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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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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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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10 Things I’ve Learned After 3 Months Abroad

10 Things I've Learned After 3 Months Abroad | thisplaceishomeblog.com

The new year has got me thinking, not just about my goals for 2017 (there are many!) but about the many ups and downs of the past year. What a crazy, emotional, exciting, stressful, challenging road that has brought us to this moment! And what have we learned through it all? A lot. So much that I thought I would share a few of those lessons with you – namely, what I’ve gleaned from our first 3 months of life abroad in Paris. Now, I know what some of you are thinking: 3 months really isn’t that long. True, in the grand scheme of things. But, anyone […]

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How To Feel At Home in a Furnished Apartment

How to Feel at Home in a Furnished Apartment - just 7 easy steps! | thisplaceishomeblog.com

There are many reasons why you might find yourself renting a furnished apartment. Whether you are studying abroad for a semester or are moving temporarily for work, it doesn’t always make financial sense to ship furniture or appliances or boxes filled with cookware and dishes to your new abode. A great alternative is to rent an apartment that is already stocked with all of the furnishings and amenities it needs and that is, for whatever reason, being leased by the owner for a period of time. How convenient it is not having to pack towels and bed linens and silverware and wine glasses! Convenient, yes, but also a little […]

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Pucker Up: Navigating La Bise Française

La bise, or faire la bise, is what the French call the cheek kisses that accompany a friendly greeting or farewell. Where Americans would shake hands or hug, the French use la bise as a polite gesture, an acknowledgement of recognition, affection, and camaraderie. It is a vastly important component of French social etiquette, taught to children alongside “please” and “thank you” and “cover your mouth when you cough.” Different regions of France teach different iterations of la bise: most of the country, including Paris, uses 2 kisses (one on each cheek), while other regions use 3 and even 4! La bise is a fine art, to be sure. There’s […]

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Autumn Snapshots: The Paris Catacombs

This past weekend, in an attempt to celebrate Halloween in some capacity, Chris and I decided to pay a visit to the Catacombs of Paris. We really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into, except that we’d get to see a few bones, maybe learn some historical tidbits, and, above all, we’d get a healthy dose of some pre-Halloween spookiness. While all of these expectations were met during our tour, I never anticipated finding it as entertaining and informative as we did. There is a vast expanse of history (nearly 2000 years!) buried in the dark tunnels below The City of Light, and […]

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