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Travel stories, inspiration, news and musing

We are the dreamers, the seekers, the travellers, the adventurers, the optimists. It's nice to meet you! There are lots of us with the same DNA - we look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Filtering by Tag: France

Mid week meetings: Aimee

Aimee Pearce

Hi! Since we're hanging out so often, I thought it might be nice to actually introduce myself...

My name is Aimée and I make up one half of the dream team that is Wanderlust People! 

Obviously my favourite thing in the world to do is travel. But here are a few little insights into my world....

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The space between us

Aimee Pearce

It's no secret that travel runs deep in our veins here at Wanderlust People HQ. We need absolutely no encouragement to pounce on a sale fare and you would be able to talk us into booking a weekend away quicker than you can say "get me outta here"! We could go on for hours on end about the millions of reasons we love to travel, but one of my absolute favourite reasons is the "space" it creates.

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European bucket list

Aimee Pearce

I love a good bucket list! They are inspiring and dreamy while at the same time incredibly frustrating because they only seem to grow! Is it just me or do you also seem to add another 10 items to your bucket list for every one you tick off. My bucket list is ever-evolving and ever-growing but honestly, that's the way I like it!

So while Elissa is managing to tick some European highlights off her bucket list this month, I've stumbled upon a great list called The short haul bucket list: 30 places in Europe you must see before you die

It's worth having a look through the photo gallery the Daily Telegraph Travel team has compiled, but I've summarised it here for you with some photos of places I've been lucky enough to visit:

  • Var, Provence, France
The stunning waters in the Gorge du Vurdon, Var, Provence

The stunning waters in the Gorge du Vurdon, Var, Provence

  • Gaudí’s Barcelona, Spain
Gaudi's La Sagrada - Barcelona

Gaudi's La Sagrada - Barcelona

  • Sistine Chapel, Italy
  • Acropolis, Greece
  • Pamukkale, Turkey


  • Semana Santa, Spain
  • Aya Sofya, Istanbul, Turkey
Aya Sofya

Aya Sofya

  • Matterhorn, Switzerland
  • Chateau de Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France
  • The Atlantic Road, Norway
  • Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

  • Northern Lights, Scandinavia or Iceland
  • Sainte Chapelle, Paris
  • Red Square, Moscow, Russia
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
  • Charles Bridge, Czech Republic
Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

  • Brandenberg Gate, Germany
  • Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany - overlooking San Gimignano

Tuscany - overlooking San Gimignano

  • Lake Bled, Slovenia
  • Colosseum, Italy
Colosseum, Roma

Colosseum, Roma

  • Ephesus, Turkey


  • Eiffel Tower, France
Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

  • Alhambra, Spain
  • Venice, Italy
  • The black beaches of Iceland
  • Pantheon, Italy


  • Mezquita de Cordoba, Spain
  • Versailles, France
  • The Hermitage, St Petersburg
  • Pompeii and Herculaneum, Italy


My list still some fairly significant dints in it but it still needs a bit of work! With these widely published bucket lists, you always notice a few landmarks that leave you a bit stumped...the Sainte Chapelle in Paris...It looks amazing! How did I miss it?!?!?! The Sistine Chapel of course will have to stay locked in my memory - strictly no photos allowed! And then there are always some places that you will swear should have made it onto the list. Cappadocia in Turkey? The Cinque Terre in Italy???? The islands of Croatia???? But of course - lists can't be endless...or can they?!?!

Are any of your favourite places in Europe missing? Or any hot spots you are just dying to visit? While Elissa is gallivanting the European countryside living out her bucket list, come and dream with me!

Europe - it's summer and I'm coming!

Elissa Webster

Forget about getting your breath back from Aimee's trip to Hawaii - we are high-fiving at the airport as I (Elissa) head to Europe today! YEEEEW!

Did I mention I'm taking my husband Matt and our three kids with me?? I'm not the only one who's excited!

Did I mention I'm taking my husband Matt and our three kids with me?? I'm not the only one who's excited!

What's not to love about Europe?! (Apart from the really long plane trip to get there, a history of subjugation of far-flung colonies and icy, dark winters - let it not be said that I am not a realist!) There are hundreds of things I love about the continent that gave birth to Western culture but here are my top five...

  1. Long summer days. Being a Queenslander (even in summer, the sun sets by 6.30pm), the novelty of the sun going down after 9pm leaves me giddy as a school girl. There's nothing quite like a cider under an apple tree in broad daylight at 8pm. I feel like I'm getting maximum value for day - and on holidays, getting the most from each day is even better!
  2. Artisan culture. I love being able to meet the person who made this particular wheel of cheese and that special vintage of wine. And I love that in this part of the world, it's not a big deal - it's just the way it should be. Every French town has their own speciality but everyone does a pretty great local version of staple goodies. Why would you import them from miles away when you can make it yourself?
  3. Embedded history. There's nowhere quite like Europe for incorporating centuries-old remains into the streetscape. That fountain you're leaning on has probably been here since 1530. There probably isn't even a sign, because there is heaps of that stuff around here. And why wouldn't you be allowed to climb and dream and live on it?
  4. People are better at just being. We were in a town called Riparbella near Pisa, Italy a few years ago. We were lost and doing several (increasingly frenzied) laps of the town trying to find the turn-off to our hotel. Every time we went past one particular doorway (and this circling went on for the best part of an hour), I noticed an older gentleman standing there looking out over the street. He didn't seem to think there was anything more demanding of his time than keeping an eye on the street. And that's not unusual in rural Italy or France or many other parts of Europe. 
  5. The difference a few miles makes. Here in Australia, you can travel for thousands of kilometres and still find yourself among the same sort of pubs, people and places that you left behind you. In Europe, lots of countries are only a few hundred kilometres across - and crossing the border means crossing into an entirely different language, food and cultural tradition. Fantastique!

