Exploring Chattanooga with Charter Bus Rental: A Convenient and Comfortable Travel Option

Nestled in the picturesque foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a charming city known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re planning a corporate retreat, a school field trip, a family reunion, or a group outing, Chattanooga charter bus rental offers a convenient and comfortable travel option that allows you to experience all that this dynamic city has to offer.

Charter bus rental companies in Chattanooga provide a range of vehicles to suit the needs of any group, from spacious motorcoaches to luxurious minibusses. These vehicles are equipped with modern amenities such as comfortable seating, air conditioning, onboard restrooms, Wi-Fi, and entertainment systems, ensuring a pleasant and enjoyable journey for passengers of all ages.

One of the primary advantages of charter bus rental in Chattanooga is the flexibility and convenience it offers. With a charter bus at your disposal, you have the freedom to customize your itinerary and explore the city at your own pace. Whether you’re visiting popular attractions like the Tennessee Aquarium, Rock City, or Lookout Mountain, or exploring the vibrant downtown district with its eclectic shops, restaurants, and galleries, a charter bus provides a hassle-free way to navigate the city and make the most of your time.

In addition to convenience, charter bus rental in Chattanooga also offers cost-effectiveness for group travel. By pooling resources and sharing the cost of transportation, charter bus rental allows you to enjoy significant savings compared to other modes of transportation, such as car rentals or individual train or plane tickets. With transparent pricing and flexible booking options, charter bus rental companies in Chattanooga make it easy to find a transportation solution that fits your budget and meets your needs.

Safety is another important consideration when traveling with a group, and charter bus rental companies in Chattanooga prioritize passenger safety above all else. Their vehicles undergo regular maintenance and inspections to ensure they meet rigorous safety standards, and their drivers are highly trained professionals with extensive experience navigating the city’s roads and highways. With a dedicated driver at the wheel, you can relax and enjoy your journey with peace of mind, knowing that you’re in good hands.

Furthermore, charter bus rental in Chattanooga offers environmental benefits by reducing the number of individual vehicles on the road. By traveling together in a single bus, you can minimize your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable form of transportation. Many charter bus rental companies in Chattanooga also offer eco-friendly options, such as vehicles powered by alternative fuels or equipped with energy-efficient technologies, further reducing environmental impact.

Whether you’re planning a sightseeing tour, a corporate event, a wedding, or a sports team trip, charter bus rental in Chattanooga offers a convenient, comfortable, and cost-effective transportation solution for groups of all sizes. With its flexibility, convenience, safety, and environmental benefits, charter bus rental allows you to focus on enjoying your trip and making memories with your fellow travelers, while leaving the logistics of transportation in the capable hands of experienced professionals.

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What Living as an Expat in Strasbourg is Really Like


What living in Strasbourg as an expat is really like

Today, for my Living Abroad series, I’m chatting with Claire, an American freelance writer who lives in beautiful Strasbourg, France (a city I visited when I worked as an au pair!). Here, Claire shares the reasons she loves living in Strasbourg so much, including the romantic architecture and laid-back pace of life. She also shares the best way to make friends as a new expat.

Claire’s background:

Hi! I’m Claire and I grew up in the Chicagoland area. I initially moved from the US to Paris for the 2018-2019 school year to au pair. By the end of that school year, I was ready to move on from Paris. Paris is a gorgeous city but I’ve discovered that I’m more of a midsize city girl. Conveniently enough, my French boyfriend was starting a PhD in Strasbourg and I already knew I liked the city from visiting before, so it was an easy choice to enroll in more French language classes and move here.

On making friends: Facebook expat groups are such a lifesaver! The one I utilized was Girls Gone International Strasbourg. They regularly post events and meet-ups, which can be intimidating depending on how many people go and how social you are to begin with, but I was fortunate enough to meet a really great group of girls fairly early on who have been nothing but friendly and inclusive. It’s a mostly American group, but we all have partners or other friends who are from other English speaking countries or France, which always makes for fun big group get-togethers.  

I’ve also made some friendly acquaintances through bachata dance classes at a local bar called Barco Latino. If you have any inclination to learn how to dance, Latin dances are some of the best ways to break the ice, practice the local language, and meet local, easygoing men and women.

