Transportation in France: How my travel life has changed since leaving the USA

THIS COULD BE YOU. AND YOU. AND YOU.

Oh the joys of traveling in Europe. Wanna jet off to Lake Como for the weekend? Grab a cheap airfare. Wanna slither down to the south of France and bronze your booty on the côte d’azur? Just hop on a high-speed train. Wanna picnic near the Seine next to your ridiculously tiny Parisian apartment? Just grab your walking shoes, your bike, rent a city scooter, hop on the bus, duck down into the metro or flag a cute Frenchie on his moped…. Let’s just say the options are endless for getting there people!

Due to the ease at which even the most directionally challenged adults like myself can travel around France/Europe, I have given my siblings a very exaggerated image of my jetsetter life. It’s hard to defend my lack of “luxury lifestyle” when I’m visiting Denmark, Sweden, Italy, France and Germany in the span of 6 months and then telling my family I live a pretty average life in Paris.

But I’m here to dish the dirt today friends, because while we could say that I prioritize my fun money for traveling, my jetsetter lifestyle is less drinking champagne onboard Kanye’s private jet and more wondering if RyanAir will charge me for the amount of oxygen I consumed onboard during my low cost flight. But at the end of the day, I do manage to get from point A to point B more efficiently, cheaper and some could argue more comfortably than my fellow compatriots in the home of the free. So let’s explore why that is.

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Back To School! 4 Major Differences Between the US and France: College Edition

Since I’m pretty sure that you are ALL avid readers of the blog, then it’s safe to assume that you’ve all already read the first part of last week’s Back to School/la Rentrée article. The one that focuses on the big differences between middle school and high school in this land of cheese vs the land of burgers? If your memory needs jogged or you’re a shameful fair weathered fan of the blog and missed out on last week’s article, don’t tell me about it, just go check out the first part here

To finish up last weeks discussion, you’ve got another fabulous video with my most recent guest star Apolline. Not only is Apo one of those rare breeds of Parisian’s that are actually kind to strangers, she’s also our expert on the school system in France. Since she’s just finishing up her masters and is still taking advantage of the student life we all wish we still had, she gives lots of insights on how the college system works in France and some of the differences she sees with the US system.

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Back to School! 5 Major Differences between French and US Schools

It’s officially the week of La Rentrée (first day of school) in France! I don’t even have kids yet and the stench of La Rentrée seems to follow me to work anyways. All the kids in France have their first day of school on the exact same day and it’s a BIG F’in deal. After a two month summer break, it’s safe to say that the returning kids aren’t hyped to go back, even if it means time with friends and the parents are so pumped to hand back their little munsters that they are practically skipping down the sidewalks. The only difference being those first timers in kindergarten, or CP, as they are called in France. The first day of school in your entire life seems to be an anxiety ridden experience for both parents and kids alike. Safe to say, I’m not upset that I have at least 5 more years until I need to control those water works. 

So to kick off La Rentree, I shot a video with one of the coolest Frenchies I know, Apolline, about all the differences between the school system in France and the US. She’s currently a student, so she really knows her stuff, and in the first video we talked all things middle school and high school. You can check out all the fun here! It’s my first video in French, but I added English subtitles for all you non Frenchies out there who want to check out the action. 

Now, if you prefer my humour by writing, you can just keep on reading. It’s hard to touch on all the differences between school life in France and the US because there’s honestly a bajillion. But, I’ve got my 5 favorite differences below, and if you want another 2, you gotta check out the vid!

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Did you know these 9 differences between French and American weddings?

I’m officially turning 31 next month! Some of the things I get to look forward to in my 30’s are not just stocking up aggressively on anti-aging beauty products and ineffectively attempting to avoid the onslaught of baby product advertisements, but also participating in the top activity of my year…..wedding season bitches!

The average age of a blushing bride in the US is 28 and in France it’s 32, so I’m in the trenches when it comes to weddings right now. Lucky for me, I’m a lover of all things lurve. ♥ I get as much joy out of a sweet exchange of vows as I do from watching tiny micro-piglets chase each other on YouTube. I’m also 100% capable of crying tears of joy while watching an absolute stranger’s wedding video online, so when I know and adore the couple, my  “kim kardashian ugly cry face,” makes it’s grand debut.

In total, I’ve been to a whopping 21 weddings and I feel like that alone gives me the right to shamelessly call myself an expert on the differences between French and American weddings. But, I’ve also recently planned and participated in my own Franco-American wedding, which has to up my professional credentials a couple of points. I think we should just call it what it is and move on. Wedding expert in the house, readers!

So pin on your favorite bow tie and slide into your tallest stiletto’s. I’m going to enlighten you on some of the most striking differences between French and American weddings. Ready? Set? Allez.

