Vive La France!

Ever since I got home from Australia and New Zealand in 2009, I was itching to travel again. I had only just got a taste of travelling and wanted to experience something farther away from the Canadian culture I see every day.I've had my eyes on Thailand and Chile for some time now. It seems like half the location independent lifestyle designers are currently in Thailand and it would be a blast to cruise through and see what that crew is up to. And I've heard nothing but good things about Chile. Everyone says it's the most amazing place they've ever been. I think that's a pretty good reason to go.I also had to think about my girlfriend, Brenna. She's not been travelling on her own yet and while my own tame experiences in Oceania wouldn't would qualify me as a seasoned traveller in anyones books, spending 4 months overseas anywhere makes you comfortable with the whole travel idea. She wasn't there yet.We had always talked about going to Europe and seeing some places there. Europe has so much to offer in every way. The only problem is the expense. It's not inexpensive like Asia or South America can be. It tends to be more in line with North American in terms of prices and the way things work. Something that's similiar to home would be good. Don't want to rock the boat too much for Brenna's first trip.Some friends took off last year for a month and went to a few places in France, Germany, Greece and Italy. We thought it would be a great trip to do something similar so we started planning. We quickly ran into the problem of time off from work. As much as I hate to admit that the globe-trotting we can do is limited by having to show up for work each day even though we both can work remotely online, it's true. Both our jobs can be done completely online but our employers are still not open to the idea of working from around the world. We're working on it.That little hitch meant we had about 2 weeks to play around with. Not quite enough to see 4 countries. Not really a lot to see 2 countries. Instead of trying to cram too much into 16 days, we decided to play the schedule on the light side and do 2 cities in France, Paris and Marseilles. It originally was Cassis, near Marseilles, but the organization of getting there and our lack of French language skills sort of pushed towards staying in the bigger cities.As it stands we've completed our week in Paris and have just arrived in Marseilles. At the end of the week, we'll head back up to Paris and fly home (and, gasp, back to work). So far it's been a great mix of free form activity and planned things. I found in Australia that I really liked to have a list of things that I wanted to do but be totally open on when they could be completed. I could mix and match activities in the days. Some days were crammed full of stuff if I felt like a lot or just a couple things if I just wanted to chill. Nothing is forced and there's time for almost everything.There was tons to do in Paris. We could have spent a few more weeks there always finding new things to do. We hit the main tourist attractions as well as a few little odds and ends that we had to dig to find. A post with more details and photos is coming soon! I'm spending much more time out adventuring that writing so it might be a few days before that hits the rcThink shelves.Marseilles is going to be even more free form. We had a vague idea of what the city was all about when we booked the tickets and hotel but really didn't have any details. Thankfully the hotel is awesome and the city is beautiful near the water. We just arrived by bullet train from Paris and didn't do too much today. The exploring will start in earnest tomorrow. I've got tons of great photos to show you so keep an eye out for those! I've got a few highlights up on Facebook already, flickr and blog versions coming shortly![Update] I've started posting about our days in France. You can follow our adventures here.Our first day: Wine and Cheese in Paris