What does it mean to miss home? And to miss travel when you are home…Read More
What does it mean to miss home?
And to miss travel when you are home…
What does it mean to miss home?
And to miss travel when you are home…
What does it mean to miss home? And to miss travel when you are home…Read More
TOP 9 things to do in CORNWALL, UK
I take to the sea after months in the mountains
Here is my travel guide to the TOP 9 things to do while in Cornwall UK, from Cream Teas to the Eden Project. Find all the info on the blog !Read More
Living the dream in Sicily
with all the sicilian cakes I could desire, and the first holiday with my girlfriend xo
All my life I dreamt of going to Italy, that when I eventually did, it was magical. I booked on a whim with my girlfriend, to a place we'd never heard of for 100 pound return flight each. We then looked up the city: Palermo. We soon discovered that the city was in Sicily, the "ball" to Italy's "boot". We had no idea what to expect when we got there that we were so happily shocked by what we experienced in Sicily. The food, the landscapes, the people. Everything was just magic.
Sipping on a classic aperitivo before we went off to dine on pasta and bruschetta!
we rented a paddle boat for my birthday which had a slide off the end, to take a dip in the clear mediteranian waters.
If you know me at all, you know that I am the master of cheap travel. I find the cheapest flights, the most affordable airbnb and then amazing deals on activities. This was no exception. We flew on ryanair, notoriously known for bad service and cheap as chips travel, from London to Palermo. But we lucked out on the best airbnb I have ever stayed in. We stayed just 10 minutes walk from Mondello beach, in a private guest house that catered us breakfast every single morning. The 2 Italian sisters lived in a villa, and brought us a hand packed breakfast every morning to our front step. On my birthday, they packed a pistachio cake with a candle and all!
The food was beyond incredible. We stopped every single night for a meal out. We couldn't resist! Where we were staying in Mondello, I would highly recommend, there were barely any tourists, that I actually had to learn some Italian. "una birra, preggo" became my go to line. The beaches were pristine, the water so clean, and the stunning ocean and landscape was jaw dropping. The time of year was just perfect as well, the flowers were all in bloom, and were perfect backdrop for romantic evenings.
Here are some photos that just sum up the trip!
I would highly recommend Sicily, and specifically Mondello beach as a destination for a romantic getaway, to really indulge in Sicilian culture, the Italian language and the delicious food they have to offer.
If you have read all the way through my post, please give it a like so I know you've enjoyed it!
xo Katy Bird
Annecy, Haute Savoie
the Venice of France
For anyone that knows me, they know I am a sucker for all things architecture. If I didn't tell you already, I am an Interior Design graduate on a year abroad in France. I have loved every single moment, and have dreamt of living abroad my whole life.
This little town tops the cake for me... and I've been here a grand total of 4 times now, for good and bad reasons! I first came to Annecy when I was living in Lyon with my sister, needing an escape from my 9-5 intense cafe job. (sounds easy but doing it all in French was hard let me tell you) I stayed at a hostel, and walked around the city all on my own (my fav way to explore new places). That was one of the fun times! More recently, one of my best friends from Finland came to visit me, Sunna, and we met in Annecy before heading to the mountains. We met each other in New Zealand when I was living there for a year abroad.
I then have had to go back to Annecy several times as I am trying to sort out my visa to extend my French visa which has proved harder than I would have liked to think... And I have to submit my application in the prefecture of Haute Savoie which just happens to be in Annecy. There are worse places to have to go back to to be fair haha!
Just look at these stunning landscapes...
The air was so fresh, the mountains in perfect view. I can just imagine sitting there and reliving this. I grew up on a lake, in northern Ontario, Canada, so I have always loved being on the water, and surrounded by nature.
Memories of home, and adventures to come
falling leaves, crisp air
This is the look
the I love my life look
Leave a comment below if you have any comments about this cute historic town, or if you'd love to go as well! and give it a like if you read all the way through, makes my day to know someone has read my blog :)
xo Katy Bird
How did I end up in Vergisson Walking through a Scottish Man's Vineyard?
Read more to find out!
So this is quite the story I must say. As you all know, I am currently in France on a working holiday visa from Canada, for 1-2 years. (I will write another post on how to successfully get this visa and what you will need). I am currently living in Lyon, working in a cafe on Rue de la République in the center of the city. When I first arrived, I applied to a ton of jobs online. (Mainly Indeed, LinkedIn) I really wanted to work in the Alps, so I decided to apply to jobs all over the French Alps. I have this insane love for snow and the mountains, skiing, chalets and all things ski resort. I thought why not try it out. I applied for one job for a waitress position, where I would work in a chalet right on the base of a ski resort where I could ski in and out of the chalet on my free time. I got a call the next day from the owner of the chalet. He is the most lovely man, with a jolly scottish accent! He interviewed me for the position of waitress, he told me there were no spots left for waitresses....my stomach sank because I was so excited to work at this place! He then said the most magical words I could ever hear ...
