BBE: Meet Lucie! She’s Coming to the U.S.A.

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Hello, Everyone!

I can’t believe I leave for France in a week! I’m excited to exchange countries with Lucie and live on the French side. Not only am I switching countries, I’m switching blogs with her! You’ll be reading about my journey in France on her blog, and she’ll be sharing her experiences in the States on my blog.

Lucie is incredibly inspiring and after reading this interview, it’ll make you want to get up and explore. If you have dreams that you think are I’m possible, just wait until you learn about Lucie. She puts your mind in new directions and makes you look at life in a whole new perspective. I think we could all afford to have a little “Lucie” inside of us. Please leave your comments and questions for Lucie below!
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1397766_10151715709837816_818610797_oLUCIE: Hi everyone, hi Taralynn! My name is Lucie, I’m French and 27 years old. I am so excited about the Big Blog Exchange and cannot wait to get to know all of you and share with you my trip in the States. I blog on Voyages et Vagabondages about my journey around the world, my cultural or food discoveries through words, pictures or videos.
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1397766_10151715709837816_818610797_oLUCIE: I moved around a lot with my family before I was six and I guess that definitely made me want to change environments all the time. We travelled mainly in France when I was a kid, but as far as I can remember, I always wanted to travel the world and live abroad. My dream came true at 19, when I took my first flight and moved to Sweden for a year for a university exchange program. It was one of the best year of my life, I met so many new friends, learned English, made so many discoveries and beautiful trips around the country… after that, I was never the same and living in France felt dull. I could not wait to get back out there. Thankfully, it did not take long and one year later I moved to Montreal and one year after that to London. Since then, I am just a “travel junkie”.
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1397766_10151715709837816_818610797_oLUCIE: I started blogging in 2006 for my year abroad program. It was a blog to share my journey with my friends and family. Many blogs followed after that to share my trips and cultural discoveries. It’s only in 2011 that I decided to gather all my passions under one blog, Voyages et Vagabondages.

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I love travelling, writing, reading, eating, cinema and learning and I wanted to share all that with people that shared the same passions. With the blog, I met so many like-minded people, whether there are readers or other bloggers and I cannot imagine living without a blog now. It’s a big part of my life and exchanging with all these wonderful people make me feel very happy and it renews my passion everyday.
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1397766_10151715709837816_818610797_oLUCIE: I have always been a believer of doing things now. I have always known that life is short and that you have to live your dreams now. I always thought that if you really want something, you can make it happen. I was a dreamer when I was a kid, and I am so happy to have become a “doer”.You don’t know what’s coming, you don’t know what life will bring and you cannot afford to wait for retirement to do what you really want to do. Some people think it is a very pessimistic way to see life, I just think it is realistic. All of this has been reinforced by my mom passing away this year. She was very young, life is unfair and she did not get to live some of her dreams. I think she would be happy to see that I live my dream everyday a little bit more. I receive emails from friends or readers saying that my blog and what I do is very inspiring and I am so happy it is, and that some people decide to travel or do whatever they want to do just a little bit because of me. This is what I want to achieve through my blog; help people to dream and to fulfill those dreams. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••10377449_10152203804572816_2889498858072670534_n

1397766_10151715709837816_818610797_oLUCIE: Hahaha, the list is quite long! So I lived in Sweden, Canada and England, which enabled me to travel a lot around Europe and a bit around the States and Canada. In 2013, I quit my job to travel around the world and this one-year trip (so far) has brought me to Iceland, the States, Colombia, Argentina, Antartica, Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, New-Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Hong-Kong, Japan, China and I am currently in Lao. I will go to a few more South East Asian countries before Christmas. Antartica was the most amazing, beautiful and mind-blowing place I have ever been. It is so pristine, so different, so magical. It is too hard to only choose one, and I also have a soft spot for Colombia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Lao. Impossible to say what my least favorite place is. I have liked in a way or another all the place I have been. Some have been more difficult to handle, but all and all I have always enjoyed myself. Some cities maybe didn’t appeal at all, like Jakarta (Indonesia), Xian (China) or Atlanta (USA)!
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DSCF2775-1024x768LUCIE: Food-wise, I always have been a fan of Japanese food and I actually look for good Japanese food all around the world (a very hard task in South America!). When I got to Japan, it was paradise. The food is fresh, simple, healthy and absolutely amazing. You can even go to a supermarket and buy some sushi for lunch and it will be delicious.

Hard to choose just one dish in Japan, but I really like the sashimi donburi, which is rice with some raw fish (salmon or tuna) on top and vegetables, wasabi and soya sauce. It is simple, but you can never go wrong with it.

