continue reading “Secrets of Being an Au Pair”

Paris March 2014 018

Complaints Americans Have in France

In addition to the bizarre questions French people have asked me, I am also often asked my opinion about life in France. Usually my response is “I like the cheese” or “it’s beautiful.” I even wrote a post about what I love about France. But even though there are a lot of positives to living here, there are things about France that drive me (and other Americans, I would wager) absolutely batty that would never be a problem in the US. Continue reading “Complaints Americans Have in France”