A Valentine’s Day About Place

Having grown up in Kansas City when I was young, Valentine’s Day was a big deal. Hallmark practically invented it, or rather did their part to commercialize it. Personally, the holiday has never done much for me, and it’s interesting in France seeing it get more commercial with each passing year (even Picard, the frozen food store, had lip shaped appetizers this season). So it was refreshing when a couple bloggers reached out requesting my favorite Valentine’s Day places. Shocking, but I was the only one to pick a cemetery as my response on DesignLoveFest. Thankfully a few people backed me up in the comments, but it was entertaining reading people’s reactions. Then Jonny from the super awesome Maptia team (who recently finished at StartUpChile, followed by TechStars) invited me to participate in their Valentine’s Day surprise along with some other awesome travel types (see above! I decided to add a touch of humor with my image choice. You can read about my choice on the site). What a loved about these requests is how love became associated with a favorite place rather than stuff.

Meanwhile, I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon on a chocolate tour with Alisa of Sweet Pea Baking on a Context Paris tour. I give my own Paris experiences through Vayable all the time, but it was such a treat to learn about another subject from someone in a different field. It helped that we tasted chocolates + sweets the entire time – so interesting! (Check out my Vines of Ladurée + Pierre Hermé – with sound on – where we taste tested macaroons. Mmmm.). These tours are also a great way to meet new people. There was an Australian couple with us celebrating their 10th anniversary, who meanwhile had left their 3 young-ish kids at home in Melbourne for 3.5 weeks – so not the American mentality in so many ways, I love it! {Thanks for the V-day treat, Context!}

P.S. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has signed up for my Skillshare maps class! We’re 264 and counting, with students from all 5 continents around the world (see map), and some great projects in mind. I can’t wait to get started next week! All are welcome :)

{Map graphic by Dorothy for Maptia, photo by me}