All posts tagged: travel

So you’re going to be a language assistant? | TAPIF Video Series

Salut mes amis! As some of you are getting ready to go to France for the TAPIF Program (Teaching Assistant Program in France), I’ve been uploading videos on the subject as I know how hard and stressful it can be to find info on the little details of the program. So, if you’re getting ready to be a TAPIF assistant, you can head over to our YouTube channel for the 4-part (so far) video series. Hope this is helpful to some of you and please let me know if you have any questions as you’re preparing for this great adventure! Bisous, Alexa

Pack Like A Minimalist: 3 Months, 1 Carry-On

Hello friends! I’ll be getting ready to head back to France soon and have been trying to figure out how to pack lighter. You might recall hearing (horror) stories about dragging my ginormous suitcase, that I lovingly refer to as “Big Red,” around Europe. It’s a monstrosity and I really don’t want to travel with it again anytime soon. So, I made a promise to myself to only pack in a carry-on suitcase and backpack for my next 3 month trip/semester abroad. If you’re getting ready to study abroad or go on a long-term trip, check out how I manage to fit everything in a carry-on suitcase here:

Latest Travels: Paris, Copenhagen, London & Dublin

Hello friends, It’s been quite a while, but my time here in France is coming to a close very soon. With just four weeks as a teaching assistant left, I’m trying to squeeze in as much travel as possible. Back in February, Jane and Kira visited and we embarked on a #SquadEuroTrip2K17. We hit Paris, Copenhagen, London and Dublin. It was a whirlwind for sure. Check out some of my photos from the trip and watch my travel vlogs below. Bisous, Alexa

Kicking Off The Christmas Season In Paris

All good things must come to an end. Unfortunately for Kira and I that meant saying goodbye in Paris last weekend before Kira headed home to spend Christmas in Kenya. But before she left, we got to enjoy my favorite city together. Somehow we managed to drag all of her bags and art supplies from Hyères to Paris with success. We hopped on another train (this time a not-so-high-speed one, thanks to an accident which resulted in a delay) for our last Mary-Kate and Ashley adventure. On Friday night, Hillsong Paris was hosting its annual Sisterhood Women’s Conference. The event was in the most beautiful theatre where they served some pretty delicious pumpkin soup and had nail, hair and makeup stations set up if one so desired a miniature makeover. It’s always so good to get to go back to Hillsong and sing familiar worship songs in French. After the service, we headed back to our hostel to watch the first episode of “Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life.” No spoilers here, but we were satisfied …

On Fear and Faith

My biggest fear, like many other humans, is the fear of the unknown. Unoriginal, I know. But it absolutely terrifies me to walk into new situations, even the simplest ones. I get a huge rush of anxiety when starting new jobs, going to new schools and traveling to new places. Although I’m a relatively social person (though people falsely mistake my quiet demeanor for shyness on a regular basis), sometimes, meeting new people can incite small bouts of anxiety too. Both of the two times I’ve come to France, I seriously considered not going. Because of this fear. I considered cancelling this most recent move to France every single day leading up to it, on the plane ride over and even in the first couple of days I was here. I sat in my Airbnb on day two, searching madly for flights home. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited for the chance to live in France again and to have the opportunity to spend my first year post-grad traveling and learning a language, but I was equally …

Bonne courage: arriving in France

As of last Wednesday, I am officially back in the land of Pain au Chocolat. The journey here was a long one. This time, I opted for the cheaper route and ended up taking three planes, two taxis and two trains to reach my Airbnb. I’m staying in the pedestrian-only zone of the city so when my taxi driver dropped me off on the street that bordered it, he plopped my big, red suitcase on the sidewalk and pointed up the steepest incline I’ve probably ever seen, and tells me it’s all the way at the top. Good luck. And if I didn’t already think my life was some sort of comedy or secret long-running prank show on MTV, I definitely did now. You could say I made a lasting first impression on all of the French people on the street and in restaurants who stopped what they were doing to stare as the funny American girl dragged Big Red up the cobblestone hill with all of the willpower she could muster. A group of middle …

Post Grad, Moving to France & Gap Years

I’m moving to France.  Post graduation has been one of the most trying times of my life. I feel like I’ve had several quarter life crises since walking across the stage on graduation day. I miss college and friends and honestly, I don’t feel ready to be an adult. I’ve realized that I don’t want the typical desk job or a 9-to-5. I’ve been thinking a lot the past few months about complacency and I’m terrified to live a life where I just chase money, pay bills and don’t do much of anything else. I get antsy thinking about spending the rest of my life sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week. I feel like I’ve been duped. Growing up, we were always told in school that life really begins after you finish college. But, that’s not true. Life was happening before I finished college and I hope it keeps happening. This summer I’ve had the opportunity to do a fellowship at a newspaper under the Gannett Co./USA Today Network. It’s been an awesome opportunity and …

Smells & Experiences: An Ash Soap Review

Think about your grandmother. Picture your first car. Imagine the streets of Paris. You probably also thought about what those things smelled like. The human mind attaches certain smells to specific experiences, people or places. It’s a beautiful thing, really, and it’s something that Ash Soap tries to capture in their handmade soap products. It’s something that they capture well. The soap comes in very minimalistic, black packaging with block lettering. After taking a marketing class in the spring, I can’t help but admire good packaging and Ash Soap definitely got it right. This clean and simple theme shows up in, not just the package, but in the product itself. The soap smells of peppermint and a sweetness that I can’t quite put my finger on. Essential oils, peppermint and cedar, combine with charcoal to create an amalgamation of a soft, gentle cleanser. I used the soap block on both my body and face and found it to be a satisfying, cool solution to a heat-beaten summer day. You can check out Ash Soap’s website here. Ash …