Transcript for Episode 479: 10 Years and 1000 Destinations

Category: French Customs & Lifestyle


Celebrating the Podcast’s 10th Anniversary

[00:00:16] Annie: This is Join Us in France, episode 479, quatre cent soixante dix neuf.

[00:00:24] Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent, and Join Us in France is the podcast where we take a conversational journey through the beauty, culture, and flavors of France.

Today on the podcast

[00:00:34] Annie: Today, I bring you a conversation with Elyse Rivin of Toulouse Guided Walks about the 10-year anniversary of Join us in France.

[00:00:44] I asked you to submit your questions and you did. Thank you so much. So this episode is about how this podcast came to be in February 2014, and how the sausage is made.

The Magazine Segment of the Podcast

[00:00:57] Annie: There won’t be a magazine part of the podcast today because this recording ran long, but I do want to send my heartfelt thank yous to all my patrons and all the people who have made this podcast possible for those many years by buying my tours and services and by sending in tips and donations.

Thank You, Patrons!

[00:01:18] Annie: And a shout out this week to new patron Talin Janjik.

[00:01:23] To join this wonderful community of francophiles, go to And to support Elyse go to

Next Week on the Podcast

[00:01:40] Annie: Next week on the podcast, we’ll be back with a regular episode about walking the Sentier Cathare in the Southwest of France with Christian Chauret.

[00:01:49] Gorgeous places and unforgettable experiences. And now enjoy the anniversary episode.

Annie and Elyse

[00:02:05] Annie Sargent: Bonjour, Elyse.

[00:02:06] Elyse Rivin: Bonjour, Annie.

[00:02:08] Annie Sargent: Today is a very special day because we are recording this episode where we’re going to talk about the 10th anniversary of the podcast. And I mean, how time flies, it’s crazy that it’s been 10 years.

[00:02:24] Elyse Rivin: You’re absolutely right, time flies, actually, I think it flies on a nuclear jet or something like that, it doesn’t feel like 10 years, it really doesn’t. But, it’s been an amazing 10 years.

Reflecting on the Journey and Listener Engagement

[00:02:37] Annie Sargent: And so I’ve decided that perhaps what we should do, I didn’t want to go back select clips and do things that podcasters often do, but they often do that when they have people doing it for them. I didn’t want to do all that work. So I did, I asked our listeners and followers to ask us questions, to chat about this podcast and how it started and why, and all of that.

[00:03:00] And we’ve not really discussed this very much, I don’t think, and so it’s going to be interesting for people who have been following us for a long time. And there are people who’ve been following us for pretty much from the beginning, to hear all of this, I think.

How Annie and Elyse Met

[00:03:13] Annie Sargent: So, Kim Cox, who was at the bootcamp in 2023, so we both know her.

[00:03:20] Hi, Kim. Yes. She asked several questions. And the first one she asked is how did you and Elyse meet. So for this one, I would like to ask you to go first because I have a sneaky suspicion that we don’t remember the same stuff.

[00:03:37] Elyse Rivin: You know what? We once, I think, somebody once asked us this question for one of the Patreon little videos, and we didn’t even agree about how we met then, so I’m not sure if we, I think, to be honest, and it was a Dems Abroad meeting, I believe that’s what it was.

[00:03:54] Annie Sargent: It was. We agree on that. So we’ve, yeah, we’ve come a long way. Yes. It was a Dems Abroad meeting. Yes. So it was in 2005, because that’s when I moved back to France in 2005. I had participated in Democrats stuff in the US and so I thought, oh, Dems Abroad, let’s go to a meeting and see, you know, what it’s like here. And I’m pretty sure it was in 2005.

[00:04:18] So we show up and I remember you as this very well dressed, made up, big, big hair. You had a lot of hair.

[00:04:29] Elyse Rivin: I used to have a lot of hair.

[00:04:30] Annie Sargent: Yes, I remember big hairdo with your beautiful curls and I thought, wow, she’s just, you know striking person to look at. And so I remembered you with, for me, it was the hair.

[00:04:43] Elyse Rivin: Oh, it’s so funny. I actually have pictures of me from 20 years ago. I have a couple of pictures, even from the late 90s, I have one of me and my mom and I look at it and I go, oh my God, look at the hair on me.

[00:04:57] Annie Sargent: Yes.

[00:04:58] Elyse Rivin: I do remember that my hair was like that.