So buckle up wanderlusters - England, Spain and France here we come!

Mid week meetings: Elissa

Elissa Webster


I know all the buzz has been about Hawaii this week, but there's also a European adventure in our very immediate future - I'm off to Europe next week! And since we're about to go on holidays together, it seems only proper to get to know each other a bit better. So...

I'm Elissa, Aimee's Wanderlust People partner in crime. This is me dressed up by a Nepali friend for the Teej festival in Kathmandu. It was one of the stand out days of the six months my husband Matt and I spent in Nepal - Teej is the one time of year when the women of Nepal get together without their menfolk and really let loose. A whole lot of preening and bangle jangling and dancing and laughing and joking about husbands goes on, and I was welcomed into the beating heart of it all just by virtue of being a woman and being there. It was a blast.


But I was bitten by the travel beast (side note: "travel bug" is an inadequate term in my experience!) long before Nepal.

  • My first overseas trip was a 6 week round-the-world dash, and the first stop was Peru. I ate guinea pig, had a stranger look out for me, saw real poverty, haggled in terrible Spanish, got hideous altitude sickness and became completely smitten with mountains, hiking and travel in general.
  • My pick for good-dash-of-everything destinations is Sri Lanka. World class beaches, check. Magnificent, friendly people, check. Ancient relics, check. Mountains and hiking opportunities, check. Potential for real cultural exchanges, check. Mind bogglingly delicious food, check check. Go there.
  • The place that I first thought I could pack up and move to was Rome (there have been others since, but there's always a special place in your heart for the first!). Anywhere where people will have a good yell at each other over differing opinions on the quality of the pasta and eat gelato in the dead of winter and walk through the remains of a civilisation centuries past on the way to the office is my kind of place.

  • The place most inaccurately represented by Hollywood that I've experienced is Casablanca, Morocco. Forget the romantic nostalgia of Humphrey Bogart; it's a pretty drab commercial centre. Tangier, on the other hand, (where lots of Casablanca was actually filmed, by the way) is pretty underrated in my book - it has all the spice and sea swept exoticism you expect from a Moroccan port town. Morocco is also the place I was first initiated into the rites of travelling with children - our eldest daughter Sascha was five months old when we travelled there. I'll never forget a lady with three children of her own and not a word of English sweeping Sascha into her arms on a long train journey and playing with her for the whole trip, just for the love of babies. I've been sold on travelling with kids ever since.
  • Speaking of travelling with kids - that probably started with my own childhood. I travelled around Australia in a caravan with my parents for a whole year when I was 11. How cool are they??
  • The landmark that most blew my mind is The Great Wall in China. I'd heard all that stuff about it being seen from space, but something about actually standing in the howling wind looking over the desolate mountains from a wall whose first stones were laid in the seven century made me ponder just how small my blip is on the radar of the world at large and the history that has written it. China was also the site of my worst food poisoning experience ever. That's a story for another day, but suffice to say it involved still having to breastfeed an eight-month-old baby (Ethan, our second child), a hideous long-haul express train trip, and a mixed up hotel booking.
  • My last trip was to Italy, Croatia and Turkey in May 2014. And you know how Rome is the city of love? Meet Luca, born in January this year ;)

  • Our next trip (and Luca's first) is to England, Spain and France - NEXT WEEK!

So enjoy the last days of your Hawaii adventure and get ready for a European change up! We'll keep the photos coming :)

The anticipation is killing me!

Elissa Webster

But I wouldn't have it any other way!

You see, in 17 short sleeps, I will be handing over my passport for stamping, taking that excitement-charged walk down the boarding ramp, and waving goodbye to the ant-sized people of home for a month (four sweet weeks, yeeewww!) as I head off on a jaunt around western Europe. Even better, I've got someone to compare notes on excitement levels with, because Aimee is about to head off on a 30th birthday (opps, did I let the cat out of the bag?!) adventure to Hawaii. 


I'm not the only one in my family who's feeling a little bit excited...

I'm not the only one in my family who's feeling a little bit excited...

But as marvellous as I know it will be to breathe in the grassy air of St James Park on a London summer day, bask in the sun on a Spanish beach, roam the cellars of Bordeaux, soak in the style along Parisian avenues, and eat all the pintxo, tapas, croissants and cheese I can conceive of, I also know, from previous experience, that this nearly-there, just-can't-wait, so-excited-I-can-hardly-breathe-sometimes feeling is one of the best bits about travel.

What now?!

