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In the Footsteps of Amélie Poulain

The following post about our summer trip to France was written before the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. Our thoughts are with the city and its people during this incredibly difficult time. Here’s how you can help the victims of the attacks.


The fact that I wanted us to stay in Montmartre surprised no one. Amélie was the first film I ever saw that resonated with me, leaving me with a lingering afterglow that kept me giddy for about a week. I was barely a teenager and had just started to delve into foreign and independent films. Up until this point my experience with movies had been whatever was showing at the Cocoaplex in Hershey or the $2 theater at the mall where I spent far too much of my time. After seeing Amélie, it was instantly secured as my favorite film (and it remains as such). I soon began a habit of asking for rides to downtown Harrisburg so I could see whatever was showing at the Midtown, Harrisburg’s independent theater.

That all said, I never felt any really pull to visit Paris. It was on my list of cities to visit merely because I want to visit all the cities, but I always assumed Paris wouldn’t be my kind of city. I figured it would be too touristy, too pseudo-romantic, too expensive.

It turns out that out of the three cities we visited on our trip, Paris is the once I miss the most.

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Tep Wireless or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Internet

Going overseas is incredible. I don’t need to tell anyone how great it is to experience new cultures, explore the world and eat great food. I do think that an oft overlooked reason for why it’s great is that you get to leave your life behind for a week or two. Cut the cord. Go off the grid. When else can you be unavailable via phone, text, email and it be considered completely okay? I love that aspect of travel and think it’s important to take breaks from all the connectedness that our world affords us.

However.

I am a technophile and an information addict. I’m used to getting answers instantly when I have a question. I feel safe being just about anywhere knowing that I can navigate my way home with the device in my pocket. Managing without the internet for two weeks would not be a problem as I grew up before ubiquitous connectivity was a thing. I actually even love analog maps. So why not just do some extra planning and write some locations down in advance and go from there?

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A Tour of our Montemartre AirBnb [Design Inspiration]

Truth be told, after our harrowing first 48 hours, few flats would have disappointed us. However, the beautiful space we found ourselves in in Montemartre was truly stunning even on the easiest of days.

After climbing the borderline treacherous stairs to the fifth floor walk up, we opened the door to find an apartment so cozy, so beautiful, so perfectly Parisian, that I was finally able to come back into my body and be present. We made it to Paris! Despite a missed flight, a striking taxi system and closed metro–we actually made it! Kevin, being the hero that he is, set out to buy us some wine while I opened the ridiculously gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows, showered, and settled in with some positively luxurious WIFI to check in with friends and family. After he returned, we popped open a bottle and put on Amelie because sometimes there is comfort in being totally predictable.

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On Missing Flights, Rogue Luggage, and the Paris Taxi Strike—Or, Why You Need a TEP

As someone who has yearned to travel her entire life, I would admittedly get a bit annoyed whenever I heard someone complaining about the stress of traveling. For years, I felt like I’d never get a chance to go anywhere. Save for a study abroad in Buenos Aires (which was incredible, but let’s be honest—it was half work), I felt like I hadn’t seen the world. And I didn’t just want to, in many ways I felt like I needed to.

I’ve had more than one debate with friends about why travel is something that I consider important to me rather than just fun. I want perspective, unique experiences, immersing myself in different cultures. I don’t want to exist only in my cozy US bubble. I want to collect data about the world, and I want to let that data change the way I think and feel. I want to use to get to know myself and get to know the Pale Blue Dot we’re appended to.

“If I could find the means to see the world, I’d never complain,” I would think, “How could someone who has the luxury of traveling extensively dare complain about a delayed flight or some jet lag?”

Well, friends. I think I get it now.

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Hypoglycemic Girl’s Adventures in Juice Cleansing: Part One

We’re back from Europe! We’re back and I’m too tired to blog about it yet! Believe me, though, I have a ton of content from those 16 days. I’m super excited to share it with you. Walking in Amelie’s footsteps, drinking 5 euro bottles of cava in Barcelona, devouring fried artichokes in the Jewish Ghetto of Rome. But in the meantime, I felt compelled to write about something else. Last week, I did something I never though I would do–a juice cleanse.

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