Category Archives: Le Blog anniversaries

Happy birthday, French Girl in Seattle!

Happy birthday, French Girl in Seattle!

French Girl in Seattle: The beginnings

Happy Birthday, French Girl in Seattle! You have just turned 7. You were born in Paris, during a very cold winter when snow fell – and stuck – in the French capital’s streets, making sightseeing challenging and time spent indoors irresistible. You started as a blog meant to help a small group of American students improve their reading skills while learning about France and French culture. As such, early articles were written in French. Meanwhile, I was teaching travel workshops for local organizations in the Seattle area. They attracted francophiles, and that three-hour Paris class I offered every quarter sold out on a regular basis for over 15 years. Merci, Paris!

French Girl in Seattle

I realized there was an {English-speaking} audience out there interested in authentic, quality information about France, and in meaningful connections with French natives. Better yet, that audience was keen on looking past stereotypes, and learning about the real French culture, or destinations rarely highlighted by tour companies. Many travel workshop participants asked me if I led tours in my homeland (“Not yet,” I invariably replied, “maybe one day.”) They asked if I published books or articles about France (“Well, I do have a blog, but I have only written in French so far…”) Many stayed in touch; emailed photos and testimonials when they returned. Some hired me as their private tutor, or asked me to plan their next trip. A few became friends. And just like that, the French Girl Community was born, in the Seattle area first, via travel workshops, private and small group French classes, then online, around the United States, then in other countries, with a blog, (by then all in English,) a Facebook page, and finally, an Instagram account.

Brave souls, attempting to learn French in 3 hours on a Saturday morning.

Wherever I travel in the United States or in the world, I look at life through the eyes of a French native, and share my observations on the blog. I travel mostly alone, yet thanks to the French Girl in Seattle community, never feel lonely on the road, connecting with virtual (or real life) friends every time I arrive in a new city. Wherever I go, they go.

French Girl in Seattle
A French Girl in Paris (photo: Peter Olson)
French Girl in Seattle
Film critic for the Seattle International Film Festival
French Girl in Seattle
Enjoying the good life in Nice, France
French Girl in Seattle
By the Seine river

French Girl in Seattle: The life of a part-time travel blogger

Researching and writing all these stories and sharing them in real time can be hard work when you travel, and even more so when you return home and have to deal with the demands of a busy professional life. Yet one manages.

French Girl in Seattle
On the road again
French Girl in Seattle
Hard at work in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle (Perigord.)
French Girl in Seattle
Petits bonheurs

After all, one day, Rick Steves will retire. Guess who may just have to step in as the new France travel expert? (Don’t worry, Rick, there is enough room for both of us until then in la Belle France!)

French Girl in Seattle

Creating the new French Girl in Seattle: 

So many changes have happened in my life over the last few years! I have had to reinvent myself, tackle new challenges, and adapt quickly. Through it all, a lifeline: the French Girl in Seattle blog. Happy to report this French Girl is still standing, and frankly, quite excited about what lies ahead. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel used to say: “I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.Mademoiselle was right, of course. I do not know what awaits around the corner, but when I get there, I want French Girl in Seattle to look as “pretty” as possible. The current website has served me well, but it is time for a change. I want French Girl in Seattle to be better, with improved navigability for one, so visitors can access easily all the stories I have shared over the last 7 years. I want the new website to be a space francophiles enjoy visiting, and where they find inspiration or resources to help them indulge their French guilty pleasures and plan their future trips. From there, the sky’s the limit! I am curious to see where French Girl in Seattle takes me next. As always, you are all invited to tag along.

French Girl in Seattle: Le Giveaway

If you have followed French Girl in Seattle for a while, I need your help in creating the new website. I am looking for a new tagline to replace the current one featured at the top of this page, next to the logo, “France Travel Advice from a Native.” Yes, I will still give travel advice, but I believe there is more to French Girl in Seattle than that. Who knows this better than my readers? To thank you for your help, I am organizing a Giveaway and will reward the author of the best contribution with a fun prize I have put together.

Le Giveaway: Rules

To enter the French Girl in Seattle Giveaway you must:

  1. Come up with a tagline describing what French Girl in Seattle means to you, why you keep returning, or what differentiates FGIS from other brands/blogs/online communities. Please enter the tagline in the comment section below. Important: 6 words maximum.
  2. Sign up for “La Mailing List” on the blog’s homepage. You will be the first one to discover the new website, and when I publish new articles, you will be the first one to read them.
  3. Help me spread the word about the blog: Visit the French Girl in Seattle Facebook page, find the post mentioning the Giveaway, and tag a friend in the comment section (to tag, add “@” before your friend’s name)

You don’t feel like entering the Giveaway? Pas de problème. Consider leaving a comment anyway. That’s how I know an old (or a new) friend has just stopped by!

