Postcards from France

travel stories from France by Gai Reid

Page 2 of 22

Living Like Locals in France….

and Italy…and the UK….and Australia.

In fact just about anywhere in the world where the people know about house sitting.

Bonjour fellow France fans – I’ve been very quiet over the past few months – for a really good reason. My partner Neil and I have been putting together an amazing project and it involves FRANCE!! It’s called “Village to Villa – living like locals”. Over the coming year, we plan to house sit through 4 countries and produce a television series about our experiences. We are doing all of the jobs except editing! After 3 weeks in the gorgeous Adelaide Hills we’ve fallen in love with village life and want to stay. But we will be doing that lot I expect, as we move to more amazing locations. Next March, we head to France. Our first stop is a tiny weeny hamlet near a small village 30 mins from Limoges. More on that when we arrive. Take a look at our project on – LIKE our Facebook page by the same name and join us, we’d love to share this ambitious and fantastic journey and hope to inspire many more to do the same thing. What a great way to see the world from a REAL life perspective.
AND can you believe we discovered this French chateau style villa just a few blocks from where we are staying in the Adelaide Hills!
Have you ever thought about House Sitting?

Stay in FRANCE for free? anyone?

There are few places I’d rather be than in Paris.  OK maybe an enchanting village in Provence, or in the magical Loire Valley, possibly Lyon. The list goes on and on an on.


There IS a way that you can see this captivating country, WITHOUT the cost of hotel accommodation and WITH all the comforts of home.  Someone else’s home.

Lagny sur Marne 025 SLR Thorigny 12 slr

To know what it’s really like to live in a country with a different culture and possibly a different language, you must move into someone else’s home and live like the locals.

And THAT is exactly what you can do when you become a HOUSE SITTER.  You will be living free in a home, with the benefits that brings – like a kitchen and a washing machine! Usually you can connect to the owner’s wifi, tune in to the pay TV and live as they do.  You will most likely be asked to take care of their property and most importantly their animals.

This is the reason most people seek out a house sitter.  They don’t want to put their pets into care while they’re away from home.

Millie LR Bonnie 2


My  partner Neil and I have become house sitters and plan to spend 12 months house sitting in 4 countries.  Most people we tell have the same reply.  “That’s fantastic!  Can we come too?”

Of course you can!  We want you to follow us on our incredible adventure. AND there’s more. As we travel, we are recording our experiences, the people we meet, the dogs we get to know and anything we think is awesome  – and we’re making a TV series. “Village to Villa – living like locals”  is about to begin production.  You can come on the journey too.

Interested in knowing the details?    Head to our website and become part of the crew.






When is the best time to visit Paris?

I am asked this question often and my automatic reply is “As soon as possible, preferably tomorrow morning!”  And I’m only half joking. Paris is perfect at any time of the year but you will have different experiences and memories depending on when you go.


Paris in Winter

Paris in Winter

Paris in the Winter.

Many years ago when I was planning my first visit, the only time I could go was December/January. I was concerned that the winter would not be the best time to visit Paris, that somehow the cold weather would lessen the beauty of the buildings or cause me extreme discomfort to be out enjoying the city and people. But a dear friend who had been to Paris in winter, convinced me that it would be enchanting. “When the trees have no leaves”, he said “you get to see more of the architecture.”  I began to visualise the pre-Christmas decorations that would be everywhere and the fairy lights adding a touch of magic. I did the trip and loved it.

autumn in ParisNotre Dame Paris in autumne

My Favourite Season for Paris.

Since then I’ve been to Paris in the heat of summer but never in springtime. My hands down favourite time to be in this luscious city – is during the autumn.  If this is your first visit to Paris, I think it’s PERFECT. Arriving in September, you will miss the heat and the crowds that dominate summer. The sun will still be shining and evenings are extremely pleasant for dinner outdoors. By October the parks will be gathering a carpet of russet leaves as the trees begin to shut down for the colder months. I love to be witness to the arrival of autumn in the Tuileries. Mornings are becoming crisp and the day is perfect for long walks along those streets made for strolling.  My final answer?  ANY time is the best time to visit Paris.

Louvre from Tuileries, ParisTuileries autumn leaves

I am already planning my next visit to France. It will be early March, to complete my experience of “Paris by Seasons”. And this will be a romantic time in my favourite city, showing my partner Neil (a Paris virgin!) why I love this place more than any other I have seen. We will stay for the entire springtime, wandering France from village to villa.  More on that journey soon.

Luxembourg Gardens in autumn







Opulance at the Musée d’Orsay

A visit to the Musée d’Orsay unveils unexpected delights.

From grimy railway station to custodian of one of the world’s most important art collections – the building at 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris is a masterpiece of survival.


Find out how that happened, in the full story published by La Semaine Newsletter and French Entrée website.

d'Orsay gallery clock cropped  -Gai Reid


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