Lisa began going to France in 1997 for a simple junior year abroad but returned home with a one-of-a-kind souvenir that would change her life: a French husband! As a result, she has been returning to France almost every year since to stay for periods of one to six months in Paris and Eastern France. She has also lived in Japan for three years and traveled extensively throughout Asia and Europe in addition to taking trips to South America and Africa. She possesses two Masters Degrees: one in International Studies and one in Anthropology and has taught French and Anthropology. Her specialty is Modern Era Colonialism (mid 1800s- mid 1900s) and the post-colonial legacy.
Her Favorite Countries: France, India, Japan, Peru, Sweden, Thailand
Her Passion: FOOD (eating it, cooking it, growing it, shopping for it, reading about it)
Other Interests: Fine Arts, Outdoor Recreation, Nature, Antique Hunting, Beekeeping, Gardening
What she says about Francis: “Regardless of all his sophistication and intellect, Francis is a case of ‘you can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy.’ Deep down inside he’s still a just boy from the Franche-Comte who loves his region.”
Francis grew up in Eastern France knowing (like all good French citizens) that the world revolves around Paris. He moved to the United States in 1998 to build a family and pursue doctoral studies, but never ceased to feel the gravitational pull of that self-proclaimed international center of culture. Since 2007, he has been a Professor of French in the United States where he teaches French language, literature and culture, as well as a General Education course on French gastronomy. Starting the same year, he found a place for himself in the city of his dreams teaching for a Summer Study Abroad Program. As part of this program, he has spent seven wonderful summers (and counting) guiding students throughout Paris to teach them about French history and culture as seen in the city’s notable streets, monuments, museums and other historic sites. As a professor, he especially enjoys revealing the legacies of the aristocratic past to students at places like the Opéra Garnier, the palace of Versailles and in the Marais neighborhood. Yet as a father, the annual outing he relishes the most is revisiting the iconic Eiffel Tower. He has published one scholarly book and four articles on French literature in addition to delivering countless papers at conferences.
Francis’ Favorite Countries: France, Ireland, Japan, Laos, Vietnam
His Passion: History
Other Interests: Film, Canoeing, Snowboarding, Urban Exploration, Squash, Ping Pong
What he says about Lisa: “I love her. She is passionate, enthusiastic, hard working, curious and driven.”
Didier met Francis in English class when he was studying at the University in Francis’ hometown. They became instant friends. Didier went on to get an MA in French from Ohio University and then became a substitute English Teacher before deciding to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. Recently, he was a winning contestant on the French version of the game show Jeopardy (“Question pour un Champion“). When Francis and Lisa got married he was the best man (you can see him in the picture above). Didier makes annual trips to Paris to visit Francis & Lisa in “the center of the universe” but when it comes to his favorite place in France, he says nothing can beat the beautiful subalpine area where he grew up. As a result, Didier returned to his native region to live very close to two of France’s most beautiful villages. He helps Lisa plan French-Swiss Borderland Sojourn itineraries to ensure they include the best local secrets and advised her on her recent talk at the Taste Trekker’s convention in Providence Rhode Island.
Didier’s Favorite Countries: USA, Ireland & Italy
Favorite place in France: Too many to mention… but nowhere feels better than home!!
Favorite French Food: A good boeuf bourguignon
Favourite wine: Mostly white (from the Jura)
Other Interests: Origami, Films, Books and Good evenings spent with friends!
Kayleigh took her first trip to Paris, France, in 2007, and has been trying everything she can to go back ever since. She is currently an undergraduate student pursuing a double major in French and Psychology. She has also spent a summer studying in the Provencal region of France. Her future plans include earning a PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a Professor of Psychology. She is currently a social media intern for Sojourner Tours.
Her Favorite Countries: France, Spain, Scotland
Her Passion: Research
Other Interests: Hiking, Reading, Fine Arts, Traveling