READ NEXT: How to Make Friends When You Move to a New City

On the pace of life: The pace of life in Strasbourg is pretty laid-back. It can get hectic, but I think the romantic architecture and canals really do a lot to contribute to the relaxed and pleasant city atmosphere. That being said, Strasbourg is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe, which essentially means that pedestrians are always at risk of being run over. Always make sure to be aware and look both ways before crossing any street or sidewalk-seriously!

What living in Strasbourg as an expat is really like

On the cost of living: You need at least €1500/mo per person to live here comfortably. Now, you can get by on much less than that if you want/need to, but our figure takes into account the basics, such as rent, groceries, Internet, transport, etc, and also leisure activities such as grabbing happy hour drinks fairly regularly, dining out or splurging on groceries to prepare nicer meals, and the occasional shopping excursion.

On the Strasbourg expat community: Strasbourg has a huge community of expats! It’s an incredibly international city due to the fact that the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the University of Strasbourg draw people from all over the world for employment and education. American expats in Strasbourg tend to be on either student visas or a visa “vie privée et familiale,” which means they are in a civil union or married to their French partner. 

On living in Strasbourg as an American: Americans are pretty well-received in France in my experience, and this extends to Strasbourg. Although, one very specific exception I’ve experienced firsthand is when a group of people attempts to order food at a restaurant with lots of customized requests (substitute this for that, add this on, etc). While customized requests are par for the course in the US, they’re not really a thing in France and servers get extremely annoyed trying to keep track of all the extra detail. Obviously, if you have a dietary restriction, that’s one circumstance, but beyond that the reception to special requests gets extremely chilly. 

On learning French: Oh god, I’ve cried more times than the rest of my life combined since commencing my French language studies a year and a half ago. Technically French isn’t a hard language to learn, and I already had a healthy helping of Spanish language background going in, but the French insistence on “just right” pronunciation and their general lack of cocern for someone who can’t really participate in a conversation can feel very jarring and isolating. 

To anyone who is wanting to learn or beginning to learn French, the best advice I can give you is also the advice I find the hardest to execute: Just do your best, and try to let the grammar and pronunciation blunders roll off your shoulders. If you’re in conversation with someone and are really struggling, just ask to switch to English. It’s not rude if you’ve clearly been making an attempt. And, more often than not nowadays, French people are fully capable of holding conversations in English–they just avoid it and will rarely offer to switch on their own volition. 

READ NEXT: 10 Tips for Becoming Fluent in a Second (or Third!) Language

On French food: French food is an experience. Different regions in France specialize in different types of food. For example, Strasbourg gastronomy has been heavily influenced by Germany due to its geographic proximity and subsequent geopolitical exchanges throughout history. But overall, French food can be summarized as an experience meant to be savored and enjoyed. There is never any sense of urgency to a meal and, as I’ve learned to control my hungry American “need it NOW” impulses, I’ve learned to appreciate the pride French people take in the loooong preparation of a meal to share together, too. 

What living in Strasbourg as an expat is really like

On must-try local foods: Tarte flambée and choucroute are absolute must-try local dishes in Strasbourg. Tarte flambée is basically an extremely thin flatbread served with fresh cream, onions, chewy bacon pieces, and salt and pepper. If you want a kick of yummy local cheese, ask for Munster as an add-on.

Choucroute features around five different types of meat (sausages, ham, roast pork) served on a bed of cabbage with a hearty side of potatoes. Don’t be put off by the cabbage! The very specific, tangy flavor actually marries really well with all the salty meat and neutral potato going around. Be sure to order a glass of Riesling or recommended white wine by the server.

On personal safety: I live in the city center and personally have never felt unsafe in the city, however, I have been harassed a couple of times by men during the day, so I’m extra-vigilant at night time as a result. 

On the local fashion: Women in Strasbourg dress just a little more practical than women in Paris due to the fact that there are cobblestone streets everywhere and biking is the most popular form of transportation, but nevertheless, the average Strasbourgeois could still be considered runway-ready. 

