Bloggers Guide to France

pretavoyager-bloggersguidetofrance3July 14th (Bastille Day) not only marks the 7th year of this blog, but it also is a signal to the French mentality to start going on holiday for the next month or so. Awhile back I put together a post called Bloggers Guide to Paris. It was a big hit, so I thought it was high time to expand to France, as many of these places make great day trips too. This post is just a start, but is a good reminder of all the diversity in this country, and all the places I have yet to visit. Even better is that it explores each place through the eyes of that blogger. There are still a bunch of places I’ve visited in France which I haven’t had a chance to blog yet, but hopefully this post will be just the motivation I need. If you’ve come across any other posts that I missed (I’m sure there are loads), please add them to the comments so we can all enjoy!

I decided not to necessarily stick to the official regions of France, but grouped all the posts by general regions or major cities (alphabetized), and the areas emerged after compiling the posts. What I love most is that it’s like an unofficial blogger’s guide to French tourism!

Click for the complete post after the jump!

Read The Rest

Flamme Eternelle, Palais de Tokyo

pretavoyager-palaisdetoyko-1I’ve been raving about Thomas Hirshhorn’s Flame Éternelle at the Palais de Tokyo ever since I went a couple months ago. Then I went back again a few weeks ago, and loved it just as much. Both visits I went with friends and it felt like some kind of awesome retreat where we got to be kids again, which is odd to say in an environment surrounded by thousands of tires, crazy print outs, couches covered in brown packing tape, and styrofoam for carving. When you first get there you don’t really know what we’re getting into until you’re in this “artistic trash yard” (if that’s even the right way to explain it). You enter through sets of tires, and it’s a bit of a maze. Eventually you encounter a “bar” – amongst the packing tape covered couches and tire swings – that sells cheap beer and hot dogs! Having never encountered a bar in an art exhibit before I had no idea how awesome this was! We sat and chatted amongst the tables graffitied in markers with sayings such as “in tartiflette we trust” it became a time to relax and unwind without the typical distractions of every day, but instead you’re passively encouraged to start making things and adding to the exhibit just from being in that environment. Behind the next wall of tires there is the “styrofoam room.” Just as amazing as the carved styrofoam shapes, figures, creatures and oddities was the fact that there were saws hanging around the exhibit (how else are you going to carve!?!). It all may sound strange but I can’t tell you how much fun I had during both visits to this exhibit, seeing how it had morphed between my visits, and just unwinding and doing something different with friends. This year I treated myself to a Palais de Tokyo membership, and it continues to be one of my favorite places in Paris. The best part is that it’s open until midnight, but I also love their restaurant, Tokyo Eat. If you want to check out Flamme Éternelle, go fast. The show ends Monday, June 23rd! GO, GO, GO! You can also visit the website created for the project online.


pretavoyager-palaisdetoyko-6.5pretavoyager-palaisdetoyko-10pretavoyager-palaisdetoyko-2pretavoyager-palaisdetoyko-15Alison even managed to capture me in the exhibit for once. Perhaps I’m a little over dressed for the occasion!?! High fives to Alison, Ivan, Rebecca, and Emily for making a great exhibit even more fun!

Palais de Tokyo
13 avenue du Président Wilson
75116 Paris
open daily except Tuesday from noon to midnight

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I teach MAPS, InDesign, and Designing Professional Documents on Skillshare, and give Paris tours through Vayable!

We Are In Puglia

slide_01Later this month I’m headed down/over to Puglia, Italy. I’ve never been, so when I was invited to be part of the #weareinpuglia campaign, I jumped at the opportunity. When I said yes in the midst of deadlines, I hardly had even looked at the pictures, but now as I’m writing this post it feels like it’s getting closer I’m super excited for a change of scenery and it looks amazing! The #weareinpuglia hashtag on Instagram is so dreamy.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it all the way to Italy. This summer the Puglia Village will be traveling all over Europe, and bringing a taste of Puglia to you! They’ll be hosting “Roadshows” (I’ll be a French speaker representing Paris via Google Hangout while I’m on the road – I’ll be sure to post plenty of updates when to catch me). The idea is that it’ll be an area where the public can learn about the culture, handicraft and culinary traditions of Puglia through free activities including learning how to prepare homemade “orecchiette” and “taralli”, getting to know the Mediterranean herbs and the way to use them for cooking delicious dishes; taste their wines and oil; dance to the sound of the “Pizzica” guided by expert dancers, and try your hand at the tambourine. Children will be able to discover traditions through artifacts made using natural and recycled materials, as well as concerts and DJ sets. In short: fun for all!

