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Parlons minimalisme
Argent, Blog, Nomade

Être minimaliste pour voyager plus

Je vous annonce que je m’en vais au Nicaragua en avril, trois mois après être revenue du Sri Lanka et de la Turquie, et ce que j’entends le plus souvent c’est: « Tu pars encore en voyage! T’es donc ben chanceuse! » Prends-le pas mal, mais quand tu me dis ça, j’ai toujours un peu envie de te donner une pichenotte sur le nez. (Pas une grosse, là.) Oui, il y a une part de chance: la chance d’avoir un passeport qui a une bonne réputation internationale et la chance d’avoir un emploi. Sauf que le problème, c’est que la majorité des gens qui me qualifient de chanceuse ne sont pas des réfugiés sans passeport ou des gens en recherche d’emploi. Ce sont des gens de la classe moyenne, comme moi. Donc la première réponse qui me vient en tête c’est: « WHAT THE FUCK? » Sauf que ça ne ferait pas un super article, alors permettez-moi d’élaborer. La plus grande révélation DU MONDE Le conseil que je donnerais à tout le monde pour avoir plus d’argent pour voyager c’est: achetez moins de choses. Je sais, c’est fou hein! Vous êtes sur le cul. Mais en fait, avant de vous […]

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Blog, Destinations, Moyen-Orient, Réflexion, Turquie

Istanbul, 12 janvier

Les attentats, ça arrive toujours ailleurs. Sauf que quand on voyage, ailleurs c’est parfois ici, au coin de la rue. Ce matin-là, on était devant la Mosquée Bleue, en bons touristes, tout près de l’Obélisque de Théodose. On décidait de notre plan pour la journée quand on a entendu le bruit sourd. Un bruit qui vous traverse les os. Pas d’envolée d’oiseaux qui suive, que le silence, comme si tout avait été mis sur pause pendant une seconde. Notre première réaction a été de regarder les Turcs autour de nous pour voir si c’était normal. Tout est nouveau à l’arrivée dans une nouvelle ville: les odeurs, les lieux, les bruits. Mais, à voir les réactions, on a su que ça n’allait pas. Les marchands sortaient de leurs boutiques, les serveurs laissaient leurs clients, les gens couraient pour voir ce qui se passait. En sens inverse, d’autres couraient pour s’éloigner, en nous disant de ne pas aller là-bas. « Il y a eu une bombe. » On entre dans la première boutique qu’on voit. Entre deux racks de foulards et des versions miniatures de la Mosquée Bleue, on se colle, on fait de la place aux autres touristes pendant que le marchand nous […]

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What to do on Naxos island
Blog, Greece

Road Trip on Naxos : From Door to Door

Sometimes, you meet a man who is supposed to be a one night stand, and finally you end up in a beautiful love relationship with him. I feel the same thing happened with Naxos.  If you’re not familiar with Greek islands other than the outdoor shopping mall that is Santorini, Naxos is the biggest of the Cycladic Islands. It’s also a place where bus schedules don’t coincide with ferry schedules in September, leaving you with no choice but to rent a car. We could also have chosen to rent a scooter, but in that case, I would have had to abandon my boyfriend or my backpack. And since I would have had to carry my backpack by myself in both cases, I decided to rent a car. « Can you drive standard? », I asked my boyfriend. « I could in 2003. », he answered. After several humiliating attempts, we managed to leave the car rental company. I did a thumbs up to the owner to reassure him that we would find a way to bring back the car, ideally in one piece. The man was not impressed. We were! Naxos is the real thing. Of course, when you get off the ferry, there are tons […]

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Athens Insiders, Monastiraki Square
Blog, Greece

Athens Insiders: uncover the hidden stories of the city

I told her I thought she was courageous to have built her own company with her partners.  She answered: « What else do you want to do when the unemployment rate in your country is 25%… » I met Natalie, the co-founder of Athens Insiders, at the Monastiraki Square after our day of exploration. My boyfriend and I decided to visit the Acropolis and the Arch of Hadrian by ourselves during the day, and we were kind of saturated by historical facts when we met up with Natalie. Specialized in tailor-made experiences, she asked us what we wanted to do. « Anything but historical sites. We want to see the Athens of today, and we love street art! », we said. We were in good hands to discover the city like locals. With its piles of colourful chairs, antiques and bizarre wicker motorcycles, Monastiraki’s flea market was lively. People didn’t seem to mind the rainy day and walked around with a fast pace. It was a good starting point for our walk around Athens’ neighbourhoods. We followed Natalie through the streets and she soon stopped to buy koulouri. Half-way between a bagel and a pretzel, koulouris can be found anywhere in Greece. Usually covered with sesame seeds, […]

