Alexandria is a writer, actress, and model based in Los Angeles.
She is represented by agent Katelyn Uplinger of D4EO Agency for her YA fantasy novel, Of Serpents and Stars.
This blog used to chronicle her adventures living in France, England, and Scotland, and after a three-year hiatus, she’s archived her old posts and returned to share her thoughts on writing, love, traveling, and life.
Feel free to contact her! Don’t be shy, she loves collaborating with new people, as well as just a friendly chat.
The Purpose of the Blog and My Mission Statement
I first developed this blog, originally Bon Voyage, Mon Chéri, as an outlet while I attempted to understand my emotions living in France. Over the years, I found other outlets, and simply didn’t need it anymore. I also became more private, preferring to keep my life close to my chest.
But then I realized this blog was never just about me. It was about the people I connected with – mostly women (though I welcome men as well)!
Being a girl, woman, and everything in-between can be hard. And I know sometimes it can really help to feel like you’re not alone. So I’m here to let you know you’re not alone. I’ve decided to share my thoughts on writing, traveling, love, and life, not because I think I have all the answers, but because if I can make just one person feel better, or share just one kernel of knowledge, then I want to do so.
In the past two years, I’ve been highly involved in the YA writing community, and connecting with young women has never been more important to me. Society does us a disservice in more ways I can delve into on an About Me page. It underestimates what we can do when given the opportunity to speak. It’s taken me a long time to feel like my voice has value, and it does, not because of anything I’ve accomplished or proven, but because it always has. It had value when I was six, sixteen, and now.
Just as yours always has.
I hope that in hearing mine, you feel like you can share yours, too.
Still interested? Here’s the full story.
Chapter 1: How It All Started
My life-long love affair with stories has made me an actress, writer, and traveler.
Let me explain.
As a kid, I used to break my glasses from falling asleep with my face stuck to the chocolate-smudged pages of Harry Potter. I went through many pairs of glasses.
When my parents read Madeline as a bedtime story, I’d wrap my shoulders in my mother’s shawl and pretend I was a little girl in a yellow hat with appendicitis, living in Paris. When I finally did get my appendix removed nearly twenty years later, nobody gave me a yellow hat, and I wasn’t anywhere near the Eiffel Tower, so be careful what you wish for.
But I digress.
Images of French châteaux and vineyards, planes and trains, colored my imagination for years.
And one day, I realized I had spent most of my life within a story. Whether through novels, movies, or one too many episodes of Charmed, my life revolved around what could be. Sometimes what would never be. By the time I was sixteen, my unsettling need to travel had seeped into my very bones, so with my parents’ blessing, I moved to Bordeaux.
It went hilariously, morbidly wrong, and I promised myself I’d never return to France.
Those daydreams, concocted when I was too young to know what they meant, lingered in my mind. While studying theater and literature in college, I loved the art I created. But I felt adrift, as if there were slivers of myself that had been born so very far away from me, and I had to cross the globe to find them.
My sixteen-year-old promise had been shortsighted and fear-based, so four years later, when I graduated college, I decided to conquer the crooked, cobbled Parisian streets, Chanel and smoke-tinged.
Chapter 2: Paris
I taught children English in a tiny town called Herblay, as well as babysat children in Paris.
Living in Paris was a time of love and fragmented beauty. Tucked away in a chambre de bonne so tiny I could touch both walls with outstretched arms, I wrote.
I also drank wine and attempted to laugh off the bizarre Parisian dating scene with my best friends (but really, so bizarre). And thus, my original blog Bon Voyage, Mon Chéri began.
Chapter 3: Great Britain
After three years of travel blogging, I took some time off to focus on my master’s degree, model, and write YA fantasy novels.
During my second year of my master’s program, I no longer had class, so I moved to Edinburgh and lived with my boyfriend Chris, while continuing to both travel and live in Paris for months at a time to conduct research for my master’s book.
While I no longer regularly blog about traveling, exploring the world and embracing other cultures and ways of life remains vital to me. I’ve kept my old travel stories, so you can you can check out all the archived posts if you’re interested! Some of my old posts feel a bit outdated, not just in the writing, but in who wrote them. They no longer feel like me. However, I believe there’s still some valuable insight and information in them, even if it’s as superfluous as where to shop in Paris.
Chapter 4: But What About Acting?
Ahh, yes. Acting.
This page used to read as someone who spent all her life reading, and I did read, and I do read, but I also spent my childhood forcing babysitters to watch me reenact my favorite scenes from stories.
I also began memorizing Shakespeare and performing it when I was nine.
I also used to dream of being an actress.
I acted up until graduating from college, thinking I’d never do it again, thinking an artist must choose, and writing, at least, I could do on my own, rather than relying on others to give me opportunities to act.
But, as with France, the dream lingered.
Curiously, I rarely voiced these dreams, but reading through old journals, I debated moving to Los Angeles nearly every year for eight years, then tucked the journal away, as if smudged ink could blot out half-finished thoughts.
Finally, on Valentine’s Day 2017, I told Chris giving up acting was the greatest regret of my life.
The conversation went like this:
Chris: “Alex, what’s wrong with you? You’re 24. You’re too young to have a regret like that.”
Me: “………………………You’re right. Let’s move to Los Angeles. I’ll start looking at apartments now.”
Little did Chris know the fire his words would ignite, and the resulting visa headaches that would ensue as we navigated our cross-continental relationship.
But he was right. While it took me a few years to uncover those slivers of myself I’d always known I’d find, moving to Los Angeles was inevitable, and I’ve come to realize I couldn’t have done it until the pieces of my life fell into place. Now that I have moved, being here feels right, my sense of self blinking awake.
I used to see writing and acting as entirely different pursuits, and it took that hiatus to remember I’ve always been a conduit of stories, both through my mind and my body. I can’t have one without the other. They inform each other, and rather than choosing, as I believed I must do, I’ve decided to embrace both.
Because I am both.
Chapter 5: Where I Am Now
It’s been a year since we moved, and I’ve finally come to realize that I can be both, but I don’t have to have a career in both. Acting has always been a necessary outlet for me. Lately, that’s manifested through writing and acting in my own side projects. If I end up on a glamorous TV show, lovely. If my acting outlet becomes community theater, also lovely.
Many of my career projects are writing-centered these days, and I’m at a point where I’m simply excited to see where my creativity takes me, free from pressures of what it should or should not be.
As always, bon voyage, mon chéri, wherever your adventures may take you.