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LUCIE: This is one of the question that people ask me the most. And weirdly enough, nothing ever happened to me. Because of the news we get from TV or other places, people think the world is a scary place. It actually isn’t at all and if you take the appropriate safety precautions, you will be fine. It is a matter or luck and common sense, but there is always as much (or more) chance of you having some problems at home rather than abroad. Although, the most scared I have been is probably in public transports, with some crazy drivers on scary roads of Indonesia or China!
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1397766_10151715709837816_818610797_oLUCIE: Another question everyone asks me indeed. The day I started my first job, I decided to save money to go travel the world in three years time. And I made it happen. Traveling can actually be much cheaper than what you expect and you could spend less than 20 000 dollars for a year of traveling, so probably less than what you spend back home in a year or the price of a car. I made sacrifices, I made decisions to save as much money as I can: not a lot of drinking, no smoking, no Starbucks coffee, no buying clothes, no buying expensive gadgets and so on. I walked to work and shared a house with three people. I did not have a very big salary and lived in one of the most expensive city of the world. I still managed because I was determined and anyone can do it too. My money is now running out and I will have to find other ways to keep on traveling.

Lucie has an awesome blog post on how to save money and cut expenses! Even if you’re not traveling, it’s a great read!
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1397766_10151715709837816_818610797_oLUCIE: I think it completely did. It changed my life and it changed me. I was a very shy and not confident girl. I was an “indoors” girl, spending my days reading and watching movies. If the young me met myself now, she would probably not believe it. I am very social, a bit more confident, I love talking to strangers and doing some crazy activities outside. Although I still love days reading under the blanket or geeking…Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 4.30.12 PM It also changed my life and I would have never imagined living this life before. I went to a good university and right now, I should probably be on the path of a good career. Instead, I am currently living in a hostel with 19 strangers, writing to you from a coffee shop, getting ready for new adventures for tomorrow. If I did not move to Sweden in 2006, my life would probably be very different right now.

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10653411_10152326989702816_131147923111634552_nI slowly prepared them to it. I talked about this project for a long time and little by little, they had to admit that it was going to happen. Of course, they were quite used to it already with me living in different countries and being far away from home. It is probably not easy for them, they have some panicking moments when they call me and tell me not to do this or that because of some irrational fears or because of the news on TV, but that is normal and I try to reassure them. I know that deep down, they are proud and happy for me living my dreams. It is sad to be far way, but they know that is what makes me happy.

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422488_10150586795667816_514597815_9737779_937966374_n-2LUCIE: I have been thinking for five minutes and I cannot come up with anything. After one year of traveling, I cannot say I am afraid of anything (besides big and scary insects of course). I take all necessary safety precautions, I research the countries where I am going to, I don’t get myself in stupid situations and so on. It probably helps that I am a black belt in karate. Thinking back to one year ago, I guess I was afraid of being robbed or being alone and not making any friends. Of course, none of these fears were justified.

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971031_10152001302622816_1607018559_n10 years ago, I was graduating from high school, dreaming of being a journalist and traveling the world, never expecting it to be true of course. It’s not exactly the same, but being a travel blogger traveling around the world is a dream come true. Although, back then, I would never have imagined something like this would happen. Sometimes, you just have to dream and believe you can make it come true, no matter how windy the road is and how many detours you have to take.
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971031_10152001302622816_1607018559_nLUCIE: I would say to just go for it and to make it happen. No matter what, everyone can travel, and everyone can live this life. It does take choices, hard decisions and sacrifices. But if this is really what you want, nothing should deter you from it. There are so many ways to make this dream come true. Do not let society, family, jobs or money stop you from doing it. In then end, what matters if what you want and not living with regrets.

 

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LUCIE: Yes, it is if they want to, but maybe in different ways. Traveling long-term is not necessarily for everyone and I have met people who realized that. It is ok. Start traveling, decide for yourself what kind of traveling you like to do and how long to go for. Some people will like to do three weeks in a year, some people six months in a year, others one gap-year in a lifetime, others constant traveling, other week-ends… Long-term traveling requires abandoning your home, your comfort and many other things. If this is what you want, none of it will matter and you will learn on the way. However, long-term traveling is not for everyone and it is totally all right.

