Hello there! Or should I say, Bonjour! Thank you for coming! If you love France or even despise it, or are just somewhere in between, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and I promise you this is going to be a fun, entertaining blog about the real life in France. I won't talk incessantly about just one or two French things, but I will talk incessantly :)
I can say "been there, done that" because we lived the American dream of moving to France....and then back!
I was bitten by the French-Bug when I was little because a close family member moved there. Then I became obsessed when I started learning French in school. I went psychotic for France after I grew up and finally was able to go visit. I fell in love with it, came home and convinced my husband that we needed to move there...and we did.
I love to tell stories of our life there and the hilarious (and maddening) times we had. Reading blogs on American expats in France has really made me feel that I wasn't crazy after all.
So often people say to me, "I would love to go to France, but that'll never happen!" and I say to them, "But if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen! I'll help!" I love budget travel and I hate it when people get the wrong view of France because it's been built up by others as a pretentious place only for those with money.
Or the view that Paris is France. As much as I appreciate Paris for what it is, it is not my favorite place in France. OH THE HORROR! Did I really say that?! Mais oui...Some would have you believe that if you don't love Paris and its 5 euro coffees then something is wrong with you. I hate the view wealthy (or budget-travel challenged) American tourists give of Paris: brand name haute couture boutiques and even brand name foods that would blow any normal middle-class budget in just one morning. (And no, real French people do not spend 12-20 euros on le petit déjeuner).
Or how about this one: "The French are rude! They hate Americans!" Maybe some do, but not most. I've encountered both and I've broken language barriers that explained a lot. I'll tell you all about it if you stick with me.
For one to experience the real France, they have to get the Parisian (or parisienne) stereotype out of the mind and hop a TGV train to anywhere else. I am here to tell you the way it really is. After all, I have a wonderful love/hate relationship with this country. I know how real French people live because I've lived there, I visit, and I have close family and friends who live there. This blog will be a hodgepodge of funny anecdotes, stories of culture clashes, beautiful photos, food discussions and travel advice.
I don't pretend to know everything about this wonderfully irritating country and its culture, but I do know France isn't perfect....and yet it is.