Paris avec mon amour

A lot of people don’t like Paris. Whether it’s bad experiences with rude French people or confusion on the metro or witnessing homeless guys peeing on the side of a building, plenty of dirty or frustrating experiences can ruin a trip to the City of Lights.

I’ve had my fair share of hair-pulling moments, dealing with French bureaucracy or trying to get myself understood (or ruining a family trip), but for the most part Paris and I have always gotten along. I love everything about it from the old cobblestone streets and 19th century architecture to the tiny cafés and numerous crêpe stands. I love speaking in French, even when I stumble, and walking along the Seine on a sunny day. I love cheap, delicious French wine, and eating croissants every morning. I love the layout of the city, how easy it is to find your way from one arrondissement to the next, and getting purposely lost in the winding side streets. Continue reading

Gone for So Long

I’ve been trying to write this post for over a week. I’ve started and deleted half a dozen variations on it, but haven’t been able to narrow down to a central theme. I had wanted to post something last week, but here we are, two days out from departing, and I still can’t figure out what to write.

So let’s just go with the thoughts that have been bouncing around my head for the last week and see what happens.

Continue reading

Six Reasons to Spend Six Weeks Abroad

In America, it’s uncommon to hear of people taking really long vacations or trips lasting more than two weeks because most companies in the US don’t offer much paid time off or allow people to work remotely. In Europe, things are a little different. Spain and Germany give their workers 34 days of paid vacation, Italy and France give 31, but in America only 25% of workers are guaranteed any paid time off. Add in the fact that many companies are still scared to let employees work remotely, and you probably don’t hear, “Guess what? We’ll be gone for six weeks!” very often or at all.

Justin and I feel so fortunate to be able to say those exact words. “We’ll be gone for six weeks!”

In less than a month, we will be embarking on our Euro Adventure 2016: six weeks, five (planned) countries, four booked AirBNBs, three train rides, two carry-on bags, and one month-long home exchange with a lovely Dutch couple. What the heck are we thinking?! Continue reading

Our Love Affair with AirBNB

Love affairs can be intense.  They can be fulfilling (in more ways that one), heart-breaking, country-song-inspiring, appetite-suppressing, completely and totally engrossing. Love affairs can also be quiet, satisfying, romantic and provide much needed comfort and support.

When AirBNB first showed up on the scene, I was skeptical, not sure I was the right person for this kind of romance. But much like how Lyft and Uber seduced me, AirBNB has shown me and my family a whole new world, changing how we travel. I’ve fallen hard for the accommodation site, usually opting to rent an apartment over staying in a hotel. After staying in more than a dozen AirBNBs, I no longer think it’s just an infatuation. This love affair might be the real deal. Continue reading