[00:05:02] Annie Sargent: You had a lot of hair and it was pinned up and it flew down. It was beautiful. It was very well done. So that’s what I remembered. And then across several just social events like this, we chatted and…

[00:05:15] Elyse Rivin: I think what happened, because I remember talking to you, and you and, of course, David were both very, very sociable, which was, you know, I’m not necessarily when it’s with a lot of people I don’t know, but you were both so easy to talk to. But it may have been me, or it may have been one of our friends, Angela, who invited you to join the book club. And then, that was really how we started seeing each other.

[00:05:40] Annie Sargent: Yes, we started seeing each other pretty much monthly, I mean, back then the book club was really regular. And it was this Australian lady who was running it.

[00:05:50] Elyse Rivin: Right, who unfortunately is no longer on this planet.

[00:05:53] Annie Sargent: Yeah, she passed away a few years back.

[00:05:55] Elyse Rivin: Sue. Her name was Sue.

[00:05:56] Annie Sargent: Sue Redell.

[00:05:58] Elyse Rivin: Right, right. That was how we started to become friends, actually, by both of us joining the book club. And it was interesting. And of course, you know, I don’t know how many people out there realize this, but it was two years later that I discovered you were French, you know. I really just… I remember the first time I heard you talking French to somebody with a Toulouse accent, and I looked at you and I thought, where did that come from, you’re from Utah, you know? And you said to me, I’m not from Utah, I’m from Toulouse. And I looked at you and I said, no, you’re not.

[00:06:31] Annie Sargent: She’s not afraid of anything, that woman. She will disagree with you even on where you were born.

[00:06:37] Elyse Rivin: Where you were born. And lo and behold, discovered that you were actually French. I got hysterical laughing because I thought, oh my God, you’re so much more American than I am. There we are, you know?

Annie’s Experience Living in France

[00:06:50] Annie Sargent: That’s right. Yes. And that’s one of the other questions, I’m going to jump a little bit is, at that point you had been in France longer than I had. Because I had spent most of my adult life in the US. Of course, I was born and raised in France and left in my, I don’t know, I was, when did I leave for good?

[00:07:09] I was like 24 or? No, no, I was younger than that. I was 20, 21 when I went to England first and then the US after that. And so, you know, when you leave at 21, I was still living at home and stuff, and so I, I hadn’t lived as an adult in France, really. And you had, so it was interesting because you knew more about French life than I did.

[00:07:32] Elyse Rivin: That’s why I didn’t believe you were French, much less from Toulouse, you know.

[00:07:36] Annie Sargent: Yeah, you leave for 18 years and it’s, you know, things change.

[00:07:40] Elyse Rivin: Oh yeah, things changed. Absolutely.

[00:07:43] Annie Sargent: So you have been, at this point, you have been in France for so long, do you have any regrets that you left at a young age to come to France?

Elyse’s Journey to France

[00:07:51] Elyse Rivin: Well, the truth is I didn’t leave at a young age because I’m old, I mean, but I had lived in France before. So it’s a very long complicated story, but I had always wanted to live for a while in France. I studied French all through school, basically, but also it was my art studies that made me want to come and spend some time in France.

[00:08:11] And, I did, I spent a couple of years in France and then went back and I missed it. I missed it too much. It was, you know, I had been married and then I was not married anymore. And I was in a situation where I really could decide what I wanted to do. And so, I came back for two or three summers in a row to see people.

[00:08:29] And I realized that I just wanted to come back, and I decided that the only way to come back, at that point, I was teaching in New York. I was a tenured teacher in a school. And so I took a leave of absence, and I enrolled in the graduate program in our history here in Toulouse.

[00:08:46] Annie Sargent: Ah!

[00:08:46] Elyse Rivin: That’s actually how I got even my papers to come, and I was, I had the grandiose intention of getting a doctorate in Art History.

[00:08:55] And I have to say, although it has nothing to do at all with the podcast, but the irony of this, and this is in ’97. The reason I decided to do that is because in the United States, and I’m not sure if it’s changed in the last 25, 26 years, but in the United States, if you want to get a doctorate in Art History, you have to know three languages and I only know two, French and English.

[00:09:19] And so there was no university that would put me into a unit of doctoral program, if I didn’t have a third language. Believe or not, that, you know, we always talk about how lax education is in the United States. Well, at a certain level, it’s not anymore. And so I went, well, okay, you know, because I originally thought I’ll just get myself some kind of, you can do that, you can sign up for a PhD in a university in the States, and then you can do a lot of it by correspondence, and I thought what a great thing, I can go and live and work in south of France for a while and whatever.

