As much as I love getting emails from readers–it seriously makes my day!–here’s a little collection of the most frequently asked questions I receive when it comes to travel, lifestyle and work. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any others that aren’t answered here!
What’s your favorite country you’ve ever visited?
Vietnam. It’s super affordable, the food is just blow-your-mind ridiculously good, and the people are so friendly. Hop on the back of a motorbike and just soak up the stunning Central Highlands, try to cross the street in Saigon, lie on the beach in Phu Quoc, have custom dresses made and eat until you can’t eat anymore in Hoi An, sail through the limestone cliffs in Halong Bay. It’s the best.
Where did you study French?
I’ve studied French at the Alliance Francaise in Nice and Paris, and I highly recommend it. The Alliance Française method is simple: speak only in French. Because classes are of mixed first languages–the Paris branch welcomes more than 160 nationalities each year–there is no translating into a mother tongue, even at the introductory level. Focus on basic interactions and vocabulary, and then integrate grammar. Speak, write and use real-life situations as much as possible. Bonus: you can go for any length of time (from a few days to several months), it’s a great way to meet people and Alliance Francaise can help coordinate housing (student apartments or homestays with French families) and jobs.
What are your favorite beaches in Nice?
As much as I love Nice, the beaches are not the best in the world. The beach scene in Nice can be a bit complicated–it’s a mess of public and private, stones and sand, crashing waves and calm inlets. Here’s my guide on the best beaches in Nice. I definitely recommend splurging on a private beach if you stay in Nice, but I also love watching people jump off the crazy diving board at La Reserve or taking the 1 Euro bus out to Cap d’Ail.
When’s the best time to visit Paris?
I’ve visited Paris in all of the seasons, and honestly: winter is my favorite. My mom and I used to go to Paris during my long holiday break in college, and I really fell in love with Paris in January. Even though it can be chilly, the tourist sites aren’t nearly as crowded and there’s the extra bonus of les soldes! Plus, it’s the best time of year for red wine and French onion soup.
What was your favorite part of living in Australia?
I won’t lie: I probably loved the Melbourne coffee scene and the delicious Australian sweets the most! I’m a huge fan of Australia, and I would honestly love to go back one day (fingers crossed!). Here’s a sum-up of what I loved and hated about living in Australia.
Do you have any tips on how to look stylish while backpacking?
SO MANY. Backpacking is not an excuse to look like a slob, no matter where you’re traveling. I swear by solid colors, great jewelry and a little black dress. Here are my best tips for how not to look like a backpacker while living out of a backpack.
Do you have any tips for visiting Iceland?
I’m traveling to the Middle East. What should I wear?
Maxidresses, scarves and nothing too form-fitting. Here’s my guide on how to pack stylishly for Jordan.
What is an intentional lifestyle?
This is how I define an intentional lifestyle and what it means to me.
What are your favorite travel beauty products?
My travel beauty essentials include dry shampoo, tea tree oil, exfoliating scrub and easy all-natural makeup wipes.
I want to move to New York City. Do you have any tips?
So many! Head over to my NYC page for all of my posts that dealing with moving to and living in New York City, as well as all of my favorite things to do, eat and drink here.
What kind of camera do you use?
Most of my photos are taken on an iPhone 6 and edited using VSCO.
Are you a full-time blogger?
Nope! In addition to blogging at C’est Christine, I’m an account manager in brand partnerships at Vimeo. However, I’m always interested in additional freelance writing and social media opportunities.
How did you get your job at ONA?
A friend of a friend of a friend. I’ve found all of my jobs through social media and treating good people to coffee.
Where (and how) did you work in France?
I waitressed and bartended at a gastronomic Irish pub in the heart of Old Nice in addition to working as an assistant in a French cooking school that catered to English-speaking tourists.
If you want to actually work in France—like, a real job with benefits and responsibilities—be prepared for some red tape. The French are notorious for their red tape, and with a high unemployment rate, they’re not too keen on hiring foreigners. Your French needs to be near-perfect and you need to be willing to do a lot of paperwork and wait in a lot of lines. It’s not for the faint of heart.
However, if you just wanted to earn some extra Euros while living in the world’s most visited country—for good reason—hospitality or tourism are great options for short-term, casual employment. It’s easiest in Paris or in the bigger cities along the French Riviera, like Nice or Cannes. Because of its yacht port popular with British boat owners, Antibes is another excellent option.
Working in France can be a bit tricky if you don’t have European Union citizenship. As an American, I was able to get around the regulations with a student visa that enabled me to work part-time and the good luck to find bosses who were willing to pay me in cash. If you do have European Union citizenship, there are plenty of restaurants, bars and stores in Nice and the rest of the French Riviera that cater to English-speaking tourists.
Where (and how) did you work in Australia?
I coordinated the marketing and social media at a luxury Scandinavian furniture store in Melbourne. I went to Australia on a working holiday visa , which is the best option if you’re between 20 and 30 years old. The application is super easy–you basically pay a couple of hundred dollars, swear you don’t have leprosy or any felonies and that you’re not going to Australia to seek medical attention or commit any crimes. You can work anywhere you want for up to six months at a time, but I found that in certain industries–particularly social media, public relations and digital marketing–they really need people and are willing to offer sponsorship if you prove yourself quickly. Think of the six months as a trial period if you’re interested in staying in Australia for longer. I was offered sponsorship by my company, but I knew that if I stayed, I’d never leave–and I wanted to spend some serious time in Southeast Asia. I still miss it, and totally recommend doing a working holiday there!