Le Giveaway: Prize

The best tagline entry wins the following French-themed gifts AND one of the books listed below. These are from my personal collection and I want to make sure they go to a good home! Stationery set includes a cute notebook I purchased in France last June (Paris et ses Ponts,) a Paris notepad, Paris magnet set, 3 French-themed greeting cards.

The winner also chooses one of these:

Interested? Don’t delay and enter the Giveaway!

I can’t wait to unveil the new French Girl in Seattle website in early spring. Until then, i will continue to see you here on the blog (keep an eye on your inbox, a new story is headed your way this weekend,) on Facebook a few times a week, and on Instagram where I share photos everyday.

Thank you, as always, for your support and your friendship. I have received a lot more than I have given since I created French Girl in Seattle 7 years ago.

A bientôt,

Véronique (French Girl in Seattle)

All photos unless otherwise noted by French Girl in Seattle. Please do not use text or images without permission

33 Responses to Happy birthday, French Girl in Seattle!

    • Escape, travel , beautiful art, good food … loved France since my three years of French class in high school in the 70’s, I love your pictures and explanations of French life

  1. Congratulations, Veronique. Looking forward to your new site. Nothing creative is coming to me so I will just wait to see the winner’s creation.

    Jennie

  2. I’m so glad you find time to do this. I look forward to every blog or Facebook post. Travel in France has enriched our lives. Your words have made that travel more meaningful. But, I also enjoy your take on life here. It’s great to see American life from a different perspective. You’ve hooked my wife on Oui yogurt, and you’ve encouraged us to find an authentic croissant in the US. (Karen Donatelli’s In Asheville — we’re going there in about 30 minutes. ????) Happy anniversary to FGIS.

  3. I truly enjoy your international perspective and look forward to your blog posts. I am French heritage but don’t get to visit often.

  4. I look forward to your posts. They bring back memories of past trips and hopes of a return in the future. In the meantime, I’ll sip some Sancerre…

  5. I’m not great at creative taglines, but I really feel like you are my direct lifeline to France and Paris, and the French language. I am a francophile living in the Seattle area. Receiving a post or blog from you always brightens my day. My next big trip is 2 weeks in Paris in October 2018, and I am in the midst of planning for the trip now. Your travel tips, French language tips, day trip ideas, etc. are SO helpful. Thank you for all you do, Veronique!

  6. Bon anniversaire! I love FGIS it makes me feel that France is not quite so far away. I love your stories and the new format with emphasis on the blog rather than Facebook. I look forward to all your posts and stories.

  7. Merci, I’m happy to meet you today for the first time as I’m interested in: “Integrating the French Way of Living”. I’m delighted to learn more.

  8. I’ve been thinking about your request for a new tagliine but can’t improve on what you have. Instead I tend to think your main tag (ie. French Girl in Seattle) is perhaps part of the issue: it doesn’t suggest the blog is going to be about France rather than your experiences in Seattle. Now, of course I am not suggesting you change it since it is now well established and your USP. The only thing that comes to mind is a modification, very tentatively something like:

    “French Girl in Seattle… Dreaming of France”. or ” FGiS… Still Dreams of France”; or “Dreaming of France by French Girl in Seattle”. (all as title rather than subtitle). It clarifies what the blog is about, and of course importantly makes it more successful in google searches (your current subtitle works but it may be omitted in many listings? or in returns in google searches which may not quite attract your intended audience?).

    …………………
    Re the caption to the pic above of you “By the Seine river”: mon dieu, that is not just any old location next to the river. It’s the Ile Saint Louis, just about the greatest location in the known universe 🙂

    • OK, plagiarising a bit from Eric Mitchell’s suggestion, how about:

      “Exploring France with French Girl in Seattle”

      This just about captures everything you want:
      1. KISS (Keep it simple, stupid).
      2. Continuity with your current tag FGiS.
      3. Highlights the exploring France angle (versus implied exploring Seattle!).
      4. Comforts Americans that it will be from a partly-Americanised POV (I don’t necessarily approve but hey we all understand that, love ’em or hate ’em, Americans are a big chunk of the (English speaking, kinda) 85 million who visit France each year. We Aussies–or Kiwis or Canadians etc–just don’t compete .. numerically.)
      5. Nevertheless is a French expert, ie. native.

  9. Congratulations on this anniversary, Veronique. How about French Girl in Seattle…France: Exotique..Unique..Veronique. ? Best of luck in this new year!

  10. Bonjour Véronique ! Je trouve tes aventures racontées sur ton blog toujours attirantes, surtout au sujet de tes explorations en France. Donc, pour un tagline nouveau, je proposerai : 1) Explore France with a French Native ; 2) Adventures in France with a French Native ; 3) France From an Insider’s View.

    Amitiés !

  11. Congratulations Happy Anniversary….I keep coming back because you write about the place I love. France. You share so many wonderful places that I keep putting on my to do list. Keep doing what your doing xx

  12. Congratulations Happy Anniversary….I keep coming back because you write about the place I love. France. You share so many wonderful places that I keep putting on my to do list. Keep doing what your doing xx

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