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
I’m just as shocked as you that I landed my dream job in FRANCE!
How did this happen!
I landed my dream job in FRANCE! I’m just as shocked as you! Read the blog to find out how….!Read More
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!
Why travel abroad for a year in a foreign country?
Read my story below!
Why go abroad? I’ve had many people question why I’ve decided to leave my 9-5 job behind and live in the unknown for a year in France. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression, I wasn’t unhappy with my life in Canada, in fact I really did love it. I worked in a high-end design firm, had an incredible roommate and had (and still have) an array of best friends in Canada, you know who you are. I have a loving family, a great sister and a university degree behind me. But something wasn’t right, I wasn’t happy with the routine of it all, and the complacency I was feeling. I’ve always been an adventurous soul, in grade 10 when I was 14, I left for 3 months to go to France, where I lived with a family in Brittany, in the north west of France. This experience sparked my desire and passion to travel. Since then I have travelled to Kenya with Free the Children, done a semester exchange to Auckland New Zealand, and have travelled to Thailand, Hawaii and the US. The list is getting longer now as I am in Europe! I graduated from Interior Design in the spring, and thought what would be a better idea than to go to Europe, the hub of architecture and design, and do a year long working holiday visa? This idea sparked my soul, and I instantly began to research into the visa. It is surprisingly easy for a Canadian to obtain a French WH visa, minus the strictness of the consulate. So, all within the span of 2 months, while working as a designer, bought my flight and insurance and left my life behind for an adventure in France. This thought didn’t just come on a whim, my sister was already in France studying in Lyon, so to start off I really had a crutch to lean on. We found a long-term Airbnb to rent while she was here for the first 5 months, and then I would find something else for the remainder of my time. When I first got here I was a little overwhelmed, since I didn’t know anyone, but I know that everything will always work out, so I didn’t worry. I worked on my French resume, disclosure I do speak a bit of French, and then in the first week I managed to secure a job at a small café in the centre of Lyon in the beautiful financial district on the rue de la république. The job is stressful, and I am responsible for a lot during the day: the opening, restocking all of the desserts and salads, while also working the cash machine, making all the barista coffees and also maintaining a cheery attitude all while speaking French. The hardest thing about the job aren’t the actual tasks, it’s the act of speaking French the entire day is so tiring, and by the end of the day I am completely exhausted. On the flip side, I have noticed in less than 2 months my French has drastically improved, and I understand a lot more than I did when I arrived. It’s hard going from an office job where I make $20/hour to a café job where I am making 8 euros/hour, but I have to keep telling myself that this is just part of the journey. The benefits of my café job are that I get to work mon-thus and have fri/sat/sun off of working. This means that I can TRAVEL! Since arriving, I have taken advantage and have travelled to Annecy, Grenoble, Aix-les-bains, Barcelona, Marseilles and soon London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen! As great as this is, I knew I needed to find another job that would fulfill me a little more than just learning the French language, so I started to apply online to jobs in the French alps. I have always loved to ski, and I try every winter in Canada to ski on weekend and to take a trip out west. I have never had the opportunity to live close the any mountains, or to a large ski field. So I thought why not try to get a job in the mountains, so I started to apply online to jobs as waitress, hostess, cleaner, anything. Then one day I get a phone call, from a wonderful Scottish man, asking me about my application as a waitress for his chalet and restaurant. He tells me that there are not more spots available for this position, but he wanted to hire me as the restaurant manager with all of my previous experience in the restaurant industry. I could not believe it, how did this fall into my lap?! I instantly agreed, and knew that this was the best decision I could make. I would be able to live on the mountain, be working a fulfilling managerial role that would test me and make me a stronger person. So here I am, sitting at my Airbnb in Lyon, 3 weeks away from heading to the mountains, and I cannot wait! Sometimes you can’t plan everything in your life, you just have to take that leap of faith and just do it, go and see how it goes!
Grenoble with Saara and Matthias!