The South of France is like a fairy tale come to life. On my solo trip to Avignon, I had the chance to visit Gordes on a small-group tour, but since it was the very last stop of the day, I only had 40 minutes to photograph this enchanting place! Fortunately, the center of Gordes is very compact so it didn’t take much time to explore the entire hilltop.
For a while I’d been considering the idea of traveling alone. I’ve read many articles about females safely exploring the world solo, and I don’t think there’s any reason why a woman shouldn’t be able to go places by herself, just like a man would. The majority of travel destinations are completely safe and you won’t be seen as a target just because you’re a lady – In fact, my friend who visited me for a week was shocked that she didn’t get a single cat-call or lewd glance when she went for a morning jog in Paris, because stuff like that happens to her regularly when she goes for jogs through her city in Southern California.
I was never nervous about safety when it came to traveling alone, and I never felt like my gender was barring me from having awesome travel experiences, but I suppose what kept me from doing it was the fear that I’d get stranded, lost, or my bank card would suddenly stop working and I’d have no money. But those are all things that you can take steps to prevent.
It’s the night before our departure and as I write this I’m sitting in our dark hotel room as Erik watches Netflix on his tablet in bed. Everything feels strangely normal.
Our old apartment is completely empty, our 5 boxes of belongings have been shipped, and our two suitcases, two duffel bags, and two backpacks are almost completely packed and ready for the flight tomorrow. It was a lot of work and stress to narrow down all of our belongings into a handful of boxes, but it feels so good to have a fresh start.
On my recent trip to Avignon in the south of France, I had the opportunity to spend 1 hour in the charming village of Roussillon nearby – that’s right, just 60 minutes in one of Provence’s most beautiful villages. Thankfully the village itself is tiny, so I was able to see lots of it during my short visit, but of course I could have spent an entire day there.
I took advantage of every single second I had in Roussillon, running around with hearts in my eyes at every turn. Everything I saw was so beautiful, so charming, so richly colorful! I flitted from here to there like a hummingbird, trying to get as many pictures as possible while still taking it all in.
The reason I had so little time in Roussillon was because my trip to Avignon only lasted 48 hours, which meant the only way I could see some of the beautiful sites outside the city was by booking a tour. I went with a half-day minivan tour that took me to three different sites in the Luberon region of Provence: the Lavender Museum, Roussillon, and Gordes.
You wouldn’t believe how many fairly-tale castles there are in France. They’re almost as common as rest stops on an average US highway. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but I’m fairly certain you could find at least one within 20 miles of wherever you happen to be in France.
I had the chance to explore the Château de la Roche-Courbon recently, and although it’s certainly not the most famous or well known château in France (those titles are reserved for the huge castles of the famous Loire valley), it was magical nonetheless, with a dry moat, sculpted gardens and rounded turrets.
(The image above is available as a print! Buy here.)
Last weekend was a whirlwind adventure to the region of Poitou-Charentes. I was there primarily for the wedding of two of my closest friends, but since we had a couple extra days, we spent them exploring the surrounding area with a rental car. One of the places we explored was the walled city of Brouage.