What living in Strasbourg as an expat is really like

On the biggest challenge of living in Strasbourg: The hardest part was swallowing my pride and moving to a city to be with a boy. In its own right, Strasbourg is a fantastic city, but it’s highly unlikely I would have ended up here if I hadn’t met my partner. Furthermore, I never imagined myself to be the “type” of girl who would move somewhere “just to be with” someone, and I really struggled with the decision as something that went directly against my feminist ideology. I’ve developed a much more nuanced perspective on the decision in the last few months and both my relationship and I are better for it, but I did want to acknowledge this motivating factor because it’s a paradox a lot of American expats live with daily, this living in France because they love a French person and genuinely loving life in France in its own right.

What living in Strasbourg as an expat is really like

Thanks so much, Claire!

P.S. What Living as an Expat in France is Really Like and What Living as an Expat in Berlin Is Really Like.

This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Please read my disclosure for more info.


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One Year Later — How Are You Doing?


I’m not quite sure how to start this. it’s been a while — and by a while, I mean a year.

Honestly, I’ve been putting off writing this post. I wanted to write something eloquent and touching, to summarize COVID and BLM and what it’s like to live through these times. But every time I started, I fell short. So I quit.

But I’ve realized I don’t have to write something meaningful and profound. I just have to write.

Life updates

I feel fortunate that this pandemic hasn’t been too hard on me. When lockdown happened, my parents were kind enough to let me move out of my tiny apartment and move into their house. I haven’t lost any friends or family. I spent most of the summer quarantining in Northern Michigan, which is the perfect place to quarantine because there’s basically no one there.

I feel bad admitting that a lot of positive things have happened to me in the past year. I finished graduate school. I got a job as a UX designer at Deloitte. I got a puppy (!) named Alfie. I fell in love with road-tripping, visiting seven national parks. And I found a place to live that I love! I now live in Austin, Texas.

My sweet puppy, Alfie

But, of course, it hasn’t been all roses. There have been weeks when I’ve doomscrolled endlessly, refreshing the New York Times’ home page an embarrassing amount of times. I’ve strengthened some friendships, but others have fallen by the wayside. Job-hunting during a pandemic was grueling — it took me six months to land a job after I graduated. And don’t even get me started on being single during a pandemic.

But all in all, I know how lucky I am. In the grand scheme of things, I can’t complain.

A year away from blogging has taught me that I really do miss it. I miss writing. I miss sharing book recommendations (you guys always have the best ones). I miss having a space that is all mine.

I’m not sure I’ll ever blog as regularly as I used to, but I still want to check in from time to time.

Which leads me to the question: How are you, really? What has this year been like for you? Are you feeling hopeful or worn out, or both?

Sending you love, wherever and however you are.

This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Please read my disclosure for more info.


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Travel and Blogging Recap: December 2019


Hey everyone. In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, it almost feels silly to update you with what’s going on in my life. I’ll try to keep this light. I hope you are staying safe, healthy, and sane in these difficult times.

Sorry I haven’t written a recap since, oh, December. Grad school has been intense — I’m taking 15 credits right now, so it’s been tough to focus on anything but school. The good news? I’m done in June!

This winter, I’ve mostly stayed put in Ann Arbor. That being said, I did take two trips out west — Park City, Utah, to ski, and Calfornia to see friends.

The amazing City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, where I finally picked up Little Women

Where I’ve been:

  • Park City, Utah (7 days)
  • Traverse City, Michigan (3 days)
  • San Francisco, CA (6 days)
  • LA (3 days)
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan (the rest of the time)


Skiing in Park City. Over the holidays, my family and I spent a week skiing in Park City, Utah. It was delightful. I felt very fortunate to be able to ski and to take a much-needed break from grad school.

Writing a historical fiction novel. After many false starts writing books (by which I mean I started and quit writing at least ten), I think I have found my genre — historical fiction! I’m 80 pages into my novel and it’s been so much fun to research and write. One thing that helped immensely was The Artist’s Way, a book that leads you through a 12-step creative recovery course. I recommend it to everyone, unconditionally.

