A brief break in the reading and writing content today for me to reminisce on the fact that it’s been 10 years since I left Normandy, and still, it’s rare a day will go by that I don’t think of that place and my experiences there.
I still think it’s the most underrated area of France to visit — most people I know who’ve been there have taken a day trip from Paris to see the beaches and that’s it. But I maintain it’s a place you could spend a year in and still not take it all in.
So in case you’re considering a trip to the Contentin peninsula sometime soon, I highly recommend going in spring. And in case you need ideas on what to do …
Stop in Honfleur…
… Bayeux …
… Rouen …
… and Étretat.
See the beaches …
… and take a stopover in Saint-Malo …
… and Jersey (the island, not the state).
Don’t let public transport get you down …
… talk to strangers …
… and maybe bring some company in case you don’t like traveling alone.
And of course, go to Giverny while you’re there.
Image of Monet’s gardens at Giverny taken by me, April 2007.
Still inside my head!
I’m never going to stop posting about travel in addition to reading and writing, so have no fear. Travel is important to me because I love it, because it enriches life, and because I think it helps humans develop empathy. (Think about how much ignorance would be stamped out in the US alone if people traveled more!)
But at this point in life I can’t travel extensively, because day job, and because writing career. I do want to write more travel essays, because travel provides experiences that just keep on giving to my story-making side — but lately, I haven’t had time.
For those of you who come here for more travel — I will make time soon.
For now, enjoy this lovely shot of the Chateau de Langeais, which I visited nearly one year ago as part of one of my favorite vacations ever.
Photo of the Chateau de Langeais taken December 14, 2015, by me.
As promised, I want to combine two of my favorite things and talk about how I decide which books to bring with me when I travel…
Remember how two weeks ago I said we’d decided to go to the Pacific Northwest for a road trip this year?
I’ve officially decided on a Pacific Northwest road trip for my (woefully short) vacation this year, and I need help… Continue reading
Time for another travel essay. Today’s topic: on why you should talk to strangers while traveling.
I’ve been reading a lot of personal essays on blogs lately, so I thought I’d try my hand at it. First up: my true-life story about why Prague sucks.*
I haven’t written about traveling in a while, mostly because I haven’t traveled in a while…
I got a new job, and I now have half the vacation days I used to have. Which blows, for sure, but I now have a job I like, with coworkers I like, doing work I like to do (some of which involves writing!) and so it seemed to be a sacrifice worth making. (For now.)
But that means being choosy about where I decide to travel to. I really only have the days for one big trip (I used to go on two). In prior years, I would always pair a more ambitious, international trip (Greek Islands, Patagonia, the Loire Valley) with a more relaxed trip closer to home (St. John, Key West, the California Coast).
There are pros and cons to both. Big international trips generally take me to more foreign places, where I see more, learn more, expand my horizons further. They tend to happen with just my boyfriend and me, which is nice. They also generally require more money, more planning, and more stress. Smaller closer-to-home trips are generally more relaxing, cheaper, and require less planning. They also tend to happen with a group of people, be they friends or family, which is nice. But then I crave alone time with my boyfriend, plus I can only lie on a beach for about a day before I get bored and feel the need to do something.
But what does one do when forced to choose between the two? Can anyone recommend a good mix of near yet far, relaxing yet exciting, exotic yet not bank-breaking?
Image of Lake Tahoe from our California trip taken by me, October 2013
When I tell people I lived in France, a frequent question I get is…