One of my blog friends, James, from Plus Ultra, has nominated me to participate in TripBase’s “My 7 Links” project. The premise is simple: Select 7 of your favourite posts in different categories, and tag up to 5 of your fellow bloggers to do the same.
I think this is a brilliant idea to allow bloggers to think about their work and to connect to others who are also carving their niche in the blogosphere. So without further ado, here are my 7 links.
1. Most beautiful post: Duck, duck, swan.
In April of 2011, spring came to Lyon. The greys of winter disappeared; the flowers started to bloom, and I was overall an exceedingly happy person. Things in my life were going really well and I was finally starting to be perfectly happy in my adopted home of Lyon. I wrote a post called duck, duck, swan on how I really want to take time to smell the flowers in the future.
2. Most popular post: The three coolest murals in Lyon.
One thing that Lyon is really famous for is its abundance of murals! From murals about famous Lyonnais people to books to just random murals painted on the sides of buildings, Lyon has plenty. I blogged about 3 of Lyon’s most famous murals back in April 2011 after I hosted some of my college friends, and for some reason, this post keeps getting hits!
3. Most controversial post: Greves (strikes) in France.
Back when I first arrived in France I experienced one of France’s most famous cultural elements: the strike. Whenever the government proposes something that does not resonate with the ears of its people, it seems as if all the French turn out to the streets to protest. I’m not here to argue the politics of what happened last fall (the retirement age was moved up from 60 to 62) but it was quite an experience trying to get places when all the trains kept being canceled!
4. Most helpful post: Lyon good eats-The Bouchon
A bouchon is a typical Lyonnais restaurant. It serves food that is heavy on meat and fat but all in all, it’s delicious. I wrote about my experiences with this Lyonnais comfort food and this has become one of my more popular posts. If you’re ever in Lyon, you must eat at a bouchon- after all, where else can you eat tripe, fish dumplings, and mustardy salad all in one meal?
5. Most surprisingly successful post: France’s next Elite models.
When I was out doing shopping one weekend afternoon, I had no idea that I would run across a model casting at Lyon’s largest mall/shopping center. Elite Model was casting and subsequently, the mall was packed with people! I whipped out my trusty camera and started taking photos for the blog. I had no idea that this short post would still be getting hits from search engines today!
6. Most underrated post: Travel abroad vs. living abroad.
About halfway through my stay I had this minor crisis. I was living in Europe and wanted to take advantage of all the countries at my doorstep (literally!) But at the same time, I was just beginning to form real friendships in Lyon and also was starting to find out more about the city than what tourists usually see. So this is a post where I wrote about how Lyon is beautiful. I mused about whether the travel was worth it because I was having a good time in my homebase. I was surprised that this post did not get as many hits, but maybe that’s because posts with lots of photos and stories about travel are more amusing!
7. Post I am most proud of: Letter to a college graduate.
This is a letter I wrote to myself as my time in France was wrapping up. I left France a very different person than the person I was when I first graduated from college – this may be a banal statement but it is very true. I experienced a lot of things that I never really expected to go through, and some things that I faithfully planned for did not end up the way I expected it.
Passing it on:
1. Emilienne at Bring Le Pain is one of my personal friends (and is also featured on this blog at times!) We went to college together, were in the same sorority, etc, etc. She is currently living many a girl’s dream in Paris, the city of love and amour. In her blog, she details her many weekend travels around Europe and also has a really great travel CV as well.
2. Linds from Greetings from the American girl has a marvelous blog about life as an American expat in France! She moved to France to be with her now husband and writes with a witty style. She keeps it real about her experiences in Paris but also has many tips on how to stay Americanized in France.
3. Cathy at La Prochaine Fois has been all around the world it seems. From teaching English in Evreux, France for the past two years to her current location, Taiwan, Cathy writes about travel, food, and the beauty of the world. Her blog inspires me to go look at the vast world with open, open eyes. If her blog doesn’t make you want to visit each destination she’s been to, well, I don’t know what to tell you.
4. Sasha at Flip Flop France is a young American student in Lyon, France, who moved across the pond for love. Sasha has one of the most helpful blogs about Lyon out in the blogosphere. From advice on how to deal with the markets and buy cheap groceries to advice on seeing a doctor and even a gynocologist!
5. AJ at Feel Too Good has a wonderful photo-blog that captures images from India to the United States. Her blog stays true to her motto of “every photo has something to say” for she captions all of her breathtaking images with great descriptions. Each time I visit her blog I learn something new.