[00:09:54] So I enrolled in the university here. And one of the reasons was because I’d already been in Toulouse, I did know people in Toulouse. But also because the university here has a very, very good Art History program, particularly for medieval and prior to medieval.

[00:10:11] So that was one of the reasons I wanted to be in the area because I knew that that was what I was really interested in.

[00:10:17] Annie Sargent: Excellent. And I’m sure a lot of people listening to us, you know, hope to move to France someday and you did it at a fairly young age, I mean, you say you were already, you say you’re old, you’re not that old.

[00:10:28] Elyse Rivin: Well… but, it isn’t that easy. And of course, you know, I came under specific conditions. And to be honest, you know, the fact that I had an enrollment in a university and that I had a certain amount of money in the bank made a difference. Otherwise it might’ve been harder to get my papers, you know.

[00:10:46] Annie Sargent: Yeah, but you haven’t asked for French citizenship yet, have you?

[00:10:49] Elyse Rivin: No, I have not.

[00:10:51] Annie Sargent: You should, right?

[00:10:52] Elyse Rivin: I should.

[00:10:53] Annie Sargent: You and my husband should do it.

[00:10:54] Elyse Rivin: We should hold hands and go and do it together.

[00:10:56] Annie Sargent: You should go do it together because you both qualify. You can get it easily. You just need to do the paperwork.

[00:11:02] Elyse Rivin: Exactly. I know.

[00:11:05] Annie Sargent: Look at that look she’s got in her eyes, it’s like get off your butt, Elyse, come on, let’s go!

The Decision to Start a Podcast

[00:11:09] Annie Sargent: All right. Second question from Kim Cox is how did you decide to do a podcast?

[00:11:14] Elyse Rivin: Well, now that one is Annie’s. Annie and I were already friends, really. And doing a lot of stuff together and one day, she, I don’t remember, did you call me or did you say, come, let’s.. I don’t know how you did.

[00:11:28] You came to my house. And she said, I have an offer for you, you know, this is a little bit like the Godfather, this is an offer can’t refuse, you know, and she looked at me, and I’m talking about you, I mean, You know, I’m not, I’m much better thanks to Annie now, but I certainly was not aware of anything in the electronic world.

[00:11:44] Social media was basically Facebook and nothing else for me. And I had never listened to a podcast in my life. And she said to me, you know, you’re a guide, you’re an art historian, you do all this stuff. I have an idea for doing a podcast about France. And that was, I kind of went…

[00:12:03] Annie Sargent: What’s a podcast?

[00:12:04] Elyse Rivin: What’s a podcast?

[00:12:07] Annie Sargent: You didn’t know what a podcast was. Yeah.

[00:12:09] Elyse Rivin: Sounds like a good idea, I don’t know what it is, but it sounds like a good idea. And there are. Yeah, really.

[00:12:14] Annie Sargent: It didn’t take too much convincing you. You were on board quite quickly, but you didn’t know anything about it. And, I mean, honestly, you didn’t really start even listening to the podcast until years later.

[00:12:26] Elyse Rivin: I listened a little bit. No, you’re right. I don’t know why. It’s just, it’s not a media that I am comfortable with.

[00:12:33] Annie Sargent: Right, and really, there are people who like to listen to podcasts and they will listen to all sorts of podcasts. There are a few people who only listen to one podcast, and I’m sure some of our listeners are in that category because they are specifically interested in France. But most people, you know, still, I mean, in the US, I think 60 percent of the population listens to at least one podcast a week.

[00:12:56] So that’s, it’s growing, but 10 years ago, it wasn’t like that. It was 10 percent of the population who listened to a podcast. So really, it’s grown a lot. The industry as a whole has grown a lot. And I wanted to do a podcast because I love podcasting. I think I listened to a lot of podcasts, and still do.

[00:13:16] These days I listen to audiobooks more, if I’m being honest, because there’s some great audiobooks, and so I tend to listen to, you know, a little bit of news, but mostly French news anymore, a couple of podcasts about art and culture, you know, France Culture, France Info, France…, all the France whatever, there’s a bunch of them. I listen to those, but I don’t listen to NPR anymore very much, and things like that.

[00:13:43] Elyse Rivin: Ironically, I used to listen a little bit to the podcast done by NPR, of all of the things that, that was the ones that I would listen to. And then of course, like you know, I do listen to things from France Couture and things like that. Because it is very interesting sometimes to listen to them.

[00:14:00] Although I must say that, I don’t know if all French podcasters are like that, but sometimes that speaking, when they’re talking about something cultural on France Couture is just so deadly pretentious that…

[00:14:15] Annie Sargent: It is!

