A Day in Rouen, France

I’ll admit: Rouen was never on my Bucket List. And, I knew next to nothing about the city before we embarked on our whirlwind search for affordable getaways from Paris last month. But, after discovering that Rouen, the capital of France’s Normandy region, was located just over an hour’s train ride northwest of Paris (at only €11 a ticket!), we absolutely couldn’t pass it up. Like Paris, Rouen was established on the River Seine, complete with several iron bridges between the left and right banks and a large, inhabited island. But, Rouen’s charming, small(er) town vibe made it feel vastly different — and that was A-Okay with […]

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Paris is Still Paris: Pink Pangea Preview

There’s no denying it: I’ve been keeping extremely busy this month. Between hosting lots of visitors, adventuring in Southern Spain (plenty of posts to come!), and beginning to plan our next, post-Paris steps (eek!), I haven’t had much time to focus on sharing my stories with y’all — or to take a deep breath for that matter! Whew. The upside is that my quiver is full after such an exiting couple of weeks and I am anxious to fill you all in. Stay tuned, my friends! All that said, I haven’t been completely removed from the written word. Just this week, I had the opportunity […]

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A Girl’s Guide to Blending In in Paris: Pink Pangea Preview

She’s Parisian, which is to say she’s melancholy. Her mood responds to the changing colours of her city. She can feel a sudden surge of sorrow or even hope for no reason at all. In the blink of an eye, all those lost memories and smells come flooding back, reminding her of loved ones who are no longer there. And time passing by. – Anne Berest, How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are Before leaving for Paris last summer, I was obsessed with figuring out how to blend into the Paris scene—or, in other words, how to not look like the tourist […]

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Something More Lovely || by Cassidy Hettema

Back in November, I introduced to you a new, ongoing series of posts I’m calling “This Women I’ve Met.” Inspired by a piece written my mom and role model (which, if you haven’t read it, can be found here!), this series’ primary goal is to share the stories that need telling: the transformative travel and life experiences of the courageous, strong, and grace-filled women in my life. This project is becoming more and more important to me because, although we all have different stories in different geographical locations and have been impacted by different people and different experiences, we have a lot to learn from […]

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Essential French for Conscientious Travelers: First Impressions

Welcome to the second installment in my language series, Essential French for Conscientious Travelers! This series of posts highlights the vital words and phrases needed by any traveler in France, as well as the different social contexts in which the words and phrases should be used. These insights are all based on my personal experiences as a traveler and second language learner in Paris, and I can assure you: a little bit of language knowledge will take you far! As I shared in the first installment of this series, you absolutely don’t need to be fluent to feel comfortable, connect with the culture, […]

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6 Lesser Known Paris Gems: Pink Pangea Preview

I am excited to share with you that I have been given the great honor of writing for Pink Pangea, a website specific to women travelers, as a Foreign Correspondent in Paris! Over the next few weeks, I will post a series of three articles on the site, the first of which has been published today! Huzzah! My post is entitled “6 Lesser-Known Paris Gems” and outlines a few of my favorite underappreciated attractions. While it’s a simple first start, I am thrilled to have made a splash into the world of online writing. Check out the post’s introduction below… and then, […]

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I can’t agree to disagree

  i can’t agree to disagree if that means sitting passively on my hands like i’ve done for years because i’ve been more worried about the opinions of man than my screaming convictions and the tug of my conscience to save face, to preserve my pride, to make sure no one gets their feelings hurt. well, i’m not that girl anymore.  

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Musée des Égouts de Paris

… the great prodigality of Paris, her marvelous fête, her Beaujon folly, her orgy, her full-handed outpouring of gold, her pageant, her luxury, her magnificence, is her sewer. Maybe it’s cliché to begin my account of the Musée des Égouts de Paris, or the Paris Sewer Museum, with a quote from Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, but I don’t care. Images of Jean Valjean sludging through the dark, muck-filled tunnels, a wounded Marius slung over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, are in part what drew me to this bizarre museum in the first place. (That, and my passion for interesting feats of […]

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Essential French for Conscientious Travelers: The Basics

I am excited to invite you to track with me through this new series, Essential French for Conscientious Travelers, which — you guessed it! — will focus specifically on vital French words and phrases AND the ever-interesting social contexts in which it’s appropriate to use them. My inspiration for writing? The handful of friends and family members who will (starting this coming weekend!) be joining Chris and me and Gay Paris and who, save for one or two, have never engaged with the French language in their life. I thought I’d offer them a hand! Of course, I realize that not everyone is […]

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What’s on MY Mantel?

A few weeks ago, I shared with you a few of my tips for making a furnished apartment feel like home. From promptly putting your suitcases away to stocking your pantry to (eventually) inviting a new friend over for a cup of coffee, there are many practical and inexpensive things you can do to make your new apartment feel like a familiar, safe, and comfortable haven. I share these tips because they’ve worked for me. My own pre-furnished rental has become a home over the past few months thanks to a lot of intentionality and patience — patience with the space […]

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