Dating in a second language: A guide

Dating in a foreign country while speaking a second language is a unique experience.  It is both fun and awkward in equal parts. There is potential for life changing positive experiences but you will also have to deal with  misunderstanding and miscommunication. Here are a few tips for navigating the dating scene in France* asContinue reading “Dating in a second language: A guide”

Budget travel: Are hostels worth it?

I used to think that hostels were for meant to house extreme budget travelers. You know, the person who is essentially poverty stricken but doesn’t see why a lack of disposable income should prevent him from seeing the world and having new experiences. The dude that scoops up a $49 error fare from New YorkContinue reading “Budget travel: Are hostels worth it?”

How to adjust to life in a new country

3. Take out your headphones!! Being aware of what is going on around you is smart on a safety level but it’s also handy to pick up phrases and sayings by overhearing conversations between native speakers.  I learned so many sayings by listening to conversations on the train. It’s tempting to want to isolate yourself during the first few months when your feeling very separate to everyone but as time goes by you’ll miss out on training your ear to the language by hearing it spoken around you. Also you’ll miss out on opportunities to speak to people

An American in France: On transcending nationality

 It’s the week of the FIFA women’s world cup and as the host city for the semi-final and final matches Lyon has overrun with visitors most of whom appear to be Americans.

As for me, I haven’t felt this American since I landed at Charles de Gaule last August and the border agent smiled at me when he saw my passport and said ‘Americaine? Bienvenue!’.

9 Hours in Marseille

One of the easiest and most enjoyable day trips from Lyon is to Marseille. After you’ve laced your most comfortable walking shoes, take the first train from Lyon Gare Perrache at 7am and two hours later you’ll arrive at Marseille Gare Saint-Charles.

The best way to explore most cities is by wandering around with a general sense of what you might find. Marseille is no different.

France in the era of the ‘Gilets Jaunes’

These days in France, on Saturdays in particular, it seems as if chaos is the order of the day. What started the third weekend last November as a protest against fuel price hikes and proposed tax increases, has escalated to a weekly brawl throughout France but notably in Paris and other large cities like Lyon where I have been living since August. Each Monday morning I check the news to see what went down, if anybody died, what happened to the protester who took up the tear gas canister to throw it back towards the riot police (he lost four fingers)  and to stare incredulously at photos of burning police vehicles as the Eiffel Tower stands defiantly in the background.

5 days in Berlin

I landed in Berlin on a Friday evening and though it was pitch back like the dead of night I looked at my watch to discover it was only 6:30pm. I made my way from the airport onto a bus and then walked the longest half block of my life to the train station. During that time several wild dogs raced past me as if they were being chased by even wilder dogs. On my train ride, I observed several unassuming commuters holding half filled bottles of beers with no hint of shame or disgrace to be drinking alcohol while riding public transportation

Welcome to France

A little over a month ago I moved from California to France. Whether or not the move is a permanent one is yet to be determined, however, in a literal attempt to liberate myself I sold or gave away everything I owned that did not fit in one of my three suitcases.

Before I left I was eager and entirely optimistic. I’ve wanted to live in France ever since I opened my first Hexagon textbook in second form. I knew then that it was just a matter of time