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971031_10152001302622816_1607018559_n LUCIE: Regarding traveling solo as a women, I would always recommend to dress appropriately for the country you are going to. Sometimes, you might have to wear a headscarf, sometimes you might have to cover yourself up. You should not attract unwanted attention. I also do not get drunk in the streets of a city I don’t know or might be unsafe. I take a taxi at night if it is recommended. I hide my valuables and tell my family where I am going. It is always a matter of common sense. Listen to what locals and travelers tell you, take the appropriate safety precautions and you will be fine. There are many different techniques for different countries and situations and you will learn them on the road. Tell someone at your hostel where you are going, especially if you are hiking alone, try to make contact or friends with women of a family in a bus or a train to have someone on your side, do not leave your valuables in sight and so on.
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971031_10152001302622816_1607018559_nLUCIE: Yes, I was really happy, jumping up and down and I actually could not believe it. Any destination would have been amazing, but I was really happy to come back. The States is such a huge country and there are so many things to discover, so many cultures to encounter and you can take so many different trips there. It was even more exciting, because when I will start this trip, it will be exactly one year later that I come back. Last time I left the States was the 26th of October 2013 and I was cursing myself for missing out on Halloween. I can make up for that now!

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LUCIE: I am so excited to see the country a year later and discover new places, especially Austin, that I missed last time. I heard so many good things about it and it is definitely a city that I think corresponds to me. I am also very excited about Halloween. I am quite eager to go to California and Texas. Two new States for me and I expect them to be so different from what I know already. It is what is so fascinating in the States; it is such a diverse country.

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971031_10152001302622816_1607018559_nLUCIE: Besides blogging, I am an avid reader. I love watching movies and TV-shows. I also do karate and have done it since I was ten. I love going out with friends to the pub and live music events. I love learning new languages, chatting with people and recently got interested in live sport events after the Olympics in London. Oh, and I love adrenaline and I discovered that I absolutely love bungee jumping!••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••10168170_10152023484082816_7395806007764604000_n

971031_10152001302622816_1607018559_nLUCIE: Oh this question is a hard one. Maybe I will live in London again. Or Berlin, Barcelona, Tokyo, Buenos Aires or NYC. I hope to be a freelance translator and travel blogger by then.

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I will tell you not to be put off by some people you might meet. Some people might be very rude, some people might tell you they hate Americans, some people might not talk to you, because they do not know English. But this is just a few of them. Persevere and I am sure you will meet some amazing people, who speak English and are curious about your culture.

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Try to learn as much French as you can. If you make an effort, people will open up to you. That is the case everywhere in the world anyways. Try also to get in touch with the Couch surfing community. They are a great bunch and there is always an event or a meet up happening.
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LUCIE: I have never lived in Paris, so I am not an expert, but I have been a few times. My favorite place is the Père Lachaise Cemetery where you can get lost and spend hours observing the people, the history and architecture. I also love the Orsay Museum and it’s an amazing place if you are into painting. For more off the beaten path, try to make it to the Cathédrale Saint-Denis, a beautiful piece of architecture and history and to the Quai Branly Museum.

You are also going to Rennes, which the city where I studied. It probably has changed a lot since the last time I was there, but it is a beautiful small town with cobbled streets and traditional houses and a lot of culture. Please eat some savory and sweet crepes while you are there, go to the Saturday morning market if you have a chance and if you are there on a Thursday night, you can go to the “Rue de la Soif” and hit the bars and experience the liveliest student party night in France.

I do not really know the other cities very well, but I am sure my readers can give you some great tips and help you in any ways you would like.
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971031_10152001302622816_1607018559_nLUCIE: I would love it if your readers told me about their favorite places where I am going, wether it is a restaurant, a museum, a beautiful spot, a secret place, a bookshop or anything else!

 

Comments

  • Robyn

    Lucy! If you make it to Austin while you are in the states, please reach out or post on the blog if you would like to meet up! I’ve lived in Austin my entire life and I know the city like the back of my hand. Tons of amazing things to see and do!

    Reply to Robyn
  • Cat

    Lucie –

    You sound like an amazing person, and your lifestyle is really inspiring! When you’re in San Diego, be sure to check out La Jolla Cove and the seals there. Visit the Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island. It’s so beautiful and they have great food. Hodads in Ocean Beach is a great place for an all-American burger and has a really cool atmosphere. Try Old Town for some amazing authentic Mexican food. Also, there are a lot of cool things to do in Balboa Park, including the international museum and the international cottages. Enjoy your trip!

    Reply to Cat
  • Marissa

    Hey Lucie,

    Your life sounds like a dream. Inspiring journey.

    While you’re in California I recommend going to the heart of Laguna Beach, its absolutely beautiful. Walk the path and you wont be disappointed. Life looks alive. Newport harbor is stunning as well. If you go south to San Diego, the gaslamp quarter is a great place for a night out. If you are in LA and want to try some good quality food that allows you to try a variety of dishes, I recommend a place called Lemonade.