Spending spring break in California. As I’ve mentioned on this blog many, many times, San Francisco is my favorite city. So it was wonderful to spend five days there catching up with friends and scoping out potential neighborhoods (P.S. I’m very into Richmond and the Sunset). Though the city has changed a lot in the past 10 years, it’s still where I see myself after graduation. (And if you know anyone hiring for UX design, I would be so grateful for an intro.)


Coronavirus. This pandemic feels so surreal and is difficult for so many reasons. I’m trying to do the socially responsible thing by staying home and washing my hands frequently. I’m trying to stay positive and not panic. I’m using this opportunity to finish my novel, read a ton, and re-learn piano. That being said, I’m very worried about people in my life who are at risk, as well as the general state of the world right now.

Michigan winter. Honestly, it sucks to live in a place where it hurts to walk outside six months out of the year. It’s just too damn cold here. Thankfully, spring seems to be right around the corner.

Saying goodbye to Cape Town. I never announced this, but last month I got a two-month internship in Cape Town, South Africa in May and June. I was SO excited about it. But yesterday, I got the news that the internship was canceled. It’s a huge bummer but pales in comparison to what other people are going through — so I’m trying to not feel sorry for myself.

Blogging Stuff

Popular posts

Most popular post: Why Ditching My Dream Camera Made Me Love Photography Again – I was surprised this post did so well. It seems many people felt the same way about mirrorless cameras!

Other posts published since November:

Blogging traffic & income (February 2020):

My blog traffic took a huge hit in November due to a Google update. Traffic is now taking an even bigger hit due to the coronavirus. Dips in my income like this make me grateful blogging is only a side-gig — I’m really feeling for all bloggers and people who work in the travel industry right now.

February traffic: 47,375 page views

September blogging income – $812.25

  • Advertising – $693.36
  • Affiliate income (Amazon) – $61.78
  • Affiliate income (not Amazon): $57.11
  • Ebook sales: $0.00

Note that this is my blogging income before deductions or expenses.

Favorite read

The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer – This book won’t be for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. This memoir follows the journey of Guy, a 16-year old French boy who is drafted into the German army in WWII. Though the book has a lot of violence, I really enjoyed Sajer’s introspection on becoming a soldier and what it’s like living in wartime. He is an excellent writer, and writes very poetically about many subjects: “Peace has brought me many pleasures, but nothing as powerful as that passion for survival in wartime, that faith in love, and that sense of absolutes. It often strikes me with horror that peace is really extremely monotonous. During the terrible moments of war one longs for peace with a passion that is painful to bear. But in peacetime one should never, even for an instant, long for war!”

Up next:

Nothing, I guess? I was supposed to go to my friend’s 30th birthday party in Baja, Mexico, in April, but it looks like that won’t be happening. Graduation is also canceled.

How is your winter going? How are you handling/embracing this crazy time? Book recommendations EXTREMELY welcome.

This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Please read my disclosure for more info.


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What Living as an Expat in Turkey is Really Like


Hey everyone! Today, for my Living Abroad series, I’m chatting with Zee, a Zambian college student who has lived in Adana, Turkey, for more than three years. As an African expat, she has a ton of interesting insights to share, from how underrated Turkish brunch to why Turkey-based expats should consider living in cities.

What living in Turkey as an expat is really like

The pros and cons of living in Turkey (as reported by Zee):

Pros: Beautiful landscapes, good public transportation, rich cuisine
Cons: Extremely high taxes, intrusiveness, heavy smoking

Zee’s background:

My name is Zyabo M’hango but most people call me Zee. I’m originally from Zambia. I came to Turkey three years ago to study architecture and to explore another country.

On cultural differences: Zambia and Turkey are very different culturally. For example, Zambia is a very social country, people love to go out and drink. Turkey is more religious, conservative, and traditional. In Turkey, I have to be much more careful about how I dress or present myself in public.

On Turkish food: Turkish cuisine is so rich in variety and every region has its own specialty. One thing to try if you are in Turkey is a Turkish breakfast — they’re amazing! The full breakfast usually comes with boiled and fried eggs, at least three different types of cheese and jellies, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, bread, and Turkish tea.