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Beware Free Accommodation Giveaways
Blog, Travel Tips

Beware of « Free » accommodation giveaways

Congratulations! You’ve won free accommodations in the Caribbean! In Quebec, we are used to the famous phone calls about the free cruise in Bahamas, but there are different strategies to attract people, such as giveaways in festivals or on Facebook. A couple of weeks ago, I’ve been to a foodies’ festival where I really had a great time. One of the kiosk didn’t quite fit with the others though. It was a company making a draw to win free accommodations in Quebec or in the Caribbean. You know how much I love travelling, so I talked with the lady at the kiosk to learn a little more about the company. She told me she was new and wasn’t the good person to talk about it, that I should call at the office. Because I wanted to win free accommodations in the Caribbean (who doesn’t?), I completed the form to enter the draw. At the end of the day, I forgot to call the company, and forgot about the draw. This week, I received a phone call from a woman from this company announcing me that I won the free accommodations. How great was it! During this first call, I clearly asked if it was time […]

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Blog, Travel Tips

Beginner’s Guide to Airbnb: From Guest to Host

Sheets are clean, a map is hanging on the wall behind my bed, and the Wifi code is written in a frame on the nightstand… Yep, I’m ready to become the perfect Airbnb host! I was juggling with the idea since last year and I finally took my decision. A lot of people I know want to do the same, but can’t make up their mind. That’s why I made up this beginner’s guide including: My answers to the 3 most common questions about hosting How to be the perfect host How to be the perfect guest 1. Does it bother you that strangers live among your things? The answer depends of the relation you have toward your possessions. On my side, once I removed my laptop, my camera and my cellphone from my apartment, there’s nothing of monetary value. Of course, there are objects that have a sentimental value, but I detach myself from them more and more everyday. For me, the decision to rent my place to strangers is a part of my process to value experience more than possessions. I prefer to meet new people and to welcome them in my home than to protect my belongings. Also, it is important to remember that […]

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Things to do before going on a vacation | Travel checklist to make sure you forget nothing
Blog, Travel Tips

Things You Forget to Do Before Leaving For Vacation (Infographic)

Too busy thinking about what to put in your bag for your next adventure, you may forget the other things to do before leaving for a vacation. To avoid unpleasant surprise when you’ll come back, make sure you go through all this travel checklist. 1. Leave notes for yourself at work. Make yourself a to-do list for when you’ll be back at work to avoid losing tracks of your projects. I usually include cheers note in mine, because we all need it after vacation. 2. Clear off your memory cards and your phone to make space for new pictures. No, you don’t need all those selfies abroad. 3. Remove cards and papers you don’t need from your wallet. If you lose it, at least you won’t have to renew everything. 4. Give a spare set of your keys to someone your trust. If you rent an apartment, give the contact to the owner in case of emergency. 5. Tell your bank or credit card provider if you leave the country so they won’t block your credit card if they see unusual activities in your account. Trust me, you don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere in a country you don’t […]

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Get the shit done - Tips from a professional doer
Blog, Thoughts

Tips From a Professional Doer

I rarely speak about my 9 to 5 job so probably few of you know that I’m a project manager. I’d even say that I’m a very good one. Yeah, time to brag! Productivity and « getting shit done » is the essence of my job and I try to keep the pace in my personal life too. Co-workers and friends are impressed by the amount of tasks I can accomplish in a day and how I always do what I say I’m going to do in my personal life. My motivation and productivity come from basic principles. I decided to share them with you since I think it totally works to achieve travel goals too. 1. It’s not because everybody wants it that you need to want it too The first tip to achieve a goal is to make sure you really want to achieve it. It sounds obvious, right? But it’s not. We sometimes tend to aim for the same goals as the majority. So next time, ask yourself: do I  really want it for myself? I used to ask myself if I was abnormal for not wanting a house or for not having a burning desire to have the latest […]