All of the cities hosting the Puglia Village have direct flights to Puglia and activities will take place in main squares:

Vienna, Museumsquartier 11 – 21 April
Berlin, Sony Center 28 – 6 May
Munich, Olympiapark 15 – 24 May
London, South Bank Riverside Walkway 06 – 15 June
Paris, Gare Montparnasse 21 – 30 June (Puglia Sounds at La Bellevilloise on 26 June)
Dublin, George’s Dock 06 – 15 July

slide_03slide_04slide_05And in starting to research this trip, I realized that the upcoming British summer movie Walking on Sunshine was filmed in Puglia, and it looks like so much fun! I love summer movies where you want to sing along. Looks like we’ll all be able travel to Puglia this summer after all :)

Stay tuned for more – and a peek through the eyes of other travelers – with the #weareinpuglia hashtag on these channels:

Images courtesy of We Are In Puglia. This is a sponsored trip, but all thoughts are my own!

Follow me on Instagram + Twitter + Vine!
I teach MAPS, InDesign, and Designing Professional Documents on Skillshare, and give Paris tours through Vayable!

CitizenM London

pretavoyager-citizenM-london3When you live in a humble Parisian apartment, I find more and more when I’m traveling for a weekend, I love crashing in a hotel. With the help of Twitter, someone recommended the CitizenM. The hotel chain started in Amsterdam and has steadily made it’s way around the world – including Times Square, and their first France location opening at CDG airport next month. So when Ashley and I were in London for Blogtacular, we thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to check out the stylish chain at their Bankside location, which is conveniently located near the Tate Modern and delicious Borough Market.

If I lived in London, I’d totally hang out here every day. The hotel has free wi-fi and the lobby is open with a bar. It feels like you’re hanging out in a home-y living room. The kitchen area is also really open and there’s a bar so you can always pick up a snack while you work.

Besides the lobby I also loved that there were a series of meeting rooms that can be rented for the day. Paris is a city tight on space, so it’d be really great to have spaces like these to work from with a team.

I love that each room had a different style, and I loved all the furniture choices. (Don’t miss Ashley’s picture of our reflection in shiny things!)

All CitizenM hotels have a similar feel because they’re new construction. The modules are all all built off site and then put together on location.

pretavoyager-citizenM-london-roomThere’s no fighting over rooms because they’re all the same size (so don’t expect any cots or special requests, but the bed is huge). In addition to the tablet remote that operates the lights, TV, and lighting (I can’t believe I forgot to Vine the changing colors in the bathroom shower), each room has lots of outlets, which is really exciting for blogger types with far too many devices.

Throughout the hotel there are touches of fun if you look closely and feel part of the brand.

Hallway artwork has a touch of fun too.

The inner courtyard.

Look up to see the Shard!

pretavoyager-citizenM-banksidebridgeAfter we checked in we picked up food to go from M&S (I’m totally an addict now) and had lunch near the Tate while facing the Millenium Bridge.

Thanks to CitizenM Bankside for putting Ashley and me up for a night! Don’t miss Ashley’s post – she’s a professional photographer :) You can check out more images with the hashtag @citizenMlondon on Twitter & Instagram.

P.S. Speaking of the UK, I also have a small piece in British Airways The Club on Paris for ‘Expensive cities on a shoestring‘ that just went up this week.

Follow me on Instagram + Twitter + Vine!
I teach MAPS, InDesign, and Designing Professional Documents on Skillshare, and give Paris tours through Vayable!

Eurostar Train Paris–London

pretavoyager-eurostar-parisMost of the time when we travel the goal is to get from point A to point B in the fastest time possible. Being on the train is nothing like being stuck in traffic, but when we arrive at the station, I’m never quite ready to get off. I often find myself wishing the ride was longer so I could get more work done (or another nap in). The Eurostar trip between Paris and London is something like 2 hours and 20 minutes, and only 20 minutes of the time are in the dark (when you’re going under the channel) – the rest of it is beautiful countryside.  And to think, some people actually do this as their daily commute! On May 9th my gnome and I traveled from Paris to London for Blogtacular (yes, he was part of my talk). I felt very much like Amélie in Gare du Nord for our Paris photo opp.pretavoyager-eurostar-train The other great thing about the train is you don’t have to wake up crazy early like you do to get to the airport 2 hours before a flight. You do have to leave enough time to go through customs and security, but shoes and jackets can stay on, and laptops are fine in bags, so it’s much faster. Eurostar says to check in 30 minutes before departure, but I always get there early because I like train stations. Eurostar trains board from a separate platform than the mainline trains, so you have to wait for the announcement to board once you go through all the check points. [Note: returning to Paris on a Sunday afternoon, give yourself a lot of extra time. Trains from London go a lot of other places, and I barely caught my train because the lines were so long to get through security and customs.]