On the tea-drinking culture: Turks love tea! Back in Zambia I only had a cup of tea for breakfast and sometimes after dinner during winter. Here in Turkey, some people drink up to ten cups of tea a day — every day.

What living in Turkey as an expat is really like

On learning Turkish: Turkish is one of the hardest languages to learn but if you surround yourself with Turks you can learn the language really fast and also learn more about their culture. In general, Turkish people love teaching others about their language and culture, which makes it easier.

What living in Turkey as an expat is really like

On the cost of living: Depending on where you live in Turkey, the cost of living varies greatly. Cities in the southwest and west tend to cost more. Where I live, Adana, is considered one of the most affordable cities to live in. The average cost of an apartment in a new building is around 950-1400tl ($150-$230 USD), depending on whether it’s furnished or not.

What living in Turkey as an expat is really like

On personal safety: Turkey is safer than what the media depicts. There are some political and social issues but in my day to day life, I feel very safe.

On the best places for expats to live in Turkey: Despite being a little bit more costly I think cities like Istanbul, Izmir, and Antalya are really good for expats. The expat communities there are large and being touristic cities they offer in terms of a social life.

What living in Turkey as an expat is really like

On living in Turkey as a black woman: There aren’t many black people in Turkey and as a black person here you stand out. Turks are very curious people and so when they see people that look very different from them (be it someone blonde and blue-eyed, Asian or black) they tend to take an interest in this. In my first year, I didn’t even want to go out because I felt very self-conscious from all the staring. People often ask me ignorant questions, like if we have wild animals roaming around our cities in Zambia. Sometimes people don’t even think we have cities! It’s baffling.

On staying in Turkey long-term: I don’t think I want to live here long term because I don’t see myself getting a permanent job, a spouse and kids here. Regardless of where I end up, I will definitely be back to visit Turkey because it’s such a beautiful place.

Thanks, Zee!

What living in Turkey as an expat is really like

P.S. What Living as an Expat in France is Really Like and What Living as an Expat in Berlin Is Really Like.

This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Please read my disclosure for more info.


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What Living in Romania as an Expat is Really Like


What living in Romania as an expat is really like

Hey everyone! My Living Abroad series, after a long hiatus, is back. Today, I’m chatting with Jennifer, an American teacher and blogger living in Romania.

Jennifer, a serial expat, has spent the past 11 years living and working on four continents, but she now calls Bucharest home. With its gorgeous countryside, low cost of living, and hearty food, she makes Romania seem like a pretty dreamy place to live. I hope you enjoy reading about her life there!

Jennifer’s background:

What living in Romania as an expat is really like

My name is Jennifer Stevens and I’m originally from a small town near Tampa, Florida. I’ve been an expat for the last 11 years, living in South Korea, Colombia, China, and now Romania. My husband Luke and I both work at the American International School of Bucharest and live in the center of town with our Shanghai street dog, Charlie. 

On moving to Romania: Admittedly, I didn’t know much about Romania when my husband and I were offered teaching positions here. But we were keen to explore Europe and knew Eastern Europe would be a more affordable way to do this. Plus, when we Googled Romania, pictures of snow-capped mountains and fairytale castles filled the computer screen! 

What living in Romania as an expat is really like

On making friends with other expats in Romania: To be honest, most of my friends are fellow teachers from school. Romania doesn’t have the same expat scene as other places I’ve lived like in Shanghai, but there is a chapter of InterNations here in Bucharest, and you can find some gatherings on To make local friends, I’ve found success by talking to fellow dog owners at the parks, and taking fitness classes at gyms (that is, when they were still open). 

On living in Romania during Covid-19: It’s had its ups and downs. We’ve been lucky to work at a school that has prioritized the health of its teachers and students, but teaching online has been extremely difficult. It’s now been a full year of Zoom instruction and we’re all completely burned out. Currently, Europe is in its third wave, and the new variants have hit Romania pretty hard. This means strict curfews and lockdowns in some areas (where you have to have a declaration form to leave the house). It also means that schools have to remain closed until cases get down to 6/1,000. Right now, I believe numbers are closer to 9/1,000 where my school is located. 

