home is beautiful, too: exploring cafés in my own backyard of Indianapolis

Born and raised in Indianapolis until I was about 7 years old and having spent many a weekend there during the latter half of my high school years and the years in-between undergraduate and graduate school, I consider it home. I really do. So much of my heart belongs in this below-the-radar city. Indianapolis is truly beautiful, and it’s an up and coming city, with new stores, museums, art scenes, breweries, restaurants, bookstores, and cafés opening up, not to mention that the famous author, John Green, is an Indianapolis native and still resides there. Indianapolis is also the city he uses as the setting in his two most recent books, The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down (So, Indianapolis has to be pretty stellar after all, right?). It’s truly a city worth visiting or spending more time in if you are a Hoosier native. Though I can’t really write about it much while I’m here in Paris (as I can’t really explore it while I’m across the ocean. haha), I definitely plan to write about it more in the future.

As for now though, I must absolutely share about two cafés in Indianapolis that are a must visit: the Nine Lives Cat Café and Sure Shot Coffee (okay the latter half isn’t really a café, just a coffee shop, but that’s besides the point).

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Contemplate death and feel a stronger sense of life: an afternoon spent in Auvers-sur-Oise

 

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I’ve always had a great interest in tortured artists. I’m not entirely sure why, but I feel that it has something to do with the fact that there’s a part of me that feels understood by them, the part of me that feels a little lost and always pondering life’s deepest and darkest questions. I find beauty in the way that they bring light to pain, beauty because it’s a natural part of being human and living life. Tortured artists help us to remember that our pain can be used to create beauty.

I’ve always felt intrigued by the works of Vincent Van Gogh, most notably his Starry Night (Yes, I know. I’m completely cliché) and his works displaying the everyday life, painting those everyday moments the way they actually appear, sometimes dreary and sad, the reality of how life can be. It’s not all sunshine and butterflies all of the time (though I like it equally when it is).

That’s why when I learned not only about the beauty of the small village of Auvers-sur-Oise but also about Vincent Van Gogh’s small stay there before his untimely death, I was immediately intrigued and put it on my list of places to go during my Toussaint break.

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Enchanted by the Medieval wonderments of Provins, France

When we think of Europe, we most often think of glorious and romantic cities like that of Paris, or our minds are brought to charming little villages that leave much wonderment to behold. The everyday living in Paris is not all sunshine and romances my friends. Yes, there are beautiful parts and beautiful things in and about Paris. However, living an everyday life here is just that. It’s an everyday life. I spend more time underground, underneath the streets of the city than I do actually walking the streets of the city.

For my Toussaint break (France’s version of a Fall break), my friend Catherine and I decided to take full advantage of our Navigo Passes, our transportation passes that allow us to get anywhere in the Île-de-France region using buses, metros, trams, and commuter trains. Both of us finding ourselves in a financial bind and not being able to support large and extensive travels, we decided to go on mini day-ventures, trying to still make the most of our time here in France.

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Playing around in Bristol, England, discovering a city forgotten by people outside of the locals

 

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Being ever so slightly ashamed to admit this, the only thing that I had ever known about Bristol, England was that the British TV Series Skins takes place there. That was about it. However, this is not the reason as to why I decided pay Bristol a visit, nor should it be yours either, if you’ve seen the series. Or at least it shouldn’t be your main reason.

It appears to me as though this city is often forgotten by my fellow travelers or not known about at all. The locals definitely agreed when shocked to see Americans traipsing about her streets. She may be forgotten, but she’s worth a visit because she shows you a different side to the country. That image of your mind of what English culture is like does not fit here, my friends.

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