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Discovering France beyond the berets and baguettes

What was supposed to be a four-month travel abroad experience, using Paris as a base, is now going on a more than five-year adventure. And it all started with the books that transported me as a 10-year-old to anywhere in the world I wanted to go, which I read by flashlight under the covers. While my friends were getting into trouble for poor grades or talking back, I was being grounded for not sleeping enough or for falling asleep with the lights on. From an early age, I knew I would end up in a profession that involved travel, storytelling and people. I discovered journalism in my second year of university.

More than the beauty of the place and the food, it was French people, grappling with the weight of such a formidable history on their shoulders, who intrigued me at the outset. Identity and what that means to France in a new, globalized reality is one of the themes I hope to explore here. Berets and baguettes aside, a way of life is changing for a people who are traditionally resistant to change. Observing this transformation first-hand is part of the excitement of living in a culture where there’s so much to discover. It’s like being under the covers with a flashlight all over again, but better.