I instantly accepted the job. I was ecstatic. He then told me what they were going to offer me as pay and my jaw dropped even further:
2. All my food
3. My ski pass
4. My ski rentals
5. Plus a weekly wage
6. And TIPS
He then told me her also owns a Vineyard with a villa very close to where I live in Lyon, and he invited me to join him. I ended up having a day off work where I was able to take the train to Macon, where he picked me up at the station and we went out for lunch with 2 of his friends from Scotland. We then drove to his vineyard in Vergisson, one of the most famous places in France for white wine. Vergisson is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France. The landscapes were incredible, and he even allowed me to walk through the vines! Later on that night, he told me that he was having 10 people over for dinner, and that I was to help serve... I guess that was a good way to interview me!
Views from vergisson
The views were incredible, and unforgettable
Walking through the vines
I was in the middle of this incredible vineyard, thinking to myself... how is this even possible? Is this even really life?! As he was dropping me back off at the train station the next morning, he offered me the position officially and I will now start the job on Dec 12th in a small Ski Village called Les Gets!
Till next time!
Katy Bird xoxoxo
Travelling with your TWIN to Marseille
What to do on a weekend away!
Living in Lyon with my Twin sista has been such an incredible experience so far. When I first arrived in Lyon, Laura and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Marseille, as the weather was still warm and we both had never been! We took the SCNF train (http://www.sncf.com/) with our Carte Jeune (which is a card you can buy for 50 euros to get discounts for a year on train travel in France). The train took 1.5 hours instead of the 5 hour bus so we were pretty excited! We took the metro in Lyon to Part Dieu station, then hopped in the train to head south! When we arrived, we had heard from many people that Marseille is quite dangerous for pick-pocketing and crime in general... this was proven true and I will explain later on another post.
We couldn't check into our Airbnb until 3pm, but we arrived at 9am, so we had a lot of time to kill before arriving. Since at this time, I didn't have a phone plan in France yet, I had absolutely no phone connection (so did not see what was about to happen next coming). We take the metro to the Vieux Port of Marseille and had a coffee and croissant, classic breakfast for us french travellers. As I log into the wifi I get about 100 messages from out Airbnb host that she had to cancel our reservation last minute because there had been a leak in her apartment with about 1 foot of water on the floor. Being tourists, and slightly broke we started to freak out about where we were going to stay... there were only about 1% of reservations left on the Airbnb site, and we kind of just chose the cheapest one. We decided to walk over to the new place and as we start walking I had this suspicion, because of my internal GPS, that our place is up at the top of a giant hill... I was right. This next photo portrays perfectly our vibes at the time. 30 degrees. Early morning. Tired. Airbnb cancelled. 100 stairs left to go.
Laura was not happy to climb up all the stairs
I think we walked about 100 steps up alleys and corridors.
View from airbnb
It ended up not being a huge problem, because once we arrived in the Airbnb, it had one of the most incredible views I had ever seen. Beautiful sunset and incredible Mediterranean Sea
Here, as promised, are the...
The Vieux Port is very beautiful, with a ton of cafes, bars and shops along the board walk. It is accessible from Vieux Port/Hotel de Ville Metro. All you need to do is a grab a coffee "a emporter, si vous plait" (to go).
The Château d'If is a fortress (later a prison) located on the island of If, the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago situated in the Mediterranean Sea about 1.5 kilometres (7⁄8 mile) offshore in the Bay of Marseille. You can take the ferry from The Vieux Port and it takes about 15 mins to get there in back. The Ferry costs around 10 euros return, but entrance is free for students and youth under 25!
The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM) (French: Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée) is a national museum located in Marseille, France. It was inaugurated on 7 June 2013 as part of Marseille-Provence 2013, a year when Marseille was designated as the European Capital of Culture. It has free entrance to the main building and exhibits, with gorgeous views to the sea. You can even drink a coffee at the top and have a relaxed day.
I would 100% recommend climbing up to the Notre Dame de la Gare to see the beautiful sunset over the sea. The grand basilica is at the city's highest point, crowned by golden statue of the Virgin Mary by Lequesne. You can either walk up, which is a good challenge, or take the bus up from the Vieux Port.
Thank you for reading my post about my time in Marseille!
Written for you from Marseille xoxo
Wait, you're from Canada, but you're not Québécoise?
There's more to Canada then just Québec?
