As a child, my favorite books were those with a map of a fantasy-land tucked just inside the cover: tales of journeys across seas inhabited with supernatural creatures, and magical obstacles met with wonder and courage. A few years later, as gained exposure to the wider, real world, nothing thrilled me more than the prospect of walking toward strange horizons and immersing myself in foreign sights and sounds and smells.

Two decades on, my dreams have come true: I’ve lived and worked in two foreign countries and had the great luck to travel to and meet people from many more. I sometimes think I feel more at “home” in communities of similarly unmoored wanderers than I do in any one place. Although moving around so much has been exciting and fascinating, it also means that I’m always a little bit homesick no matter where I am. It’s a fair price to pay, and I wouldn’t trade my meandering experience for a straighter path.

I recognize how incredibly privileged I am to have been able to wander voluntarily and safely.

It’s my belief that responsible, respectful, open-minded travel bridges lives and can enrich the perspective of both guest and host. I also think that someone can be a wanderer even if they take very infrequent or short trips. Wandering is more of an attitude than a quota to be filled, and a more accessible pastime than it might seem.

“Transient Local” is a kind of identity and travel philosophy. I try to be unassuming and adaptable while traveling: it’s the best way to absorb a place and feel a little like a local everywhere. Working as a foreigner essentially feels (and often is) temporary, transient. By starting this blog*, I wanted to connect with other travelers, of both the active and armchair variety, and to enjoy a casual creative outlet. Check out my Instagram for my latest views, and feel free to get in touch and share thoughts and tips!

By the way, I don’t usually go back to update these posts, so obviously information in them will become increasingly out-of-date…

Straddling the prime meridian in Greenwich… and so many places to go.
*L’il Disclaimer:
The information contained in this website is for entertainment only. I do my best to ensure the information is correct, but I make no guarantees about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability of it for any purpose. I may link to other websites that I do not own or control, and assume no responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the content found on those websites. Some ads may appear near my content, placed by WordPress as part of their free website hosting service– I do not endorse any of these products.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kait says:

    Hi Jill!
    Thanks for the great blog– so well written!
    I’m also in Lyon (just arrived last week) and will be starting with TAPIF in October.
    My partner and I are having some difficulty finding housing. We have e-mailed about 30 places from leboncoin and have heard nothing back (except a few saying we need a French guarantor). Do you have any advice?
    Thanks 🙂


    1. Jill says:

      Hey Kaitlyn,

      Thanks, glad you like it!

      Oof I feel for you on housing, it really is a huge pain in the ass without a guarantor, especially this time of year. What I ended up having to do (and what a few of my friends did as well) was to go through an immobilier – basically, depending on the immobilier, you either pay a fee and they give you a list of apartments with contact info, and you just call until you find someone willing to accept you without a guarantor, or you have an agent who helps you assemble a dossier (probably more expensive, and if you want this kind of service you should definitely make sure you know what’s provided before you pay and that they’re OK with you not having a French cosigner). There are also a number of expat relocation companies in Lyon – I don’t have personal experience with them but might be worth a try. I did try My French Lifeguard, where you pay about 50 euros and they show you apartments that you then sign leases for through the agency (no French guarantor required), but they showed me some pretty terrible apartments this time last year and I gave up on them (maybe since you’re looking for a bigger place than I was you might have better luck). Only other resource I’ve got is this Facebook group, could get a lead here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1590515247838570/

      Good luck, courage!!


  2. Jill says:

    Also, if you’re outgoing enough (I’m not), talk to as many people as you can – I know some people who’ve had luck stumbling across great apartment situations by just networking and making friends.


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