pretavoyager-eurostar-gnomeseatOn the way to London my gnome and I managed to be the first on board – at least on our car – so took advantage of the photo opp. Funny, I have a brown and grey striped shirt like the chairs, which I’ll have to wear as a joke next trip!

pretavoyager-eurostar-magazineMy other favorite thing about the train is that I love the Eurostar magazine, Metropolitan. You may be surprised to know that none of my favorite travel magazines are available on newsstands. I really love all the publications under Ink Global (who is behind Metropolitan, easyJet Traveller and many more). I thought the May issue was particularly striking because they commissioned a illustrator Megamunden – author of The Tattoo Colouring Book – for the cover to celebrate the new tattoo exhibit at the Quai Branly museum in Paris. You can read the full issue online.

pretavoyager-eurostar-premiereThe funny thing was on the return trip I found myself waiting in a line. One of the Eurostar attendants checked my name off a list before I got onboard. I passed a rack of great magazines, sat down and noticed I had a seat completely to myself, and I saw an outlet (which I hadn’t on the way over). By golly, I was so busy planning the rest of my trip, I didn’t even realize that Eurostar had bumped me up to Standard Premier class for my return trip! Not long after we were on our way, they came by with a tray with two light food options (I went with the cheese plate even though I had stuffed my face with a M&S sandwich in the waiting terminal). And it came with my choice of wine. It was a Monday afternoon at this point, and wow, did this hit the spot. I definitely could get used to this (the waiting room looks nice too, and after interviewing the Creative Director of Eurostar for Fast Co. Design, it sounds like more is in store).

pretavoyager-eurostar-lightWhen I posted some pictures on Instagram, it was interesting to see a comment that the train seemed dreamy, but way out of their budget. Au contraire! While Eurostar was kind enough to give me this ticket, my last two tickets have been 69€ round-trip. My secret is to sign up for their newsletters and follow Eurostar on Facebook and Twitter (FYI, their Twitter account is great with customer service and is how you find out if your train is having delays). One thing I’ve discovered the hard way in Europe is that trains tend to only go up in price the closer you get to a trip, so I highly recommend booking in advance if you can. Also, flexible travel times will help you get better deals.

pretavoyager-eurostar-londonGnome in London St. Pancras station. Once you arrive, it’s easy to get anywhere in London from the Kings Cross / St. Pancras Tube station, which is much closer and cheaper than trying to get into the city from the airport. Note too, that you can count on free wi-fi in the station. :)

Eurostar fact box
Eurostar operates up to 18 daily services from London St Pancras International to Paris Gare Du Nord with return fares from £69. Eurostar also offers connecting fares from more than 300 stations in the UK. Fastest London-Paris journey time is 2hr 15 minutes. Tickets are available from or 08432 186 186.          

Standard Premier
With the option of flexible fares, Standard Premier offers the freedom to work, think, or simply unwind. You will be presented with calm, spacious surroundings with on-board staff offering a light meal and a selection of magazines. Standard Premier fares start from £189 return.

Thanks for the ticket, Eurostar!

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I teach MAPS, InDesign, and Designing Professional Documents on Skillshare, and give Paris tours through Vayable!

New Portfolio Site!!

anneditmeyer.comA few weeks ago I spoke at Blogtacular in London. My talk was all about valuing yourself and making it as a blogger (aka not working for free). When I was putting together my talk I realized that much of my success, and the opening of many doors, has stemmed from my blog and overall online presence. I’ve never aspired to be a “pro-blogger” but I love having my blog as a creative outlet. When applying to jobs my best friend always would say “show, don’t tell,” and a blog can help you do just that; the reality is that more often than not people find me rather than vice versa these days. In having a blog, you’re not only proving that you have the skills to blog – and everything that goes with it – but you’re showcasing your knowledge about a particular topic, along with taste, and style at the same time. I still struggle to explain to people what exactly it is that I do, but I think the updates to my new portfolio site – – help highlight the range of projects I do and kind of client I’m drawn to. I can barely keep up with everything I’m working on these days, so I’m very excited that my new portfolio site is finally live.  (Note: it’s always linked on the top toolbar of my blog as well!)

p.s. In order to start saving money to pay next year’s speakers Blogtacular is selling tickets to their “virtual conference” where you can watch professional quality videos of my talk and the talks of all the speakers/panels. You can buy your ticket now, and they hope to have everything online by June.

p.s.s. I moved my portfolio site over to Squarespace — I highly recommend it for people who don’t want to have to deal with coding.