    Reply to Marissa
  • Kelsey

    I was so excited to read that Lucie is going to Austin! I just got back from there. Some of the highlights/ MUST DO things that I enjoyed:

    1. You have to experience 6th Street. “Dirty 6th” got its nickname for a reason. But it was still a lot of fun and you have to check it out!

    2. Barton Springs Pool. Maybe because I am from Minnesota I appreciate warm days by the pool more than the average person, but this place was so cool!! You can swim, enjoy the sunshine, read a book, people watch, etc. It is a spring fed pool which makes it unique. I suggest spending an afternoon here. Plus, it was only like $4 to enter the pool.

    3. Last but not least! Oasis on Lake Travis. This place was awesome. Go to the 3rd floor patio and enjoy a sandwich from The Noble Pig and have a beer from Oasis Texas Brewing Company. We stumbled upon this place and I was so glad we did. The scenery is beautiful and the people were friendly. It overlooks Lake Travis and Hippie Hollow.

    4. Hamilton Pool. Google it, it’s beautiful. Call before you venture out that way though. We drove there and the park was closed 🙁 due to debris or unsafe water or something like that.

    Enjoy!

    Reply to Kelsey
  • Shay

    Salut, fais moi signe si tu passes par Washington et tu as besoin de conseils!

    Reply to Shay
  • Laura

    Hi Lucie!! If you get a chance you should go to Annapolis and check out the US Naval Academy. The campus is gorgeous and Annapolis is the cutest quaintest town I can think of. There are a bunch of little shops along the water and amazing seafood! Chesapeake crab cakes are unlike anything else! Mmm

    Reply to Laura
  • The Green Geekette

    It’s such a great idea to do an interview like this one (and I love the way you dispose words on the pictures, it’s really inspiring), I wish I did the same last year with my exchange partner… Next time lol!

    Reply to The Green Geekette
  • Wonni

    Hi Lucie!
    Nice to meet you! 🙂
    Your lifestyle is so impressive! I´m curious about your posts in Taralynns blog.

    Reply to Wonni
    • Lucie A.

      Hi Wonni!
      Nice to meet you too and thank you for your comment. I cannot wait to share my trip with you guys!

      Reply to Lucie A.
  • Emma

    Hi Lucie! Not sure what exactly you have seen in Baltimore, but it’s a big city with so much to see and do! You have to walk around Fell’s Point. It’s an adorable area with charming restaurants, shops, and galleries on the water. You also should visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in Mount Vernon–first Catholic cathedral built in the United States), tour the ships in the harbor, go to the top of Federal Hill, and maybe go to a Ravens football game! Let me know if you need a tour guide, I’d love to help out 🙂

    Reply to Emma
    • Lucie A.

      Oh thank you so much for all the great suggestions! It turns it will be a quick stop in Baltimore, but I hope I can see as much as possible!

      Reply to Lucie A.
  • Chloe

    Favorite things to do in Austin: People watch on South Congress, grab some coffee and stroll along the hike and bike trail next to Lady Bird Lake, sunset at Mount Bonnell, Rainey Street on a Sunday afternoon for a bloody mary and some amazing blue grass music, Moonshine Grill, Franklin’s BBQ (worth the wait in line and it’s fun to meet people there), Torchy’s Tacos, and some legit Mexican food and margaritas should be a must do.

    Reply to Chloe
  • Amanda @ Positively Amanda

    Can’t wait to see both of your travels!

    Reply to Amanda @ Positively Amanda
  • Brianna

    This is by far my favorite blog post! What a great gal!

    Reply to Brianna
  • Danielle

    Lucie,
    While you are in California I recommend checking out Venice beach. It is one of my favorite beaches I’ve been to, I love the boardwalk and the mix of cultures. And it is gorgeous as well!

    Reply to Danielle
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    I’ll have to read this word for word later, as I love reading interviews. Hello Lucie! Seems like you travel a lot. I only wish I could do what you do for a living–I don’t have the luxury or money to travel like that, but I’d like to hear and see some of your adventures and photos.

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
    • Lucie A.

      Hello Linda! Thank you for your message! I’d love to share some adventures with you guys. You know, that’s what I try to explain in the interview, everyone can travel like this, it’s a decision and choice to make. I come from a “poor” family, didn’t have a great pay joy, lived in one of the most expensive city in the world and still managed to save. Good luck to you!

      Reply to Lucie A.

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