Phew! This past month teaching creative writing in Barcelona has been intense. The program wrapped up yesterday, the end of an exhilarating, exhausting, and amazing ride. I was inspired by imaginative students, learned my way around a vibrant city, made new friends, reignited my love of Spanish language, doubted myself then grew in confidence: Wow. I am really doing this!
I hope to share more soon, but there’s a lot to process. In the meantime, I’m happy to have a special guest on the blog today. I’ve known Sarah Towle mainly online the past couple of years and “watched” as she developed a new app designed to bring French history to life for young people. I got the chance to catch up with her in person at the Paris Writers’ Workshop, where I was a presenter right before I left for Spain. (Did I tell y’all about that? So many exciting things this summer!)
Sarah is here to tell us more about her journey and to offer FREE DOWNLOADS of her app to three lucky winners. Thanks, Sarah!
Time Traveler Tours: A Phoenix Rises
Sarah Towle of Time Traveler Tours
Mine was an (im)perfect beginning in every sense of the word. On the one hand, it was Paris. With its iconic sites, belle vie and bonne cuisine, not to mention limitless opportunities to access history and culture, what was not to like? On the other hand, the French authorities made themselves perfectly clear: As the trailing spouse, I would be forbidden to seek work in my profession. In fact, I would not be allowed to work at all.
My reaction? They’ve got to be kidding!
I refused to believe they were serious. This was the globalized 21st century. I had 25 years experience, much of it international. I had impressive degrees, having studied and worked at major universities around the world, and great recommendations. And I’d been brought up to believe that with a positive outlook, some good old-fashioned ingenuity, and as much perspiration as necessary, anything was possible. I was certain that, given time, I’d be able to make the right connections and find my way around, under, over, or through their laws.
But I was wrong. French bureaucracy is a truly formidable foe. In the end, it wore me down. It turned me prematurely gray. I gave up, threw in the towel, raised a white flag, but I would not surrender in defeat.
If I was going to work, I would just have to start over.
It never occurred to me to blog. Instead, I took the more traditional route. I decided to write a book. I would combine all my experience, passions, knowledge, and skill as a language teacher, expat, mother, historian, and world traveler to write a new generation of travel guide for the next generation of traveler.
It would be a mash up of the Horrible Histories and The Lonely Planet, a kind of American Girl Series, but for historic destinations and targeted to a slightly older crowd.
Called Time Traveler Tours, each chapter would be a voyage to a different era – starting with the history of Paris – in the company of a narrator/tour guide whose actions helped shape their time. In addition to a cool story, readers/users would be compelled forward on a custom itinerary thanks to treasure hunts, games, and puzzles related to the sites visited along the way.
Continue reading ‘Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Time Traveler Tours: A Phoenix Rises’