[00:14:17] Elyse Rivin: I think to myself, you’ve got to be kidding, you know, really…

[00:14:20] Annie Sargent: I laugh at them.

[00:14:20] Elyse Rivin: You know, liven this up a little bit, guys! It’s very un-American, you know, it’s a totally different style.

[00:14:26] Annie Sargent: Yeah. All right.

The Process of choosing Podcast Episodes

[00:14:27] Annie Sargent: How do you vet topics for the podcast?

[00:14:30] Elyse Rivin: I say, I’m not sure about vetting. Vetting sounds very official to me, but vetting is a term that I think people use when you’re hiring somebody for a job, you know, and you check their security clearance or something like that. The topics, let’s say, they’re the podcasts you do with people who are doing trip reviews and reports about other things.

[00:14:51] But if it’s talking about the podcasts that we do together, basically we just throw out topics to each other and sound them out and decide mutually. Wouldn’t you say that’s how we do it?

[00:15:01] Annie Sargent: At the beginning, there was a great need to do podcasts about Paris. Because I knew that people were searching for information about Paris. But after a couple, two, three years, we really relaxed that and we just talk about whatever we were interested in. You knew Paris much better than I did when we started out. And I’ve since gone to Paris so many times that, you know, now we’re both, we know and love the city, but neither of us live there. Which is why we often podcast about other parts of France that we visit or that we go on vacation to, or drive through or whatever the case may be. So it’s just a conversation between the two of us of how we vet the topics.

[00:15:49] Often the question is, do I have photos?

[00:15:52] Elyse Rivin: Yeah.

[00:15:53] Annie Sargent: I like to have photos of the places, although these days, this is another switch that I made recently, these days I use a lot of photos of people, selfies, people in front of things. And as a matter of fact, when I see you on Monday, we’re going to have to take photos together because we need photos to illustrate this episode. I have a few, but I don’t have any recent ones.The process is more like whatever’s interesting. And as far as the trip reports are concerned, once in a while, I reach out to people, I’m often telling people, if you have an interesting trip that you want to discuss, let’s, you know, reach out to me.

[00:16:30] I reach out to people on social media sometimes. People that I do trip reports with, I always mentioned that, you know, I would love to have them on the podcast and I have more people offering to do podcasts than I can possibly publish. And I will publish them all eventually, but it’s just, it’s a bottleneck and I am not super picky about who I talk to because most people are interesting in their own way.

[00:16:54] Some people are more energetic, they’re easier to interview, but they’re all interesting in their own way and we’re all different and that’s good, that’s just, you know, to me, I don’t need to be picky.

[00:17:05] The only thing I’m picky about is no marketers, and no tourism professionals for the most part. I don’t reach out to them. Once in a while one of them reaches out to me, but I’m not interested in talking to tourist professionals because they will give me canned answers to everything. And I’m not, I don’t like that so much.

How Long Does Research and Recording Take?

[00:17:26] Annie Sargent: Okay, how long does it take to research topics and the recording?

[00:17:30] Elyse Rivin: The researching. Now, that’s a good question because it depends on the topic. If it’s a topic that involves the history of somebody, their life story, we’ve done a number of them. I particularly will spend up to two days, full days, doing research, taking notes. I’m very fussy. This is because of my academic background.

[00:17:51] I don’t immediately write into the computer. So I go to many different sources on internet and then I make notes and then I synthesize the notes and then I put them down onto the computer. And I love doing it. I have to say that it’s one of the things I enjoy the most besides chatting, because I love to talk, because I discover so much. I feel like it’s really wonderful because it opens up all kinds of things for me and I discover things. And you were talking about how I, before you started, you know, I basically knew Paris better than you, but now I know a lot more about certain aspects of French history than I did before because of doing all of the research.

[00:18:30] So it’s, I find that it’s great because it really is adding to me.

[00:18:35] It’s like it’s an advantage for me as well as for us for doing the podcast. And I’m constantly, you know, my husband who’s French is like, did you know this? Did you know that?

[00:18:44] But it can be, it can be a good two full days of research in terms of time, even though it could be, you know, stretched out over a few more days that from that point on. But that depends on whether it’s that kind of a topic or not.

[00:18:57] Annie Sargent: Yeah, so when we do biography type things, I like to read a book or two about the topic and I typically listen to books. So I’m looking for books that I can get on Audible, or I just buy the Kindle book and I get my phone to read it to me. Just like if I were a blind person. And it works really well.