I am quickly becoming famous at my café for being that smiley "Canadian girl". But just to clarify, not the "québécoise girl." The French only know Canadians in one-way: that they speak French and are from a magical place called Québec. No other part of Canada exists in their minds. Canada = Quebec. To them, Canadians speak with a funny French accent, which they love and hate at the same time, and love maple syrup and snowmobiling. As soon as I say I am Canadian and I don't have this funny accent they suddenly get confused. "but you can't be Canadian, you sound English?" "there are English parts of Canada?" "Ohh we've only ever been travelling to Quebec!". This confuses them, but it's hilarious. On the other hand, I've had so many Québécois come into the restaurant, and ask me why I didn't go to Québec to learn french... I can't bare to tell them why... I'm sorry I just don't like the accent! Many people have tried, and failed to guess where I am from on multiple occasions. My most common is Spanish.
Here is a comprehensive pie chart for you to enjoy:
My favourite part of the cafe is that people keep coming in saying "oh so and so told me to come in and get a coffee from the Canadian girl! She's great to chat with". So far this has happened three times today, with English speakers obviously. English speakers abroad tend to be like magnets; and word gets around quite quickly when there is an English speaker around. So, I've made a lot of friends.
There's also a French man that comes in specifically to speak English with me, even though I think he only speaks maybe 5 words of English he insists on telling me his whole order in broken words. It's actually quite cute, and how I feel when I speak French.
Moral of this story: Just tell people straight up you're Canadian, or lie and say you're British, they won't know.
Katy Bird, you're Canadian traveller
P.S. Leave me a comment if you read all the way to the end hehe
Written for you from Lyon, FRANCE!
Stereotyped Abroad as a Canadian?
Read my shocking story below!
Life is amazing, living abroad is even more amazing. Being a Canadian, I have had the chance to live abroad on 2 working holiday visas, as well as one student visa in New Zealand. In New Zealand, I found that the culture, and the way if living was almost exactly the same as it was in Canada, so I never experienced any culture shock or prejudice of any kind. Everyone spoke English, even if with a funny and quirky accent ! Living in France however, I have been stereotyped as a Canadian more than I could ever imagine. I never thought that I would ever be stereotyped, I didn't even realize that Canada had a stereotype! The culture in Europe (more specifically France) is very different than Canada's, they are more closed off, smile less, they don't even look at strangers on the street and everyone smokes (I will never understand). When I first arrived I was shocked when I was walking down a beautiful street and when a person walked past me, I smiled and they looked right at me, dead pan, and continued to walk past. It was crazy. I am from a very small town where everyone knows each other, so we would always smile to anyone and everyone.
So, as I am working in this French cafe, there are a few things that have stood out to me about the differences between France and Canada. Here are two cases : First: they don't put anything in the recycling, everything goes into the garbage. I was really curious why this was the case so I asked (first mistake). Second: a lady came in and asked for change for her $50 bill, I said "no problem, right away mam!" (second mistake) To each of these problems I said, "well in Canada this is how we do it" (third mistake), for example in Canada we try to recycle everything, and of course I would give change to a nice lady. Their response was always "well we are not in Canada, we are in France, and not everyone here cares about the environment and not everyone is nice like in Canada." I feel like France has this idea that Canada is a perfect, pristine place with no crime and no poverty and everyone smiles and is super nice. I think for the most part Canadians are very nice, and we do say sorry quite a lot. But to just assume on the whole that our entire nation is "nice" is crazy. I've met quite a few f*uck boys in Canada, let me tell you. Then I take a step back and think about all the other stereotypes I myself have thought.... including the French. And I can agree that I have participated in stereotyping... The French, all they do is ride around on bikes eating croissants, baguettes while smoking a cigarette and drinking red wine from their own country. I mean, that's a stereotype, but some of it is actually true!
Okay, I'm getting off the tracks here. Essentially, I had never ever in my life experienced this before, where I was a stereotype. I know this might sound silly, but I really did not expect to feel this way about it. It really felt for once, that I came from this far away land, that my colleagues just didn't understand, and that they had preconceived ideas about. I never really felt foreign before this moment.
Moral of my story: I need to accept that I am from a different country, things are different here and that I actually am foreign, no matter how much I really want to be française... And I have to accept that as I am travelling, I am carrying around Canada's reputation and stereotypes as well:
1. Merciless Winters
2. Obsessive need for maple syrup on everything
3. Hockey, and yes just "Hockey" not "Ice Hockey"
4. Timmy's Runs, all the time, for any occasion
5. "Sorry eh", as I walk into a tree
Katy Bird, true, proud, Canadian
Sent to you from my current Travel Location: LYON, FRANCE