Follow me on Instagram + Twitter! I teach MAPS, InDesign, and Designing Professional Documents on Skillshare, and give Paris tours through Vayable!

That Time I Got Sent to Monaco

pretavoyager-fathom-katespade-monacoOver the weekend I had a bit of a surreal moment when Meg texted me to say she saw my photo from Monaco on the @katespadeny Instagram account. I knew it was happening at some point, but lost all track of time, and then my own Instagram started to explode a bit as the Fathom team took over the Kate Spade account, posting 6 of my images from my Monaco trip. It was funny to see my top picture get 15k likes – ha! hardly what my own account gets.

Let’s back up. It all started back in December when the gals at Fathom reached out to me to see if I’d be up for writing a Monaco guide. I’d never been but jokingly responded that I’d happily go if they wanted to send me. I never imagined in a million years that there would be a budget (it’s embarrassing how many requests I get from big brands to do free work), but this time there was. It was winter and I was aching to get out of Paris, so less than a week later I was on my way to Monaco for 4 days and 3 nights to do what I do best – explore for hours. I loved being there off season, and the city was so festive for Christmas (even though I barely needed to wear my trench coat). I actually was able to keep my expenses down in one of the most lavish places in the world (and took advantage of two Vayable tours to help get me oriented), but I’ll save all that for another post.

pretavoyager-city-guides-monaco-montecarloFathom has created a series of guides for Kate Spade as handy PDF downloads (Kate Spade is behind all of the graphic design of the guides). Each is divided into two neighborhoods with a map, but Monaco is only one square mile, so there is definitely a bit of overlap in neighborhoods. (Disclaimer: I am well aware that Cap d’Ail – the Cape of Garlic – is technically in France, and not in Monaco, but it’s literally over the border, and I think the Kate Spade girl would LOVE the Philippe Starck designed restaurant there). Overall, I’m really proud of the guide, and happy that it’s not one of the typical guides a tourism board expects to see.

pretavoyager-city-guides-monaco-cheatsheet-1Overall I wrote a Monaco cheat sheet, 2 neighborhood guides: Fontvieille + La Condamine and Monte Carlo, and an ideal itinerary to help you explore a bit more of the Côte d’Azur.

For any upcoming trips, I recommend checking out the full list of Fathom x Kate Spade guides. They’re all “anonymously” written – including mine – by the team of collaborators, but the Fathom girls are my kind of travelers. . . For the record, I’ll gladly accept other paying gigs of this kind!

Images: Fathom x Kate Spade Monaco guide

Follow me on Instagram + Twitter! I teach MAPS, InDesign, and Designing Professional Documents on Skillshare, and give Paris tours through Vayable!

After the Jump: Global Connections

afterthejump-2DS_ANNE-500x479Ever since Grace Bonney (aka Design*Sponge) started her radio program, After the Jump, I’ve been an avid listener. I may not get to listen live, but I definitely go through sessions where I listen to past episodes back to back. Thirty minutes is perfect amount of time to get a dose of inspiration and After the Jump is such a great name – it references when there’s a jump in a blog post, signalling more, deeper information and conversation. I know I’ve contributed to Design*Sponge for 6 great years and over 500 posts (this month I’m stepping down to make time for other projects), but it was still such an honor to be invited onto the show. This morning Grace and I cozied up in the Heritage Radio Network studio out of Roberta’s [pizza] in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I was kind of nervous, but the time flew by, and Grace totally knows what she’s doing. She and I chatted about my life in Paris, the importance of global connections and making and maintaining contacts. I talked about creating a job I can do from anywhere, teaching on Skillshare, giving Vayable tours, how I’ve made so many of my amazing friends (who are my best contacts), and how travel has influenced what I do now. As with anything, I came up with many more things to say after we were done, but that’s how the cookie crumbles. One thing I will add that I’ve learned this week is that if you have international clients or work on an international team make the effort to meet in person – it seriously makes a world of difference to have that human connection behind you. The story online and through email is only half the story.