[00:19:21] And I get through a lot of books that way. And that way I just write down some notes as I’m listening. I just pause and, Oh, this is a good point. You know, whatever. And it does, I mean, if you listen to several books about a person, it takes a while, but it’s pleasant. I like it. We only talk about people we’re interested in.

[00:19:39] We’re not going to talk about people we don’t want to think about, so.

[00:19:42] Elyse Rivin: Really. Really.

[00:19:44] Annie Sargent: So it’s, you know, we select people we like. And if it’s about a place, I will typically go to the local tourism website. I will sometimes call them to say, you know, what else, you know, I have this, and this, and this, and this on my list.

[00:20:00] What else am I missing? I talk to people who live there. If I know any, you know, I’ll give them a call and say, Oh, tell me about this. That’s how I do the research and it is time consuming, but it is pleasant to do. So it’s not a big deal, you know.

[00:20:14] You can Google almost anything. If you can Google and then make some phone calls, you’re in good shape. You’re going to know what there is to know.

[00:20:22] Elyse Rivin: And then there are some (episodes) which we’ve been doing, where we go to a place together, and those are fun. Those are really fun. Because we’re really discovering something and it’s like we’re taking notes as we do the visit, in a sense in our brains, you know, and that’s pretty cool.

[00:20:37] Annie Sargent: Yeah, that’s very pleasant and, but obviously we can only do that for things that we can do in a day trip. Because, you know, we don’t tend to go on vacation together or whatever. And if we do, it’s in Spain, so…

[00:20:49] Elyse Rivin: And if it’s, Hola, Hola!

[00:20:51] Annie Sargent: Hola! Yes, Elyse has a, she likes the café con leche. So do I, so do I, they’re very good.

[00:20:57] Elyse Rivin: Bueno, bueno.

Are there bloopers that get edited out?

[00:21:00] Annie Sargent: All right, next question is: Are there bloopers that get edited out? Bloopers? We don’t really do bloopers, but I do restate sometimes. So you don’t hear it because if I bungle a word, I don’t… so I have this thing in my head, I don’t want to hear my own French accent when I’m speaking English.

[00:21:19] And if I hear it, I will immediately stop and repeat. Now, I don’t catch everything that way, but I catch a lot, and those do get edited out, yes. If I bungle a word, I’m not going to leave it in because, I mean, sometimes you don’t want to, like, you know, the beach, I have to make sure I say the beach .

[00:21:39] Elyse Rivin: Instead of bitch .

[00:21:40] Annie Sargent: Yes, which would be the natural way would come out of my mouth.

[00:21:45] So there you go.

[00:21:46] Elyse Rivin: Actually, I think the only time there’s ever been anything that you could consider to be a blooper is if one of the animals in your house interfered with the recording, you know, but those are kind of cute.

[00:21:57] Annie Sargent: Yeah, we cut out noises, we cut out doorbells if there is one. You know, we try to, like right now we’re recording and I’m expecting a phone call, so I would pause and then we start up again like nothing happened. We don’t let you know that we were interrupted because what would be the point?

[00:22:16] So, yeah.

Favorite Places in France

[00:22:17] Annie Sargent: Next question from Kim Cox is what is your favorite place in France? Oh, that’s hard.

[00:22:22] Elyse Rivin: I don’t, you know, do you have a favorite place? I don’t really have a favorite place.

[00:22:27] Annie Sargent: No, I don’t.

[00:22:29] Elyse Rivin: Of the parts of France that I have visited, because there are some parts that I still really have not visited, there are a few that I love a lot that I would say those places are wonderful and I would easily go back. But it would be impossible for me to say there’s one place that’s really my favorite, I think.

[00:22:49] Annie Sargent: I’m about in the same situation. I tend to enjoy the day I’m in and not worry too much about projecting unless I have a project, you know. But in daily life, I love going to Paris, I really enjoy the beautiful places, the history, all of the stories in Paris are fantastic. I would not want to live there because I’m a country bumpkin at heart, and I just love it when it’s quiet and I can walk my dog on a voie verte somewhere, voie verte being a kind of a green pathway or whatever you, however you translate that.

[00:23:32] And I just love a quiet life, is really my preference personally, but I do love to visit places. New places are always exciting just to go see. And I find that one of my goals going forward with the podcast is to go visit more places.

[00:23:50] Elyse Rivin: That you have not been to.

[00:23:51] Annie Sargent: That I have not been to, because when people tell me about them on Trip Reports reports, I’m like, Oh, that sounds really interesting.