OK, don't get me wrong. Some of the other best bits about travel are exactly the opposite of this agonising state of anticipation - the thrill of finding yourself in a place that is every bit as awesome as you dreamed it would be, for instance, or the magnificence of a serendipitous moment that is completely unplanned but will forever capture the essence of that particular grand adventure in your memory because it was so much better than you could ever have contrived or even imagined.   

But there is something that never gets old about getting ready to go. Not the packing of bags and checking of visas and doing of last minute jobs - because those bits get old pretty fast, let's not kid ourselves - but the circling of dates on calendars, and the casual dropping into conversation of the impending event, and the imagining of all the cool stuff you're about to see and do and eat and hear - there's nothing quite like the feeling those simple things combine to create. In fact, I think I'd feel pretty robbed if someone sent me on a surprise trip tomorrow and I didn't get to experience them (although just in case someone's planning that, I would probably get over it!).

So with 17 sleeps to go, I'm in a fever of excitement - and I'm relishing it! 

Travelling with your brood

Aimee Pearce

Travelling with children know the kind that kick the back of your seat on the train, scream the entire way on the plane and interrupt your sunset view with their crying and snotting. Sounds amazing right?

To be completely honest, for me one of the main reasons that the concept of having my own children seemed so inconceivable for so long, was because it didn't really reconcile with my love of travel. All I really had to go on was the back-of-the-seat-kicking, the screaming and the flailing. I can actually remember having conversations with Elissa (who became a parent before me) about what it was like to travel with children and she assured me travelling with kids ADDED to the experience rather than detracted from it. I must admit part of me thought this may have been a bit of an exaggeration or that perhaps she was overcompensating with positivity because really it was the worst thing in the world but since she was already stuck with said children, she had better just pretend it was great because there was no going back now! Really I imagined she must be gouging out her eyeballs on long haul flights and pining for the days of solitude and bliss.

But then, eventually, I joined the world of parenthood myself. Of course travel was on the agenda early on and we took our eight-month-old on a six week trip to Europe - travelling through Italy, France and parts of Spain. And we all absolutely loved it! Of course it was different to travelling just the two of us. But it was brilliant. And I finally understood what Elissa meant when she said having children on the adventure actually added to the experience. We found that travelling with our baby was a magnet for engaging with local people. We had more conversations, more recommendations and discovered more hidden gems than perhaps we ever had before. All because people wanted to talk to Samuel.

And it was remarkable to see the world through Samuel's eyes as he experienced not only foreign lands and cultures for the first time, but also the wonder of first time experiences of absolutely everything - from interaction with locals who stopped to greet him with a "Ciao bello," everywhere we went in Italy, to the breathtaking magic of a new vista, another uninterrupted view, the crystal clear waters of a stream, the vivid green of a tree, the undulating hills dotted with castles, the scent of fresh garlic and herbs cooking in an Italian trattoria or the pungent cheeses to be sample at a French market. How amazing is the world!

Samuel with one of his surrogate Italian nonnas. This woman whisked him away, fed him biscotti, took him for a walk and then gave us the best travel advice we received in Italy!

Samuel with one of his surrogate Italian nonnas. This woman whisked him away, fed him biscotti, took him for a walk and then gave us the best travel advice we received in Italy!

Critics might say that you're crazy to take your kids travelling before they are old enough to remember it. But for us, having an extended period of time off exploring together, especially with a young baby, was the perfect way to begin this new season in our lives. This particular journey will always hold a special place in our hearts and memories as it solidified our new life as a "family" and gave us time and space to enjoy each other and establish ourselves in this new phase of life in the best way we know how - by travelling!

I'm certainly no expert in this field though - in fact as a family with just one child, you could say I'm really just a beginner. Rachel Denning on the other hand, is somewhat of an expert. She is permanently travelling with her husband and SIX children (eight years, 13 countries and counting!).

...when we hear people say “Travel and adventure isn’t for people who have taken on the responsibility of raising kids,” we have to raise our hands and say, “Whoa… wait a minute. That’s not true.”

Sure, it’s not easy. It takes a lot of work, and planning and often requires ‘sacrificing’ something else (like maybe time in school, or giving up Little League.)

But if it’s something you really want, if the idea of exploring this big, beautiful world with your kids is exciting, whether part time or full time… then you can make it happen.
— Rachel Denning

If you are considering taking your family on the road, I would recommend checking out the Live Your Legend blog and especially the tips Rachel provides for permanently travelling with kids.

And in the meantime - be kind to your fellow travellers! Whether you are travelling alone, with your partner or friends or with your brood of children, remember everyone is in a different phase of life and has different priorities and experiences. A smile, a friendly conversation and a dose of respect will always be the right attitude no matter what situation you find yourselves in.

French chateaus and sleeping babes

French chateaus and sleeping babes

And if you're planning a trip with your bambino...this booties are made for walking... (actually, they're not, but they are definitely up for some international crawling)

The  retro patchwork baby booties in raspberry  are currently available online for $24 and there is an adorable  matching bib  to complete the set.

The retro patchwork baby booties in raspberry are currently available online for $24 and there is an adorable matching bib to complete the set.