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Paris Guide: Where to Shop

Parisian Shopping – On a Budget Rue de Rivoli (métro: Châtelet) Rue de Rivoli features larger brands such as Zara and H&M.  While not necessarily the most luxurious in Paris, it’s an enjoyable shopping experience—just avoid it on sunny Saturday afternoons, when you’ll find every teenager in Paris. A couple examples of shops I’d often frequent…

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Lessons Learned Living Abroad – from drug addicts to Parisian nights, and everything in between

It’s time to dispel the myth that living abroad is somehow the pinnacle of the perfect college experience or gap year.  It won’t be pleasant all the time.  You’ll most likely be a little broke.  Maybe even a little broken.  And you will be immensely challenged.  But it can be a rewarding experience in which…

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Paris Guide: Which Typical Tourist Attractions to Visit (and avoid)

As promised, I’m introducing a mini Paris Guide Series to highlight cultural advice and any tips I picked up on while living there for a year (and after living in France for two years).  For any fellow TAPIF-ers, or simply for tourists stopping by, I hope you truly experience Paris and all its quirks; it’s a…

Photo credit: JCR

The Travel Blogs You Shouldn’t Trust

I don’t trust nomads. Or rather, I don’t trust nomadic bloggers claiming expertise on anything other than their wonderful wandering ways. And you shouldn’t either. So we don’t all fight over semantics, let’s just say there are Wanderers and Travelers. Wander.  Wander until the dust turns to sand, and the sand turns to dust, and…

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A New Year Part II: Escaping to London’s Kew Gardens

Commemorating the year – looking backwards to move forwards, a snapshot of my life in early January 2014: We seemed to have entered a travel age in which we scoff at the expected.  Colosseum?  Why bother when I could wander this random side street?  Eiffel Tower?   But all the crowds.  Tower of London?  That’s so…

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A New Year Part I: Falling into 2015

I spent the last few nights of 2014 staring wide-eyed, unseeing, under a 1970’s ceiling fan in my childhood bedroom. On pain medications. and the days and the nights will pass, and still, there will be silence, but for the screaming caricatures of you A rare bout of insomnia had settled in my skin, and…

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Novel Recommendations: The Holiday Special

Whew!  Apologies for the radio silence, everyone.  This week has been almost comically difficult.  I unexpectedly ended up in the hospital the night after my dog died, and haven’t been quite as on top of my writing as I’d like. However, I wanted to at least write my novel recommendation series, particularly for any of…

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Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in London

A salacious night of red lipstick and jazz, furs and garter belts, fedoras and army jackets: we were in London to celebrate the New Year – and it was 1940. The Blitz. If you’re unsure of where to celebrate New Year’s Eve for the whopping 2015, dance your way back to the 1940’s at the…

Paris is always a good idea

Rules for Romance Abroad

When I finally pulled myself into my last taxi ride to Charles de Gaulle, puffy-eyed and disheveled, my driver asked if the person kissing me goodbye was my husband.  Ha! Nope.  A large crowd of nearby tourists had begun flashing pictures of the tearful goodbye as well, adding to the absurd publicity of the moment.  To…

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Visiting the Globe Theatre (and being mocked)

Around a year ago I was preparing for my visit to London.  And by preparing, I mean neglecting to find a hotel until a week before arriving.  More on how to celebrate (and how not to celebrate) New Years in London soon, but first, a little story about my “first time” – a  first time…