Hi! I’m Ashley and welcome to my travel blog.
I’m a 22 year-old Michigander and next month I am moving to Paris.
I created this blog to document the next nine months in France. I plan to share all my weekend getaways, observations of Parisian life and of course, lots and lots of French-inspired food porn.
Another reason for this blog is to provide travel tips and ideas for other travelers or those who are thinking about their first trip. I remember sitting on the floor of Borders weeks before my first backpacking trip, reading through every travel guide to acquire the info I needed.
Travel information for young female travelers on a budget is hard to find so I hope I can offer it here.
Un petit background
I adore travel, despite my first trip abroad at 15 being a
complete fail challenge. I took a month-long trip to Ecuador in which I was cold, dirty, hungry and penniless the entire time (picture Oliver Twist). Strangely enough I came back hungry for more travel.
I followed that trip up with a home-stay in the south of Spain, a classic European backpacking trip, an empanada-filled semester abroad in Argentina, many trips to Chile to visit my then-novio and three summers working in Paris for the coolest family EVER.
This trip to Paris is the longest I’ve ever been away from home. I plan on learning lots of fattening recipes and offending as few Parisians as possible with my horrendous French.
I also want to take lots of weekend trips. My to-travel list for this year includes Budapest, Morocco, Croatia, Spanish Basque Country, little cow-towns in France and Austria for Christmas. I’d also really like to get down to Senegal, but we’ll see how many euros I manage to save.
Please send me any questions or suggestions you might have at ashleyabroadxgmailcom. I would love to hear from you!
Quick facts about me
- I love, love, love street art.
- My favorite country is Spain and the least interesting place I’ve ever been is Helsinki.
- I prefer traveling alone in most cases because you tend to meet more people. I also am a huge fan of couchsurfing.
- My favorite foods are goat cheese and ceviche (but not together, of course).
- I have no sense of direction and get lost all the time.
- My happy place is probably a plastic table on a Mexican beach with a pile of seafood in front of me.
- I’m really close with my family, especially with my little sister, Bee.
- My dream is to end up in San Francisco working as some kind of writer. Fingers crossed.
Ashley Abroad © 2012
After my recent visit to Alsace, where I consumed a near criminal amount of tarte flambée, I thought it was high time I learn to make the dish myself. Tarte flambée is a traditional Alsatian dish is kind of similar to pizza. (Just don’t tell the Alsatians that!) For a little geography refresher, Alsace is a Riesling-filled region in eastern France on the German border. The culture, as well as the cuisine, is very much of the French-German persuasion. Back to the tarte. Tarte flambée (or as they say in Alsatian, flammekueche)...read more
Considering I’m a bit short on photos this week, I thought I would recap y’all on those lofty resolutions I made back in January. Almost six months later, I’m happy to report that I’m doing surprisingly well. Resolution #1: Learn Fluent French When I arrived in France back in October, I barely spoke a mot of French. Most of my conversations began with “Parlez-vous anglais?” and ended with me feeling a bit embarrassed with myself. Due to lots and lots of good old-fashioned hard work (and ahem, Harry...read more
San Sebastián- Basque Country’s most beautiful city, is never more stunning than at sunset, especially from the summit of Monte Igueldo. From there you can soak in the views of San Sebastián, which contain beach and sky and mountains. Though I know I’m an amateur photographer at best, I think theses are some of the best photos I’ve ever taken, which is in no small part due to San Sebastián inherent natural beauty. Overall it was a beautiful and nearly spiritual way to spend our last few hours in San...read more
Besides buying millions of macarons, my 13-year old sister had one other wish for our French-Spanish vacation- she wanted to go surfing. And she wanted me to come with her. To that, I responded, “Are you crazy, it’s April! The water’s going to be freezing.” To which she responded, “All you care about is eating and speaking other languages!” With the heavy accusation of, “You are seriously at risk of becoming a grandma,” hanging in my face, I booked an hour-long lesson with Pukas Surf School in...read more
Spain- a country that has owned a very dear piece of my heart since I spent the summer with a Spanish family in sunny, terracotta-roofed Andalucia when I was 16. But Basque Country, located way up in the northeast corner of Spain? Basque Country was totally different from the sunny south- a green, hilly and culturally unique region I had dreamt about visiting for years. Upon arriving to San Sebastián, (also known in Donostia in Basque) I immediately felt a little disoriented. What’s a Kalea, I thought to myself, and why’s it...read more
Hey, everyone! So to sum up the last week, I would say it was amazing with a side of stressful. I’m probably feeling the happiest I have ever been in Paris (which may have a strong correlation with the balmy weather.) Needless to say, Paris spring so far has been blissful. Here’s a few shots of what I’ve been up to this week: Paris is in full bloom! On Saturday I headed to the Jardin de Tuileries with Edna of Expat Edna for some springtime sunshine and a flower photo shoot. We enjoyed an impromptu picnic of rotisserie...read more
I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this much but basically all of my friends in Paris are English. (So um, having a French group of friends was a total fail. Sue me.) So this summer I planned a road trip to visit them all, as well as to indulge my Harry Potter fan nerd-dom and pretend to be Bill Bryson. (Have I also mentioned that I’m newly obsessed with Bill Bryson? He’s hilarious and brilliant.) That was until I took a quick look at my Southeast Asia trip savings and realized there was no way I could afford a two-week road...read more
On my my fairly budgeted French road trip with my mom and my sister, I knew there was one destination where we would have to go all out- Biarritz. Biarritz is a French resort town known for its glitzy past as a 19th century seaside destination, when it was graced by European royals such as Queen Victoria and American royals such as the Vanderbilts. And it turns out that Biarritz’ posh reputation remains intact to this day. As a French friend told me, “The Côte d’Azur is so passé, it was cool in the 1950s but not anymore....read more
Hi! Welcome to My Local Eats, a guest post series in which foodies from around the globe share their favorite local places to eat and drink. Today’s guest post comes from Agness who shows us what to eat in Beijing. Agness is a Polish vagabond and foodie who blogs over at the excellent budget travel blog, eTramping. I have a minor obsession with Chinese dumplings so this post was especially mouth-watering- Agness’ photography skills may have a lot to do with it as well. Hi! My name is Agness and I’m a Polish foodie. I have...read more
Happy Saturday, everyone! So all of my photos this week come from my long weekend in Strasbourg, Colmar and Karlsruhe with the lovely Julika of Sateless Suitcase. This was actually not our first European get-together- we also met up last December in Cologne, Germany, to see the Christmas markets. Overall it was kind of the best weekend ever (lots of good beer, friends and half-timbered houses), although it certainly did a number on me financially- and if I want to go to Asia I really need to start saving every Euro I can. And in the name of...read more