Interview with a globetrotter #8
Well the French are well known as lovers and this week we also recognize les bleus as lovers of travel (and of course food, of which your GTG is a long-established fan) practice your accents and get those croissants baking as we say un accueil grand to the ever enchanting, ever eccentric Claire Rochet!
Name: Claire Rochet
Home: Avignon France (but I am currently living in Scotland)
GTG: What do you think are the main differences between living and working in a place?
CR: The main difference is that working is most of the time the same everywhere, as it’s often perceived as an obligation more than anything else (even if you can meet great colleagues). Living on the other hand is to me what goes against the usual routine so it depends really on the person themselves.
GTG: How many places have you called home?
CR: 6 places now and I hope there will be more places (I lived in Canada, Brazil, France, Ireland, Czech Republic and now Scotland).
GTG: Which language other than English would you recommend to learn for travelling?
CR: I would really like to learn Spanish, which would be probably not that difficult as the structure is quite similar to French (apparently). I just have to find some time for myself to learn !
GTG: What’s the scariest thing that has happened to you overseas?
CR: While I was in Beijing, China, I took a taxi with a friend. As we couldn’t speak Chinese, we wrote on a piece of paper the address where we were staying. After 40minutes, we realised that the taxi was going somewhere totally different so we started to panic. Somehow, the taxi driver realised his mistake (I don’t really know how as we couldn’t communicate with him) and asked a few other taxi drivers where to go. We arrive at the final destination after more than a hour in that taxi. The driver even proposed a discount on the price.
GTG: What kind of trips do you go on?
CR: I go usually go on trips to visit my family or one of my friends. I’m lucky to come from an international family (the rest of my family live in Brazil and New-Zealand) so travelling is actually something very normal to me. Although, my dream is to travel to different places for a long period of time (5 months) with only a backpack, myself and maybe a friend !
GTG: What’s the most important thing people should know about visiting France?
CR: French people are actually more pleasant that people would like to think. I do recommend learning the basics in French, as depending on where you going, people are not really good at English.
GTG: Where would you buy a house?
CR: That’s not in my plans yet.
GTG: Tell us about the coolest bar you have been to outside of France.
CR: The cross club in Prague: its divided into different atmospheres and serves drinks for very cheap prices. Although, the decoration itself, which I would define as Steam Punk or Industrial, is what I prefer about that place.
GTG: What is the first thing you do you when you get to a new place?
CR: Try to make myself comfortable in order to get a good first impression. There is nothing worse that forcing yourself into something you do not want to do so I would just do whatever I feel like doing at that moment.
GTG: Tell us about your favourite museum.
CR: This is actually changing all the time but my favourite one would probably be the Centre Pompidou in Paris which displays one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world. The building, which was made in the 70’s is definitely worth a look and you can see a paronamic view of Paris from the roof. (The GTG would also like to mention the fabulous go go dancer on a platform who was part of a live art piece on my personal visit under the guidance of the highly cultured Ms Rochet).
GTG: What would be the best museum to skip if money and time are running out?
CR: The Louvre or Le musée d’Orsay (Orsay museum for you Anglophones). I absolutely love those places but there are really too many tourists which can be quite annoying.
GTG: How do you meet locals in a new place?
CR: I just do the same things as I do home: Be myself and have fun is definitely the best way to meet people (and also be careful).
GTG: How do you keep in touch with your family overseas and how often?
CR:I do not communicate a lot with my family, except my mother who calls me at least once a week.
GTG: What’s the most ‘touristy’ thing you’ve ever done?
CR: I guess visiting the main monuments is quite a touristy thing to do. Although, I do appreciate this side of travelling too. Too many people look at tourism like it’s a bad thing (I can understand why sometimes) but I believe that tourism is really important as the money made by tourism often permits the country itself to develop the research and preservation of those monuments which is essential!
GTG: What is the most expensive thing for you when you’re travelling or living away?
CR: Eating ! I love eating and discover new types of food.
GTG: If you could cruise anywhere where would it be?
CR: Too many places…
GTG: What do you remember most about a place you visit?
CR: The anecdotes (bad or good), that’s what makes a trip so singular and personal.
GTG: Why do you think people should travel?
CR: We are lucky nowadays to be able to travel easily. Travelling is a great opportunity not only to discover another culture but also to realise what is so special about our own culture. I do believe that travelling helps you to discover your inner self.
Well Ms Rochet has spoken and the GTG couldn’t echo her words to be any more true. The GTG shares a special love for those with family around the world, and those that have become family along the way. Feel free to share your own travel tips or put your name forward for our next interview in the hotseat (with extra legroom).Till next week.