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Weekly Novel Recommendations: The Bookman’s Tale

As a prelude to the upcoming Literary Adventures free PDF Guide I created, I’ve decided to begin my Weekly Novel Recommendations with The Bookman’s Tale.  What could be more fitting for a “novel adventure” than a novel about more novels?  It’s a bibliophile’s dream. Nestled away in a musty bookstore in a small Southern Welsh village, Protagonist Peter…

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“But this is Ottawa” – Two Days After the Parliament Shooting

October 22, 2014, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian soldier on ceremonial sentry duty at the Canadian National War Memorial. My flight to Ottawa was for October 23rd. I had planned my trip to Canada’s capital about a month before this unexpected attack. At first, as the country panicked, my parents almost…

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Finding Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise, France

My French Life Article From the popular Louvre to the perhaps more obscure Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris certainly has its share of some of the world’s finest museums. However, quick daytrips from Paris can offer equally artistic experiences far from the hustle and bustle of la ville lumière. For those in need of…

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One Year Blogging – Reflecting and Looking Forward

*Note: I wrote this over a month ago and just haven’t had the guts to post it until now. Nearly everyone I meet asks, “Oh, what are you doing with your life?  What’s your plan?”  You’d think by now I’d have a solid answer to deliver.  Everyone should have quick answers on hand for cocktail…

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Halloween in France: what do the French really think?

My French Life Article It’s that time of year again. Autumn leaves are casting much of the world in an orange and golden haze, children are dreaming of costumes, and parents are buying candy bags in bulk. Well, at least in some parts of the world… Continue reading

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Where to go Instead of Versailles

My little French secret? Versailles isn’t worth it. When all the tourists pour into the golden castle of our history text books, they leave ample space in Chantilly for me, and now you. Lured by the promise of a fairytale-esque moat and sparse tourists, my mom and I visited Chantilly with high hopes.  Located just…

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The Most Beautiful Village in England

William Morris allegedly described Bibury as “the most beautiful village in England.” That’s quite the statement, Mr. Morris. While living abroad in London, I took day trips to Glastonbury, Stonehenge, Avebury, and Stratford-upon-Avon, all of which I recommend.  And yet, I didn’t travel to the tiny English village in the Cotswolds. An endorsement as indulgent…

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In Defense of Women: Solo Female Travel

“I am a journalist and a ‘new woman’ if that means that I believe I can do anything a man can do” – Annie Londonderry, the first woman to bicycle around the world As a solo female traveler, I’ve proudly taken the stand that women can and should travel wherever they damn well please. When…

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Our Never-Ending Quest to Understand the French

France and I have a complicated relationship.  In true French fashion, our love affair is passionate, mysterious, and unpredictable. Never easy. Never calm. But rewarding. In the past six years, France and I have dealt with an abusive exchange family, a stalker, a drug-addicted exchange sister, broken suitcases and broken hearts in airports, with the…

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Traveling to the New and the Old

Traveling is a flirtatious dance.  We discover tidbits about our dancing partners in the brief whirls and twirls, only to move on to the next, just as we unearth secrets about our favorite new places, only to smile, wave, and move on to the next adventure.  Sometimes though, certain places stay with you.  They’re the…