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30 Struggles of Living in Paris

By July 30, 2015 Paris

 Your 15 minute transfer at Chatelet-Les Halles

Avoid at all costs.

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Being 26

Sorry, you are officially “old” in Paris years. No more discounts. However, you can still try to fake it as a student.

Seeing tourists struggle to get the metro doors open


Pull. Lever. Up.

Losing your metro ticket

Just hope you don’t get caught.

The stress of being controlled

You have my metro card and you even swiped it to get in, but for some reason, at the last minute, you fear your card will deactivate and the controller will think you’re cheating the Paris metro out of their money

Going to Galeries Lafayette any day of the week

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Constant smell of smoke

With this much second-hand smoke, you might as well just smoke

Wanting a filter coffee and feeling somewhat embarrassed about it

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Suckas, got my filter coffee!

Living near a 3bis line…or any bis line for that matter

Never do that to yourself.

Not being near Montparnasse, Gare de Lyon, or Chatelet when catching a Noctilien

Hope you like to Vélib…

Almost getting hit by a bus in St. Michel & St. Germain des Près

The person who designed that intersection just wanted something bad to happen. Who would decide to build a huge street with four streets going North and just one bus lane toward the South.

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Going to a bar and hoping to hear anything but electro

Always prepare your best two-step, and if that doesn’t work, just hop around – you’ll fit in perfectly

Being the only friend at a soirée who doesn’t smoke

Never have you ever looked more straight-edge…

Seeing normal people jump the turnstiles in the Paris metro

I just really don’t get this. Normal, and I mean “normal” normal people will skip paying the fare if they don’t have to.

Buying a baguette and it not being warm and toasty


Wanting to sign up for a gym

People don’t go to the gym; they go to the public pool.

Showing up to the pool and having to buy a speedo out of the vending machine because you brought your American board shorts


Stepping in dog poop

Literally happened to me and my flip flop two days ago

The sketchiness near parts of the Péripherique

Not to say that Porte de Clignancourt doesn’t have its own charm…

Nobody knows how to swipe your American debit card

C’mon America, we need the puce!

Green pharmacies don’t mean medical marijuana. All pharmacies are green.


You’ll see grown ass adults riding scooters and make fun of them, but secretly wish you were them

You got me; I secretly want to be scootering around Paris with my future son

Trying to get anything done on a Sunday afternoon…or anytime in August


TV shows can start at random times like 08:50


A general lack of respect for forming a line (you wait ten minutes and you’re next in line just when they open a new line and people behind you run to the line)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T was an American hit.

Forgetting to say “bon appétit” and diving into your meal instead


No air-conditioning anywhere, and when you do manage to find air-conditioning, it’s just at room temperature

Just put on a fan…?

You can rip open cases of beverages for just one


Oh, you want the whole package? Hold on, let me just ruin the whole thing for you because I just want one bottle.

Trying to decipher the nutrition facts that can be any font and any size and any design

Is it because most French foods aren’t completely radioactive by default that they don’t need the nutrition facts to be loud and proud in a uniform black and white design?

The fact that you sometimes have to put a photo of yourself on your resume irritates you

Just think of all the discrimination!


What are some other things you struggle with while living in Paris?

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8 Symptoms of Learning a New Language

By July 27, 2015 Language Learning

One of the most commonly asked questions we get as travel and language bloggers/vloggers aside from “Are you married?” Yes, people have always questioned that… is “Damon and Jo, how do you guys learn languages so quickly?” or “How are you so good at speaking different languages?” We need you to hold up a hot second because it is never “easy,” nor are we good at it right away!

Every language learning process comes with struggles, embarassement, and eventually, just maybe, fluency. Recently I’ve been determined to take on Italian. I threw myself in a situation where I had no choice but to speak Italian all day, for ten days. I felt weird at first, unlike myself. As the days went on, I noticed changes in my way of thinking, and in my energy levels, it was all pretty bizarre. When it was all said and done I noticed these 8 symptoms of learning a new langauge.

1. You feel like sleeping all the time


Just like any other muscle in your body, your brain gets a workout while trying to pull out verb conjugations and intricate vocab in a different language. The result, mad sleepiness all the time. It also comes from the frustration of not being able to express yourself; when saying something as simple as “I can’t eat pine nuts because I’m allergic” takes around 30 minutes, you realize that going to sleep seems more enticing because you won’t have to work hard. Don’t get lazy, slap yourself out of the z’s and go learn something new!

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Cool Cafés in Paris For Chillin’ Out

By July 24, 2015 Paris
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At this point, after an academic year in Paris, followed by one 10-day trip, and two one-month trips afterward, I can now say…coffee shops like American coffee shops just aren’t a thing in Paris – despite me really trying to find them. You have Starbucks and Costa Coffee, but you don’t really have independent coffee shops that were made for people like me who love to sit in coffee shops for hours. Remember Lisbon? Yeah, Europe isn’t the best for freelance, Wi-Fi hoggers who want filter coffee (but it is the best for tiny cups of strong espresso and sitting street-side people-watching).

On the other hand, Paris does have a few note-worthy American-like coffee shops that have everything an “American coffee shop” would have, just without ample space, plugs, or Wi-Fi to work. Nonetheless, check out these cool cafés in Paris:

Bob’s Cake Shop

12 Esplanade Nathalie Sarraute, 75018 Paris

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A bit of Americana in the northernmost arrondissement of Paris, Bob’s Cake Shop looks like a 50s diner in the middle of Oklahoma. I actually came here because I wanted a filter coffee, but come to find out, they’ve got bagels, carrot cake, cheesecake, and even wait for it, wait for it….iced coffee. Read More

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When Enough is Enough, and It’s Time to Wing It

By July 23, 2015 Los Angeles, Motivation, New York City

[Content disclosure: This post was sponsored by and we have reviewed it as travelers on a budget.]

Nothing makes us rethink living in NYC more than the months of June, July, and August. Living on an island and not being able to go to a beautiful beach (Yes, Coney Island, we’re giving you the stank eye right now) continuously gets under our skin. New Yorkers, how are we okay with this? We know you’re wiping your sweat away on that 110 degree subway platform.


When the humidity of the East Coast gets to its full roar, most people leave for the weekend. You escape to Fire Island, or the Hamptons, or the crowded Dream Hotel pool. For us, we actually leave. As in, after this final summer in NYC, we’re moving to Los Angeles.

There are many reasons as to why we’re making the move, but at the forefront was this feeling that we’re simply ready for a change. After five years, we feel like we’ve done New York and we’ve done the East Coast, but what we haven’t done yet is the West. Moving to Los Angeles opens up our travel-ometer to a new part of the world – a world where people don’t have to ride the L train during the evening commute, and/or don’t have to wait 20 minutes in line in Midtown during a lunch break. Moving to LA now puts us approximately two steps away from Mexico, where we’re totally fine with the sun blazing, as long as we can cool off in the crystal clear water of the Caribbean (We’re still glaring at you, Coney Island).


We’re no strangers to winging our travel experiences. We’ve changed our flights last minute in Panama because we didn’t have a Yellow Fever Vaccine to leave Ecuador while trying to go to Costa Rica (it was just as complicated as it sounds); We’ve made countless last-minute decisions to reroute huge trips like staying in Marseille for four days because hostels were too expensive in the Cote d’Azur – or how about three weeks ago when we decided, while in the Madrid Atocha train station, that we would rather spend more time in Barcelona, so we immediately changed plans and took the next train out? Read More

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