Annie Sargent headshot

Who Is this Site For?

If you love baguettes, apéritif, walks in French villages, the sunlight of Provence, and the buzzing ambiance of Paris cafés, bienvenue to you! This place seeks to inspire you to get to know France better. It’s not in the medical books yet, but I think some of us are “addicted to France”, we can’t get enough of it and we can’t wait for our next visit. Well, I’m ahead of you there because I live in France, but I can’t wait for my next trip to go discover something new in France!

About the Podcast

I launched the Join Us in France Travel Podcast in January 2014, and since that time I published over 120 episodes. The show had to evolve in different directions over time: at first it was Elyse and Annie, then Annie alone, then interviews with tour guides, and now it is mostly conversations with listeners who share their experiences in France, with as many episodes with Elyse as her schedule permits. The purpose of the podcast is to talk about all things French, or “edutainment” about France. As you listen you can best decide where you want to go next in France. It’s a little bit like watching a movie preview: you can tell a lot by listening to somebody talk about a place they’ve visited. I am so grateful to listeners who come on the show, they have made it 1000% times better! I am convinced that collectively we know all the good spots in France, I’m just making the list. It’s a lot of work making the list, but like I said above, I’m a nice person.

About the Tours

I am looking forward to working with Elyse on tours, both in Paris and closer to home in Toulouse. We’ll get to spend time with each other and our listeners, which is going to be fun! We are designing tours for Francophiles, art and history lovers who also want to kick back and have some great meals and lovely wine with friends. Hope you will join us!

About the Travel Guides [They Are Coming, I Swear!]

The travel guides are Annie’s evil plan to take over Rick Steves empire. Just kidding, only God could do that! But it is my attempt to put a tiny bit of a French voice into a field that has been so far an area reserved to Anglo authors. It always puzzled me why you so rarely hear from a French person talk about France on American media. It seems all the France “experts” never lived in France for more than a couple of years, if that. All the big France travel guides that you may have on your shelf were written by Americans. I am foolish enough to think that the English-speaking public would like to hear a native tell them about France? There has been a lot of interest in the podcast, time will tell if there is similar interest in the travel guides.

Make “Like a Local” More Than a Slogan

When I lived in the US, I didn’t know my own country very well, so in preparation for a visit to Paris, I bought a Rick Steves book. I was born and raised in Toulouse, I didn’t know Paris well then. I was the only French person walking around Paris with a Rick Steves book under my arm. It was like I had joined a collective of ants who all go to the same places, eat at the same restaurants, stay at the same hotels, all with the book sticking out of their bags and telling themselves they’re seeing France “like a local”. Euh, non, pas vraiment.

I talk to French people about their favorite places, but they don’t want to be interviewed and they definitely don’t want to speak English “in public” or on a podcast. They have no idea what a podcast is anyway. So you’re stuck with me relaying the information. Is that OK with you?

Glad to Have You Along

Just like you, I am passionate about France. I’m not in love with clichés that I hear all the time about France, but I love  genuine France, warts and all. There is so much to see and enjoy in France! The more I learn, the more I realize that touring France is like going to six different countries with their own food, wine, culture, language, traditions. Let’s explore France together, shall we?

About Elyse

Elyse in front of a Rodin statue

Elyse was born and raised in New York where she began her long love affair with French and with France. Elyse has been a Francophile and an art lover as far back as she can remember.

She studied French from high school on, and then, with an art degree in painting, took off to live the artistic life in France. She has had many lives, like the cats she loves, and after being an artist, a teacher, an art historian, and always a lover of all things French, she got her license to be a guide about 20 years ago. Unstoppable about art, art history, chocolate, wine, and all things edible as well,  she loves showing people, and talking about, all the things she loves in France!

Elyse has appeared on 65 episodes of the Join Us in France Travel Podcast so far, and shows no inclination to kick the habit.

Elyse in front of a Rodin statueSave