Tag Archives: La Vie en France

La Vie en France #42: Overcome Fear and Start Planning Your Trip Today

    The Webmaster and his wife just returned from a week in Normandy where a local organization, Association Soldat Mickael Burik, organized a commemoration for American soldiers killed near Mortain, France during WW2.  His wife’s uncle was a fighter pilot shot down on 9 August 1944.  Over the last two years, the Association identified more than 5,000 soldiers killed in a 20km (12 mile) radius.  It researched 1,500 fallen soldiers, finding 1,800 related family members and sending 800 emails.  It received dozens of responses, Continue reading →

La Vie en France #41: Où puis-je apprendre le français aux États-Unis? (Where can I learn French in the USA?)

  This Webmaster and Tour Guide has long advocated that visitors to the American battlefields have some knowledge of the local language and culture before they begin their tour.  Being able to read the many French monuments and markers, the basics of the restaurant menu, etc. allows participants to have a more comfortable and rewarding tour.  Also, locals are often very forthcoming with tips and information; if one can communicate with them.  Luckily, there are a plethora of language-learning options available to today’s battlefield pilgrim. Continue reading →

La Vie en France #39: What Comes Next? Serendipity and the New York Travel Show

Regular readers know the “La Vie en France” blog posts talk about the Webmaster’s cultural experiences in France and/or the process that led to his sabbatical to pursue his passion as a freelance tour guide for the AEF battlefields on the Western Front.  This post covers the latter topic.  Specifically, what direction should the Webmaster’s next career take?  His first career was as a financial analyst; but in the world of finance one only gets re-hired at age 55 if one was “the best thing Continue reading →

La Vie en France #38: “Where Words Leave Off, Music Begins”

    This quote by German poet Heinrich Heine seems appropriate as my final days in Lorraine, France wind down in 2018 and that melancholy feeling (of leaving France) begins to set in.  During the last two years I have had the great experience of being able to live in France for eight months as freelance tour guide!  I plan to continue offering tours in 2019; but I have to balance my tour plans with the realistic need to find a real job again too.  Continue reading →

Travel Tips: On the Road (Autoroute) Again

    Autoroutes are one of the things that work well in France. (See “La Vie en France #28:  What Works in France.”)  However, they are absolutely terrifying to most first-time drivers–largely because of the toll booths.  This post will extol the virtues of the French autoroutes; provide a few basic rules; and explain the toll system.     The Virtues of France’s Autoroute System There are virtually no potholes.  The Webmaster believes that there are several reasons for this:  First, construction starts with a Continue reading →

La Vie en France #31: Staying Focused on Goals

    Regular readers know that the “La Vie en France” blog posts talks about the Webmaster’s cultural experiences in France and/or the process that led to his sabbatical pursue his passion as a freelance tour guide for the AEF battlefields on the Western Front.  This post covers the latter topic.  specifically, it talks about staying focused on one’s goals–whatever they are. It is all too easy to lose track of one’s goals or to lose momentum in reaching for those goals.  Sometimes life gets Continue reading →

La Vie en France #30: How to Have a Wonderful Trip in France–or Anywhere Else Overseas

    The Webmaster enjoys people watching at airports–especially watching Americans at CDG who are returning home from a trip to France.  Broadly speaking, they fall into two categories:  Those who adapted to a different culture and tried to fit in; and those who thought everything in Europe should be done as it is in the U.S.  The former group had a wonderful vacation.  The latter group had a horrible vacation; complaining about the lights going off in the hotel hallway, the small size of Continue reading →

La Vie en France #29: What Does not Work in France

    In 2017 the Webmaster had a tremendous experience:  He spent six months living in France and working as a freelance battlefield tour guide.  Travel abroad can produce both positive and negative experiences.  In spite of an overall wonderful experience there are cultural differences that drove him crazy from time to time.  In this “La Vie en France” he highlights some of the more negative memories of that six month period.  They are in no particular order.   12h00 – 14h00–Almost Everything Closes Just Continue reading →

La Vie in France #24: Goodbye Doulcon (France), Hello Gillette (New Jersey)

  Today is 15 November, 2017.  The Webmaster’s six-month stay on the American battlefields in France has come to an end.  In a few hours he will be on a plane headed back to the United States; contemplating what comes next.   Thanks to a wonderful wife and an army of supportive people–on both sides of the Atlantic–he was able to live out his dream of spending significant time on the American battlefields–mostly the Meuse-Argonne.  During that time he led about fifteen small group tours Continue reading →

La Vie en France #23: You’ve got to Have Faith

  Like Number 22, La Vie en France #23 is also for those readers who think about taking a crazy step off a cliff; and moving out into a new direction in their lives.   The previous blogpost described how momentum builds as one starts to take steps toward one’s dreams.  At some point, one has to quit dreaming and take that great leap of faith.  However, taking that step can be daunting.  The Webmaster has worked in finance all his life; and the general Continue reading →