[00:23:58] And I don’t always get to see it as, as fast as I would like to, but that’s life for everybody. You know, we don’t have in all the time in the world to go touring around, so…

[00:24:10] But I’m afraid, Kim, I don’t have a favorite place in France. There are many places where I happily go back to, Paris, Provence, , the Dordogne, I love going back to, I would love to spend more time in Brittany.

[00:24:23] There are places, there are some regions of France that we’ve hardly talked about because we don’t go to them. So like, Hauts de France, which is all around Lille, Amiens, all of that. We don’t talk about them very much.

[00:24:37] Next summer during the Olympics, I’m hoping to go up to Lille for basketball. And at the same time, I will look around because most of the basketball games for the Olympics are going to be in Lille.

[00:24:49] Elyse Rivin: Oh, they’re going to be in Lille.

[00:24:51] Annie Sargent: Yes. Yes. So that will be my opportunity to go visit the area, spend a week or something and go look around the area. I’ve been to Strasbourg, with my husband, which was very pleasant. Strasbourg, and the area.

[00:25:03] But there’s a lot, like Picardie, we haven’t talked about, Auvergne, not much.

[00:25:09] Elyse Rivin: Auvergne, I know a little bit.

[00:25:11] We did a couple of vacations there, but it’s true, we haven’t, we did the cheese route. I think that was the one thing we did.

[00:25:18] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Which is really fun, you know.

[00:25:21] Elyse Rivin: It was just fun, you know? It’s true. There are just lots of, there are parts, especially the extreme north of France, in two weeks, I’m going to be going up to the extreme northeast of France for two or three days, which will be interesting. I’ll try and take some pictures because never been north of Metz, and Metz is, Meuse et Moselle, so not Strasbourg.

[00:25:42] This is, you know, a little bit further up north. It’ll be interesting to just drive around that area and see what it’s like.

[00:25:49] Annie Sargent: Yes, we need to talk about these places. So that’s one goal for the podcast for me is to just go visit more places so I can talk about it with more, I guess, authority. Because I, once I’ve been to a place, I get a good feeling for what it’s like there because being French, you kind of like, ah, it’s that sort of a town, you know, it’s like the uppity town or it’s the blue collar town. I have a spidey sense for these things.

Do You Listen to Other Podcasts?

[00:26:16] Annie Sargent: Do you listen to any other podcasts? We mentioned that already and yes, some. But, I guess I could make a list. I didn’t, I have too many, like mostly. Look, the reality is recently when I listen to stuff, it’s either going to be about electric cars or about Spanish or about cooking. I’ve decided that I have not a lot of time to spend in front of YouTube.

[00:26:43] And so when I watch YouTube stuff, it’s often in Spanish, about either electric cars or cooking. Because I want to learn Spanish. So I’m watching things in Spanish. But yes, I do listen to a few and that changes over time. There are podcasts that I love and I will listen like fervently and then for a few months I don’t anymore.

[00:27:03] And then something reminds me, Oh, there’s that podcast I haven’t listened to in a while. And so I go back to it. And I’m sure it’s the same with our listeners. Like they, even the most faithful people, they get busy with other interests and other things and they come and go. There’s people who email me and say, I listened to you for years and then I didn’t for a while and now I’m back.

[00:27:22] And I’m like, Oh, nice to have you back. It’s normal with podcasting.

Planning a Trip to France

[00:27:26] Annie Sargent: All right. Let’s see. Cynthia, oh, she has an interesting name, Cynthia Fubiccguary, I probably bungled that, sorry about that. She asks, for someone who’s never been to France and doesn’t speak French, how would you go about planning a trip?

[00:27:43] Well, that’s a big question. I would listen to the podcast because you will get a lot of inspiration from what other visitors will talk about. I would decide if I’m a city person or if I’m a country person, if I want sea or if I want, you know, mountains. If I want Paris. Most people end up going to Paris because there is so much in Paris, but there’s also a lot elsewhere.

[00:28:11] And, that’s one of the things that I think our podcast is good at. It’s telling people that some things are overhyped, you know. Because on the internet, there are a lot of people who are better at marketing than they are at actually knowing things, if that makes any sense. And so, we can help you weed out the stuff that’s like, that’s secondary.

[00:28:38] When I do itinerary planning sessions with people, I’m often telling them, yeah, that’s secondary. Just recently, so I don’t know if you ever heard about this Elyse, but in the Corbière, there’s this guy who, he renovated an old windmill and he uses it to grind his own wheat and he makes bread out of his own wheat.