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(Havana) How to get money to travel
Blog, Nomade

How to Save Money to Travel

A lot of you ask me how I afford to travel so much and where do I get all the money. I wish I could tell you that I’m rich or that there’s a magic pill giving you infinite money. But, just like weight loss, there’s no magic pills and, at some point, you just got to do it. A lot of bloggers wrote about their strategies to save money to travel. I’ll add mine to the list and I hope this can help you make the move and travel more! Let’s start with my « whoo-hoo » tricks and then go to some practical stuffs. My philosophy: Experience > Possession After a lot of deception and questioning about the meaning of my life, I realized that my happiness comes from the experience I live and not from the things I own. I used to spend a lot of money buying clothes I didn’t need, decorating my apartment, and then finding myself at home, well-dressed, in a very cute decor… doing nothing. I realized that everything I owned made my life boring, so I changed my way of spending money. I now make the choice to buy less and focus on learning new […]

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Does travelling alone makes you a better traveller?
Blog, Thoughts

How to NOT Quit Your Job, And Travel the World

This week, I’ll travel for the first time alone. Does this mean I deserve the « Real Traveller » badge now? Is there some kind of new world that is unlocked or something? Being a part of the travel bloggers community now (kind of), I feel more and more pressure to perform, to prove to the world that I am a very special traveller. But I am not. I cannot promise I’ll visit every country in the World, but I’ll try. I am not really enthusiastic about eating insects in some tribes. Seriously, I’d prefer to eat the most common meal. I don’t mind sleeping on a couch, but I sure prefer to sleep in a bed. And most importantly, I don’t think you have to quit your life to enjoy the world. I need to say it, I’m a little sick of the « How to quit your job and travel the world » thing. If that’s what you want to do, that’s great! But please don’t pretend that people who don’t are missing something or don’t understand what « real life » is. Personally, I like to go just as much as I like to come back. I like being in a new place where […]

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How to choose your travel partner
Blog, Thoughts, Travel Tips

Ode to My Travel Partner and Tips to Choose Yours

Since 2012, I pretty much always travel with my friend Claude. I lead her to the most dangerous town on Earth, I made her eat rotten shark, a stranger vomit on her in a ferry, and she burned badly, several times, on different beaches. Yet, she still wants to be my friend, and that not only show friendship, but a very strong mind and a huge hearth. The first time we travelled together was in Honduras. Not to the safest place in the World or an easy French country where people would speak our first language. Nope. I chose to bring her to a not very touristic place, where people don’t know a word of English during the overwhelming heat of summer. As soon as we got out of the airport in San Pedro Sula and all the crazy taxi drivers harassed us, she wanted to go back home. Despite her feelings, she stayed. She felt unsafe (although it wasn’t really unsafe), she found the food disgusting, and it was so hot that we were sweating just talking, but she stayed and found a way to enjoy the trip. I never saw someone who can push her limits like that. We all wish to […]

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What to do at Montreal Nuit Blanche 2015
Blog, Montreal, Thoughts

What to do at Montreal Nuit Blanche 2015

I’m a huge fan of Montreal Nuit Blanche and I go to the event since at least 6 years! Normally, I focus on doing edgy activities but, this year, I planed my itinerary a bit differently. Here’s what to do for a world tour at Montreal Nuit Blanche on February 28, 2015: Canicule Tropicale – Africa, South America, Caribbean A night of dancing on vintage African, South American and Caribbean music from 1950 to 1980, with two DJs. Argentina Tango Night – Argentina An introduction to the basics with experienced teachers!  *No winter boots on the dance floor! Okay?   Photo by Maria Rosaria Sannino (Creative Commons) Tango in the night – Argentina Another chance to try tango! Free trial classes at 9 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and midnight. Dance demonstrations at 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. *No winter boots on the dance floor I said! :) Libertango – Argentina A Tango show with live violin and two dancers to show you the beauty of this dance. …Yeah, there’s a lot of Tango during Nuit Blanche! Is Montreal the new Buenos Aires and nobody told me? Forro, Joy and Happiness for all – Brazil Discover Forró music and dance, a social dance that can be languorous, rhythmic or even acrobatic. […]

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