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Tag Archives: gap year

One More Page Event

To all my friends in Northern Virginia:  I’d love to see you at my book talk at One More Page Bookstore in Arlington on Thursday, January 28 at 7pm! Please see the link below for details…

http://fcnp.com/2016/01/19/marianne-bohr-speaks-at-one-more-page-books/

 

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2016 in book event, Uncategorized

 

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Digital Journal Article

An article about “Gap Year Girl” in Digital Journal:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/lifestyle/op-ed-fears-of-travel-don-t-bother-gap-year-girl-author-marianne-bohr/article/455149

 

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in France, Passion for French, Travel

 

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Behaving Badly Abroad

In this season of generosity and  gratitude, I sometimes reflect upon people behaving badly.

When living in or even just briefly visiting a country not your own, bad behavior often involves words. Or sometimes, the lack of them.

Over the course of the adult gap year I took with my husband to explore Europe, we frequently witnessed what we considered people behaving badly. There’s no excuse for being in a country without learning the basics of its culture and at least a modicum of words for pleasantries. To do otherwise selfishly places you and your mother tongue at the center of the language universe and disrespects the country and the people you’ve chosen to visit.

Our 365 days of travel began with a month in Paris. In the space of two evenings, we observed very different, yet equally disappointing, back-to-back dining experiences. The food was terrific but our neighbors were not. Both incidents involved Americans in the City of Light for long stays. The first took place in a bright busy bistro where we were seated next to a retired married couple from Reno, Nevada. They had been coming to Paris for six weeks at the end of every summer for several years. The second was in a dim crêperie where we sat across from a middle-aged man and woman from U.S. parts unknown (although her accent gave her away as coming from the deep south). He taught something somewhere to students in Paris and she stated indignantly as we ordered our drinks that she, “could not take another year over here – twelve months was more than enough.” Everyone has a story.

Some of the two couples’ background they shared with us and other bits we overheard. What absolutely amazed me — in fact made me wince — was that none of these four Americans even attempted to speak French to the wait staff. I completely identify with not knowing a language; we traveled through multiple countries whose languages eluded me, yet we always learned to say hello, please, thank you and you’re welcome. But all four of these people had spent significant time in France. Would it have been so difficult to read off the menu and say, “la salade” and ”le poulet” instead of “the salad” and “the chicken?” Could the guy who’s been teaching here for a year at least have learned to say, “l’addition, s’il vous plaît” instead of “the check, please?” Might they all have been able replace, “Thank you — goodbye,” with “Merci — au revoir?” I’m sympathetic towards tourists who travel for brief visits, but after six weeks every year and a full twelve months in Paris, there’s simply no excuse. That’s behaving badly in my book.

***

Well into our sabbatical year having traveled through 20 additional countries, we were back in the pleasures of France. And yet again, we found ourselves observing a more blatant brand of bad behavior.

We had settled in the stylish university town of Aix-en-Provence at the height and in the heat of a south of France summer. One of our favorite pastimes was sitting for long mornings under the dense shade of sycamores — les platanes — their green canopies arching over appealing squares filled with tiny bistro tables. The unique mosaic of the sycamores’ peeling bark intrigued us — uneven patterns of pastel yellows, tawny russets, avocado greens and dull grays – and we never tired of studying the colors. But on one morning, our idyllic interlude under royal sycamores was marred by the manners of plebeians.

Enjoying cafés au lait, croissants, and the daily chatter of French summer school students in the outdoor shade, we were startled when an Eastern European quartet of two tanned Moms and their Mini-Me daughters, each one more rude than the other, unceremoniously marched onto the terrace. There were no “bonjours” and no smiles in response to the sweet greetings of the waitress. The women’s bravado more than upset the drowsy morning ambience. All were similarly clad in skinny jeans, patent leather stilettos and Jackie-O shades with “spoiled” plastered across heavily made-up faces. Distressed that the cafe served no food for breakfast and when politely urged, as we had been, to run up the street to the local boulangerie for croissants, the most vocal of the four retorted brusquely and loudly in accented English, “What, the French don’t eat breakfast? Ridiculous.” We so wanted to see her wobble up the cobblestoned hill in search of pastries in those heels.

Rather than rebuke the vocal twenty-something for bad behavior and creating a scene, however, her mother barked an order for orange juice – “freshly squeezed.” The OJ not forthcoming, they settled loudly for espressos, plopped down in their chairs and insolently picked up their Blackberries with identical pouts.

Bad mannered people come from all corners of the world and unfortunately, they sometimes chose to sit next to us.

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2015 in France, Travel

 

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A Thanksgiving Gift

A Newsday article about Gap Year Girl:  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/couple-s-gap-year-travels-in-their-50s-inspires-book-1.11156296

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2015 in France, Passion for French, Travel

 

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HuffPo Travel

I finally made it into the Huffington Post!  I’m so grateful to have been accepted as a travel blogger and can’t wait to write for them.  Here is my first piece:     http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-c-bohr/my-senior-year-abroad_1_b_8200268.html

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Gap Year Girl: The Movie

Friends and family often ask whom I would cast as my family and others in Gap Year Girl, the movie. Crazy idea but fun to consider as a distraction from my new author jitters, now that my speaking events are about to begin.

Let’s start with Joe, my leading man. That one’s easy: Jeff Daniels, no discussion. Joe’s been mistaken for his Hollywood doppelgänger several times in public over the years, so we don’t need to spend any more time on his character.

Who would play me is a bit more difficult, but I’m going with Laura Linney. Not sure why, other than we’re both blonds and I just like her. A lot.

Chris has suggested Ryan Gosling play my first-born, but to my mind, he’s a little old. I’m going with Chace Crawford as my son.

Caroline? She’s frequently been told she looks like Emily van Camp, and I have to agree. Chris suggested Jennifer Lawrence, but I’ll stick with Emily.

It’s a movie, so we all have to be beautiful, right? Any other suggestions from those who know us?

As to a few of the wonderful people we met on the road, Ray Romano with an Italian accent would be a good Stefano, our quirky Roman landlord. Tonis, the young Greek man who opened his restaurant just for us on Santorini, could be played by Asher Monroe. The beautiful Bérénice Bejo would be perfect as Céline, my lovely French teacher in Aix, whose accent I’ll forever be trying to reproduce.

Joe and I would sign on as on consultants, of course, and insist that the film be shot on location. In Europe.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Goodreads Book Giveaway #2

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/enter_choose_address/147112-gap-year-girl-a-baby-boomer-adventure-across-21-countries

For every reader with wanderlust, and Baby Boomers longing to hit the road, “Gap Year Girl: A Baby Boomer Adventure Across 21 Countries” is a pleasure to read.

Enter to win one of ten copies, signed by author, Marianne C. Bohr!

“Gap Year Girl” is Marianne Bohr’s travel journal and memoir telling how she and her husband, Joe, retraced their travels abroad in earlier years. Bohr describes what it’s like to kiss your job good-bye, sell your worldly possessions, pack your bags, and take off on a quest for adventure. Readers will be intrigued and inspired by this exciting account of a couple’s experiences on an unconventional, past the-blush-of-youth journey.

“Bohr shines…provid[ing] glimpses of herself as a whole person, not simply a traveler. Gap Year Girl is an excellent choice…a travelogue filled with historic places, but its personal stories provide its highlights.” —Kirkus Reviews

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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