Check out the corresponding video here 🙂
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Eat like A Parisian Challenge

Download the snazy one pager HERE that has all the 5 principles I’ll be following during the Eat Like a Parisian Challenge!

ME. IN MY ELEMENT

I would never consider myself a full blown foodie. While I do enjoy eating for pleasure, I’m totally at the mercy of my insatiable hunger. As soon as “Hangry Hank” starts a rumblin’, I know that feeding him just became my #1 priority. Not to mention that refined food has never been my jam. I grew up surrounded by chain diners, cornfields and homemade sloppy joes. When I had the honor of choosing where we ate for dinner on my birthday, Olive Garden was the winner…11 years in a row. Endless breadsticks was literally “my thang.” I may have lived in France for the last 9 years, but I still beg my dad to pop Pillsbury biscuits in the oven when I’m home and I hit up Panera at least twice every trip to devour a bowl of broccoli and cheese soup. I’ve even gone so far as to try and recreate that famous recipe in Paris. #stillafail

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I’ve lived in France for 3,336 days and I still didn’t know these 5 things

Hey there crew! It feels so great to be typing these words! I took a completely unplanned hiatus from writing due to some personal reasons that I won’t go into for fear of boring you silly. But the important thing is….(drumroll please)…I’m back and better than ever! Or more realistically, at least the same as before!

I figured my comeback blog post should be something related to my time away from my comfy cyber home and give all those Frenchified followers a little glimpse into the wild world of Kate for the past 8 months. Spoiler Alert. Nothing really crazy happened. I am still conquering the planet one pizza restaurant at a time and spending my spare time attempting to cook French recipes. Of course, when the #fail happens, I order Deliveroo and call it a day.

One important milestone that you did miss was my 9th anniversary in France! I’m not yet in the double digits, but man the number 9 makes me feel like such a veteran. On some days I love it, I feel like I own this city, and other days when someone side eye glares me on the metro, I feel like a cynical old lady muttering around Pigalle about the young kids making so much dang noise. While I feel Frenchified on a pretty regular basis, I’m quickly humbled and brought back to earth when I learn something new, and I’m like “wait, stop right there.” “Say what!” “How did I live in France for the last 9 years and not know that?” This happens more times than I’d like to admit, but here goes the 5 main WTF moment’s I had in 2018!

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Those Three French Habits I’ve Picked Up

I’ve been living in France for nine years now (cray cray), and most people I meet for the first time find it hard to believe. This could very well be due to some strong American habits still lingering within me and managing to pop out at the most inconvenient moments. I’ll save these rather special stories for a different article. What I really wanted to write about are the 3 French habits that I’ve picked up during this wild ride.

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8 Reasons Why Dating a Frenchman is the Absolute Best

I recently wrote an article and filmed a video with my favorite Kiwi and “Not Even French” YouTube extravaganza Rosie about the things we wish we would have known before dating a Frenchie. Naturally, a lot of the things on our list were there because they create tension points in our spunky, bi-cultural relationships. So, even if it was all in good fun, I got multiple comments about what we think are the positive points of dating a Frenchman. I clearly married Robin in all his fabulous Frenchness, so while I could list hundreds of positive reasons, I’ll stick to 8 so you don’t conk out mid article :p

Oh and if you love all things Rosie like me, check out our 2nd Valentine’s Day collaboration about the top things France does better than the US and New Zealand here!

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7 Reasons You Should Move to France ASAP

Happy Valentine’s Day! As you know if you’ve read my article “What I wish I knew before dating a Frenchie,” I won’t be doing any hardcore celebrating today with Robin! 🙂 So instead I’m spoiling my scrumptious readers with 2 special articles about things I love keeping in line with the theme of the day. Below are all the reasons I adore France with my favorite YouTube personality, Rosie. If you want to hear our thoughts about the 8 Reasons Dating a Frenchman is the Absolute Best, head over here. Wishing you all the happiest of V-day’s!

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5 Things I Never Thought I’d Miss Living in France

As a blogger, it’s probably not much of a surprise to anyone reading this that I spend too much of my time researching things on the internet. Whether I’m preparing to explore a new city, try out a new pizzeria or even just whip up a batch of fluffy pancakes, I’m constantly researching insider tips on the ‘net. I continually attempt and fail to remind myself that just because it’s on the internet doesn’t make it the holy grail of all truths…. right?… right!?

Of coursing moving to France was no exception and I amassed A LOT of pre-expat research. I hunted down material on the way the French live, work, dress, behave, eat, etc… you name it, I was all over it. Of course, surprises in life are the fresh strawberries on the top of angel food cake and some things you just can’t plan for. Below are the five things no amount research could have prepared me for missing when I started my adventure across the pond.

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