[00:29:00] And because of this, he’s been on a lot of social media. And people ask me, should I make a detour to go see this thing? And I’m like, okay, it’s in the middle of nowhere, and it’s just a guy who makes bread with his… I mean, it’s interesting.

[00:29:17] Elyse Rivin: I think it’s interesting for people who make bread. I mean, if you’re interested in looking at somebody who’s trying to do things the old fashioned way, that this is the way they used to do it, because this is exactly what we’re talking about, then why not? It becomes an interesting sidestep.

[00:29:33] Annie Sargent: But it’s a big side trip, you know, so would you, would I include it? Sure. If I’m in the area, I would include it, but if I’m not in the area, I wouldn’t make a special trip just to go see that.

[00:29:44] Elyse Rivin: I think it’s really important for people to get a sense of who they are and what they are interested in and you can’t go by what other people are interested in, and other people like. If you’re interested in chateaus or castles, if you’re interested in little villages, if you’re interested in winery, if you’re interested in seeing big museums or monuments, I think if you like big cities, or if you’re afraid of big cities, I mean, you have to really, I think it’s extremely important to start by deciding what you’re interested in.

[00:30:15] Do you want to see the Normandy beaches because of the history of them? Do you want to taste foods that you’ve never tasted before?

[00:30:23] I used to do a lot of work in Paris and a couple of times, I actually had people in my groups who had never been out of a small town in the middle of the United States, and they were terrified to even get in the Metro.

[00:30:37] And of course I grew up in New York City and so my first reaction was, what is the matter with you? You know, really?

[00:30:43] I mean, it was, it’s terrible, but it was, it was real. It was real. I had to convince them that it was really okay. They weren’t going to die by going into the metro you know?

[00:30:54] And so I think that, it’s better to start by assessing what it is you like, what you want to do and not ask so much other people was, should I do this? Should I do that? It’s up to you to decide what you want to do.

[00:31:08] Annie Sargent: Right. Right. But I think for a first visit to France, Paris is always a good bet.

[00:31:13] Elyse Rivin: Paris is always a good bet.

[00:31:14] Annie Sargent: Yes, because there’s so much of everything in Paris that no matter what your interests are, you will find something that’s going to be greatly interesting to you in Paris. That’s how I see it.

[00:31:27] Elyse Rivin: Just as a quick aside, because the weather that we’ve been having here, and I know parts of the United States particularly have been having rough weather, but yesterday on the news they showed Versailles covered with snow. It was so beautiful. It was absolutely beautiful. Even Paris had a little bit of a layer of snow everywhere.

[00:31:45] It was very pretty.

[00:31:47] Annie Sargent: Yes. Also, the other thing to consider when you’re planning a trip to France is what time of year can you come? There are different things to do at different times of the year. There’s a time for everything. Okay? So, don’t plan to go into very rural places in the middle of the winter.

[00:32:05] It’s probably not going to be that much fun.

[00:32:08] Elyse Rivin: And everything will be closed.

[00:32:10] Annie Sargent: Yeah, Paris, you can do any time of year. That’s another reason why Paris is excellent is because, or big cities in France, or Lyon, or Nice, or Bordeaux, or Toulouse.

[00:32:20] Elyse Rivin: Or Strasbourg.

[00:32:20] Annie Sargent: Strasbourg. Well, Strasbourg is better. Strasbourg kind of shuts down. They have so many people in December, that January until, you know, into February, it’s really dead. Because people are tired of putting on a show for Christmas.

[00:32:38] And so even cities like that, you have to pick your time a little bit, but Paris and big cities always have something going on.

The Challenges of Starting a Podcast

[00:32:46] Annie Sargent: All right, moving on to Corinne Jones from the Bootcamp 2023. She asked, what was the biggest challenge in starting the podcast?

[00:32:56] Elyse Rivin: I don’t know. What was the biggest challenge? I just have a memory of the logistics at first, which of course you really were, you were pretty much on top of. I remember the time of looking for the logo, which I thought was kind of fun, searching for the logo to use.

[00:33:12] I don’t know. What was, for you, the biggest challenge?

[00:33:15] Annie Sargent: There were so many challenges because I didn’t know anything about either audio or websites. And so I had, there was a very steep learning curve. But I was determined and my husband being a techie also helped because he didn’t know any better than I did, but he could look it up and understand what he was reading.

[00:33:36] Because sometimes when you start reading about RSS feeds, I understand all the words, but none of the meaning. So having a techie helped. And starting a podcast has gotten much, much, much easier in the meantime.