ANNEQUOTE2You can listen to the full episode here, or download it on iTunes. Grace blogged about it too – read her post here.

pretavoyager-afterthejump1Grace in the booth!

pretavoyager-robertas2View to the booth inside Roberta’s (great pizza!). It’s a 2-way window but actually not distracting.

pretavoyager-robertasThe unsuspecting façade, pizza oven in the back. Welcome to Roberta’s!

In addition to my episode, I also really loved Grace’s recent shows with Julia Turshen (on business lessons) and the full Design*Sponge team –Amy and Max – talking about hard work. A new episode of The Lively Show with Grace just went live too. Even though I’ve known Grace for years, I learn something new every time I listen to her on a podcast. All are great listens while you get your work done!

Images with text courtesy of Design*Sponge.

The Color of [French] Design

pretavoyager-etsy-redLast week I was lucky to get to check out the Etsy Haut en Couleur spring preview put together by the Etsy France team to feature all French designers. Besides seeing some new work I was most excited to finally check out La Cartonnerie event space (keep on scrolling). I’d seen pictures online and it looked great. Little did I know until I got there, that I walk by it nearly every time I walk to the pool. Paris is always full of surprises. I didn’t have a ton of time, but it was fun to see the space and the way the different goods were laid out. I didn’t have any intention of sharing all the color collections, but everyone on Instagram reacted so well, I couldn’t help but share them all. It also made me happy to see people spotting their own products, and connecting with each other in the comments. I thought it’d be fun to put together a post with all the images in one place. Unfortunately, I don’t have a key to all the items featured, but if you can’t find them online, I’d suggest reaching out to @EtsyFR on Twitter. If you’re new to Etsy, it’s a great platform for discovering and supporting independent designers – happy exploring!

pretavoyager-etsy-whiteCollection: blanc; [Top image: rouge]

pretavoyager-etsy-greenCollection: vert


pretavoyager-etsy-orangeCollection: orange

pretavoyager-etsy-greyCollection: gris

pretavoyager-etsy-brownCollection: marron

pretavoyager-etsy-blueCollection: bleu

pretavoyager-etsy-blackCollection: noirpretavoyager-etsy-yellowCollection: jaune

pretavoyager-etsy-cartonnerieIn the space there were also a few featured artists working on their products during the event (in progress is always so fun to see), as well as workshops. The table above was set up to make tissue paper pompoms.

pretavoyager-etsyhautencouleurp.s. Speaking of French design, I’m happy to share a beautiful new sneak peek inside the Parisian home of French illustrator Noémie Cédille on Design*Sponge today! If only my apartment looked like that!

Follow my adventures on Instagram + Twitter! I teach MAPS, InDesign, and Designing Professional Documents on Skillshare!

Making Boring Documents Beautiful (Skillshare)

Skillshare-resume-redesignI’m excited to announce the reason behind my recent blog silence – I’ve been busy working on my latest Skillshare class: Designing Professional Documents. I like to think of it as “making boring documents beautiful.” A well designed document can change how a client perceives you and make you stand out from the competition, not to mention, make it easier for the reader to digest the content.

All Skillshare classes are project driven and the assignment for this class is to redesign your résumé, a document everyone has. I was inspired by my friend Zoe who asked me to help her with her CV, when I realized it’d make more sense to teach her a few skills that she can apply to any document, rather than me making the changes for her. I share this example in class, along with many more. One of my favorite units is when I share documents – résumés, cover letters, proposals, invoices and more – from many of my favorite professional designers in the field. There is such a thing as “over-design” but these examples show the perfect balance between content and design. Then I walk through various concepts to help you redesign your own résumé with a style of your own.

Skillshare-resumeredesign-2I intentionally structured the class in a way so anyway can apply the skills regardless of what software you’re using. I review the concepts, followed by a lesson where I use InDesign to showcase the tools in action. For those that are interested in building skills in InDesign, this class is for beginner/intermediate level and will give you a lot of practice working with text.

As always, anyone can sign up for Skillshare classes any time, and once you’re in a class you have lifetime access. All lessons are pre-recorded online so you can watch them as many times as you want. Students are encouraged to share their work in the classroom and participate in class discussion boards. It’s a really wonderful experience. (Trust me, I’ve taken 30 classes now!)

I’ve created short links to make it easier to sign up (or share) all three of my classes:

If you have any questions about any of my classes, ask in the comments below!

P.S. Code BORING will get you $5 off Designing Professional Documents when you sign up through the referral links in this post!

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