Traipsing around Paris in the snow: tips for surviving the French capital in December

“I don’t normally feel good about feeling miserable, but Paris is all about paradoxes. This city makes you feel fabulous in all of its melancholy.”

I visited Paris one snowy, cold weekend in early December. The city was rather hostile – people hurried around the streets, scarves pressed to their faces, eager to get inside to a warm fire. It was not the Paris of postcards, with chic French ladies sipping vin by the Seine or cheerful tourists posing in front of the Eiffel Tower. But it was still Paris, and I was determined to make the best of it.

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How do the French really eat?

“I’ve come to the conclusion that French people stay slim entirely because their diet is so high in cream and butter – it renders you almost completely unable of overeating or snacking between meals.”

People love to talk about French food almost as much as they love to eat French food. How is it that the French manage to stay slim when their diet consists of cream, butter, and more cream?

Well, after a weekend staying with a French family, I have gained an insider’s glimpse into French cuisine – and let me tell you now, it’s not for the weak-stomached. Continue reading

Living in Lyon

Today I want to tell you about my life in Lyon. All my other posts have been about exciting weekend getaways, exploring new places and countries. It’s kind of easy to forget that I’m actually living in one of these amazing European cities. Sometimes I have to pinch myself as I walk down the street, because everything here has become so, so familiar. I call this place home. A little corner of France that I really feel like I know. Continue reading

Weekend escape: Toulouse

A few weeks ago I headed down to Toulouse to visit my French friend Sam, someone I met fleetingly when he was travelling in New Zealand earlier this year. I guess it was a little adventurous to trek halfway across the country to visit someone I hardly knew, but that’s what travelling is all about! And it was a great weekend. It was awesome being able to talk about New Zealand with someone who had seen it through the eyes of a visitor. Being away from home makes me so patriotic!

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Weekend escape: Nice

Nice was nice.

Justine, Kate (a lovely Melbourne chick who we met at the hostel when we first arrived in Lyon) and I were lucky enough to spend the last weekend of September in Nice, which was so nice! Ha ha ha. Seriously though, it was amazing! One thing I find hard about living in Lyon is that we are hours away from any beach – so to spend a weekend doing pretty much nothing but sunbathing and swimming was bliss. Continue reading

Arriving in France

I’ve been living in Lyon for a little over two months. Where did all the time go? I’ve only just started to reflect on everything that has happened since I arrived. I’ve been through the star-struck arrival, the honeymoon period, the culture shock… and now I think I’m finally settled in.

I can walk down the street without feeling out of place, I can argue with bank managers in French about their ridiculous administration, and people can no longer tell I’m a foreigner just by sight (I think I’ve finally wiped that ‘awed-tourist-look’ off my face and replaced it with a ‘don’t-mess-with-me’ expression).

But let me tell you, it’s been a journey to get to this point… Continue reading