If someone had told me that I would one day collaborate with the fantastic teams at Vélib, Paris's pioneering bike share program that launched in 2007, I would have laughed incredulously. Seven years later, I not only consider myself a rather avid Vélib cyclist but a part of their expanding presence.
While their first book offered detailed itineraries for discovering the city entirely by bike (more on that here), the second was meant to be a mini guide for local Parisians. The message is simple: disconnect from your digital appendages, think beyond the confines of your familiar quartier and experience the breadth of options the city has to offer, in everything from dining to nightlife and well-being. And in a surprising twist of events, I was asked to write the introduction to the new book - 'Paris a l'air libre' - which is composed of 50 recommendations and favorite addresses (I helped on this too!).
Having lived in Paris for several years before ever being able to fathom documenting my experiences online and relying entirely on my husband's sense of the city, I know that the quickest way to feel more grounded and less lost in a new place is to immerse yourself entirely. I allowed my curiosity to forge a path of understanding and lead me to an urban adventure that effectively changed my life. That is, an openness to possibility and discovery at every turn. My only hope is that this approach to navigating and getting to know this incredible city, which most expats and non-native Parisians know well as they perpetually try find their place here, will resonate with Parisians who read the book.
There are no translations planned for the foreseeable future but if you'd like to support the book in its French form (and me!), copies are now available directly from Vélib's online boutique or via Amazon. It's exciting, nerve-wracking and surreal to see my name on the cover, but here it is!
Order your copy HERE or HERE (worldwide shipping offered) and check out the official announcement on the Vélib blog!