How Knowing A Second Language Helped Me Learn A Third

How Knowing A Second Language Helped Me Learn A Third

I never expected to move to China, nor begin to learn Mandarin. Yet while the language may be totally unfamiliar, the process of learning a language from scratch is not. I wrote about how already speaking French has helped me to tackle this third language for Babbel Magazine, which is the official online publication of one of the worlds largest online language learning resources.  

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Hiking the authentic Great Wall of China, without the crush

Hiking the authentic Great Wall of China, without the crush

During our visit to Beijing in November, we spent a day hiking on an a beautiful and empty, 'wild' section of the Great Wall of China. This article was published in the Washington Post, and the grammatical error contained in the first sentence earned me a slew of annoyed emails. 

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Delving into the hutongs of Beijing, chopsticks at the ready

Delving into the hutongs of Beijing, chopsticks at the ready

I spent 10 days in Beijing last November, and high on my list of things to do was the Lost Plate culinary tour. Driving from stop to stop by tuk-tuk, we dove head-first into the local food scene that is at the heart of the dense 'hutong' neighborhoods. I wrote about it for The Washington Post.

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"Fancy Footwork" - a review of Crazy Horse, the Iconic Parisian cabaret

"Fancy Footwork" - a review of Crazy Horse, the Iconic Parisian cabaret

The Crazy Horse Cabaret in Paris has been setting hearts a-racing for more than 60 years. I finally ticked it off my Paris bucket list and attended the sexy, witty and iconic show, writing all about it for Marque Magazine in Australia. Check it out...

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"Wheels of Fortune" - riding around Greece on a wooden bike

"Wheels of Fortune" - riding around Greece on a wooden bike

Published in PrimoLife Magazine June 2017

In September 2016, I rode a wooden bike for 3 days through Athens and the Greek Islands. Jump in the saddle with me and explore this magnificent landscape in this most unusual way. 

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Travels in the Loire: Visiting Le Château de Chambord

Travels in the Loire: Visiting Le Château de Chambord

Our target for the weekend is Château de Chambord. As the most famous and prominent castle  in the region, can get very busy in the summer months, but after driving through the thickly wooded  domain that surrounds it (and signs alerting us to wild boar and deer that roam about) we find it half-empty in the cold and crisp early December air. 

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Versailles: An Unofficial Guide

Versailles: An Unofficial Guide

The Palace of Versailles, approximately 20km south-west of Paris is one of the most visited sites in Europe, and is on everybody's to-do list while in the City of Lights. It is an absolutely spectacular place, and one of my favourite sites in the Paris region, but it's not the kind of place you should just pitch up to and wing it. 

Due to its size and popularity, a day in Versailles can easily descend into a disaster of long lines, bad timing, long walks in the dust and cancelled trains. 

As a tour guide I've spent thousands of hours in the town and estate, and I firmly believe that preparation is the key. So read on, because I'm about to share as much advice as I can. 

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The Ultimate Paris Marathon Spectator Guide

The Ultimate Paris Marathon Spectator Guide

Watching the Paris Marathon isn't easy, even for a local. I was rushed, unprepared and even had to take a cab at one point. *shame*

Yet loads of people come to Paris from out of town to watch, so with this in mind, I've designed the perfect user-friendly Ultimate Paris Marathon Spectator Route. 

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Exploring Chartres: a Cathedral-sized adventure in the Eure-et-Loire

Exploring Chartres: a Cathedral-sized adventure in the Eure-et-Loire

Chartres is about 80km south-west of Paris, 1h20 by train. Perfect for a day visit, visitors go to see the UNESCO World Heritage listed Notre Dame de Chartres, arguably the most beautiful Gothic cathedral in France.

Back in May 2015, I spent a day in this beautiful little town with my Dad and his wife. Being the deadline-oriented, timely writer I am, I’ve let nothing get between me and this post.

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What Lies Beneath: Exploring the illegal Catacombes of Paris

What Lies Beneath: Exploring the illegal Catacombes of Paris

There’s a world you don’t see. Under your feet. A dark, wet, scurrying world. A muddy, candle-lit, labyrinthine world. Of immeasurable interconnected tunnels, dislodged boulders, vaulting galleries. Private dens, stone-carved temples and sprayed artworks. A world of pit-pat drips and natural springs, sagging electrical wires and bones.

A burrowing, endless honeycomb of a world under the huge, light, airy city you walk through every day. And one evening, this girl fell down the rabbit hole.

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How I overcame my fears and spoke French on national TV

How I overcame my fears and spoke French on national TV

Speaking French is not a simple matter of flicking a switch and carrying on with life. It is inextricably related to feelings of legitimacy, falsehood, belonging and alienation. It is associated with anger and frustration, inadequacy, stupidity, and triumph. It is related to who and what I am, my place in the world around me and a constant negotiation and re-negotiation of meaning, intention and power. 

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Hey You! Yes You: meet Lynne, who rode a motorbike 7,500km through the Australian outback

Hey You! Yes You: meet Lynne, who rode a motorbike 7,500km through the Australian outback

Meet Lynne Oakes, aka my mother.

Although she might not describe herself as such, she is a gutsy and adventurous lady, and last year she and her lovely fella rode their motorbikes over 7,500km across the middle of Australia. She generously agreed to let me wear my reporter hat and ask her all about it.

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Exporing Melbourne, One Meal At A Time

Exporing Melbourne, One Meal At A Time

Published in לאשה‎ Laisha Magazine, January 2016

Bing! I hop out of the way as another tram trundles through the middle of a busy street. Having long since disappeared from many cities, the tram is still very much part of Melbourne, a quirky patch on the quilt that is this complex, vibrant city. A melting pot of cultures, of interests, languages and history, Australia’s second largest city has a lot to offer visitors, and I’m eager to get to know it a little on my three day visit.

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