Re-bonjour (Hello again! )
For those of you who have been following my adventures, you know it’s been a hectic few months since I relocated to France after living in Seattle for 23 years. Over the last 4.5 months, I have handled endless relocation-related administrative steps; found a place to live; started a new professional chapter as a France-based Rick Steves Europe tour guide. There has not been much time for writing, even if I have stayed in touch by sharing daily musings on the French Girl in Seattle Facebook page. On a short break from work, I’ve decided it’s time to dust off the old keyboard and share some stories again! Not just any stories, mind you.
Big, bad overtourism
Everyone is writing about it: As I look around in Paris and other popular locales where I have been guiding American travelers in my homeland, I see it. Overtourism seems to have become a thing. Some locations in France and in Europe are bursting at the seams, especially in peak travel season. This is a complex issue, yet it’s become obvious social media share some of the responsibility. Everyone who is someone on Instagram (and even those who aren’t) have been guilty, at some point or another, willingly or not, of misrepresenting their travels or daily lives in popular destinations many crave to explore, therefore inducing more and more people to follow in their footsteps to get their slice of travel heaven. We all frame our shots, so only the pretty side of things shows. Who doesn’t like pretty? Besides, life is always perfect on Instagram or on Facebook, n’est-ce-pas? Enthusiasm is definitely there. So is entitlement linked to tourism dollars. What’s often lacking, especially in social media, is education, context, and, as a result, respect for other cultures.
France as I See it: Snippets of my new French life
Introducing France as I See it, a new series by French Girl in Seattle Takes France. In these stories, I will share sur le vif (on the spot) observations on daily life in Paris and the rest of France. They may be very short, or a few paragraphs long. As always, I will write humorously, yet candidly and honestly, with one goal in mind, to continue educating readers about the real France. You may not always agree with me, and that’s all right. I welcome a healthy, respectful debate, yet am not looking for a consensus. Opinions shared on this website are mine only. Warning (to those of you who are new here:) I was educated in the French public school system; you can expect a critical and analytical take on things. You can expect me to be direct too.
The first story in this new series is scheduled tomorrow. I hope you enjoy it. As always, I will be very interested in reading your comments and chatting with you. Merci.