It’s been hard not being able to go home, but Luke and I have a lot of gratitude for our situation. Romania is a beautiful country with plenty of cabin escapes in nearby mountain ranges, and the WIFI is strong. So, while we feel trapped and homesick at times, nature and the ability to quickly connect is a huge comfort. 

What living in Romania as an expat is really like

On Romanian food: Typical Romanian food is heavy and pork-forward. I love the soups here, especially the “sour” variety, which uses fermented barley or wheat bran (borș) to get its flavor. I also love the roasted eggplant dip (salata de vinete), and the summer produce is second-to-none! 

A typical Romanian meal is especially perfect on a cold winter day: pork-stuffed cabbage rolls (sarmale), polenta (mămăligă) topped with a dollop of sour cream, some type of sour soup (ciorbă), possibly a side of grilled sausage (mici), and fried cheese doughnuts (papanasi) served with blueberry jam and sweet sour cream. 

What living in Romania as an expat is really like

On learning Romanian: The Romanian language is beautiful, and apparently the closest living language to Vulgar Latin. Since I can speak Spanish, I thought learning Romanian would be easy, but it’s been pretty challenging. I found that when I took lessons, I was mixing up words I knew from Spanish and French.

Most people in Bucharest can speak English, so I typically greet strangers in Romanian (“Buna ziua”), then ask them if they speak English (“Vorbiți Engleza?”). More often than not, the conversation switches to English—which is great for communicating, but bad for learning the language.

On the cost of living: For the most part, Romania is a very inexpensive place to live—especially if you’re coming from the States. Depending on which city you live in and what neighborhood, expats can expect to pay less than $1,000 USD for a 2-bedroom apartment. At least in Bucharest, landlords typically advertise apartments for much more than they’re worth (for example, our 3-bdrm place in downtown Bucharest was advertised for $1,300 and we got it for $1,000). Keep in mind, you can find places much cheaper (especially in an older Communist building or outside the city), or more expensive (in a new expat complex). 

For everyday items like produce, it really depends on what you’re buying. Locally grown products are very affordable, and depending on the season, you can get great deals on some of the best tasting fruits and vegetables out there. In July, for example, you can go to Obor market (one of the biggest farmers’ markets in the city) and take home a kilo of blackberries for less than $5. Imported products can be expensive, and I wouldn’t recommend ordering from websites outside the EU, as import taxes can be incredibly steep. 

What living in Romania as an expat is really like

On local fashion: In Bucharest [Romania’s capital], the color black reigns supreme. I’ve actually had trouble finding clothes to my taste, and shoes in particular are tough if your feet run on the larger side (US 9 and above for women). The handmade traditional blouses are absolutely gorgeous though—typically white cotton with billowy sleeves, embroidered in a variety of colors and patterns. 

On the medical system: The worst part of living in Romania is the medical system. Romania consistently ranks worst in the EU, according to the Euro Health Consumer Index, which looks at variables like accessibility, treatment outcomes, range of services, care, and pharmaceuticals. I’ve heard of many instances of bribery, and have personally experienced a misdiagnosis and the inability to find my thyroid replacement medicine (the country ran out for many months and I had to find a way to get it from the States).

READ NEXT: How to Make Friends When You Move to a New City

On missing home: I always miss my family most—especially this last year when flying home wasn’t an option. Otherwise, I miss the ease of everyday things, like being able to fully communicate at the doctor’s office, or being able to find the correct products you need to clean your house. I also miss nicely paved streets and familiar road rules. 

On the best part about living in Romania: It’s hard to choose just one thing, so I’ll say my top three: the gorgeous countryside, the proximity to other countries in Europe, and the low cost of living. 

On living in Romania long-term: Next school year will be our last. Five years will have been the perfect amount of time to properly explore the country and to develop a true appreciation for the people and the culture. But because of my recent cancer journey, our next post will have to be somewhere with a more dependable medical system. 

Mulțumesc, Jennifer!

P.S. What Living as an Expat in France is Really Like and What Living as an Expat in Berlin Is Really Like.

This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Please read my disclosure for more info.


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