The Evolution of Podcast Recording

[00:33:51] Annie Sargent: This would not be a challenge today, but just recording, you know, decent sound was not something I knew how to do right off the bat.

[00:33:59] I had to learn. And we made many changes along the way on how we record, because there’s always a better way to do things. And for a long time, I was very careful. I would like, well, this way works, and so I’m going to keep doing that.

[00:34:16] And since I’ve started working with Cristian, the podcast editor, he’s kind of nudged me into different directions, which have worked out really.

[00:34:25] So, it’s good to have somebody else’s input on technical things. And I’m hardly a podcast technical expert, but I know how to do it. And I know different ways to do it now. And I have my favorite.

[00:34:41] Elyse Rivin: Yeah, and I have to say that, because that is absolutely not my part of it and it’s not what I do, that it is absolutely amazing to watch Annie insist on learning all of these things and find new techniques and new methods, and it’s kind of a never ending process, which I’m always admiring and befuddled by, because I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to start doing all this stuff.

[00:35:05] Annie Sargent: Yeah, yeah. New equipment shows up. So there are some podcasters who have to buy a new, every time there’s a new microphone, they have to buy it. I don’t do that. I try not to overspend, but I still do spend plenty of money on equipment that I mostly use. Sometimes I’ve bought some things that I didn’t, that I don’t end up using very much, but yes, I am adventurous that way.

[00:35:26] I kind of look for, you know, if somebody tells me there’s a better way, then I will listen to them. Let’s put it that way.

The Process of Crafting a Podcast Script

[00:35:32] Annie Sargent: All right. Corinne also asks, do you craft a script or is it, or is most of the podcast freestyle based on your vast knowledge of everything French? Well, that’s something we started doing not that long, a few years back.

[00:35:46] I started asking you for notes in advance so I could read through them. Because before that, you would just show up and it was a total surprise what you had prepared. I didn’t know. And you had your notes on paper, typically on the back of an envelope, really.

[00:36:01] Elyse Rivin: No, come on, no. It’s true that I would take notes, but now we actually do formal show notes. Although they’re not really read, they’re just used at the end as a good outline. I keep them in front of me to remind me of all the things that I’ve put down. But yeah, it’s more formal now.

[00:36:19] Annie Sargent: Right. So for this recording, for example, I have a file in which I’ve gathered all of the questions that people asked. And that’s it. And then we go from there. We talk from there. And we do that for pretty much every topic. It’s bullet points, hardly ever scripted. I do some, later today, if it’s not too noisy, I’ll record a bit for patrons that will be scripted.

[00:36:44] So usually when I record something for Patreon, it’s a French history brief. So it’s a kind of a bit about a specific piece of history. That I will script. Because it’s not just conversation. But most of the time, the podcast is a conversation. So we don’t script conversations.

The Journey of Becoming a Historian

[00:37:00] Annie Sargent: All right. Larry Kantrowitz.

[00:37:02] Oh. Sorry, Larry. Larry K. How about Larry K.? He asked, when you started this 10 years ago, did you expect to become a historian of all things French? Well, no, I did not. And you mentioned this earlier. You learn a lot as you go. And so did I.

[00:37:20] Elyse Rivin: Yep. And I, I mean, I already had a background in Art History, which has been added to by learning more about history of France in general. And I can remember when we first started and you’d say to me, no, no, no, no, I don’t really know that much about that in history. And you got the bug of wanting to know more from doing the podcast and reading more books and listening to more books.

[00:37:45] And that’s, it’s just amazing to see the difference.

[00:37:48] Annie Sargent: Yes. I really got into the history. I wasn’t into it that much. As a regular French person, you don’t need to know the history in that deep of detail, you know. I mean, you pass the test and that’s it, and you forget. It’s the same with you with American history, I’m sure, or Australian history, or Canadian history.

[00:38:07] You learn what you need and then you forget it. And it’s the same for French people. But now, like whenever there are people who are talking about, like new authors talking about their new book, and it happens to be history, I listen to those things. I’ve bought many books just to be able to learn about this or that.

[00:38:26] The French Revolution was a complete, like, I had no idea. And I’ve listened to enough books. Now, when I buy the paper book, I’m afraid, which very often with French authors, you don’t have a choice. They don’t release Audible books very much and they don’t release Kindle books as much as I’d like. So sometimes the bigger authors will release the Kindle version of a book in French, on and not on, which is really annoying. But, so if I can buy the book on and it’s Kindle, then I can just get my phone to read it to me. And I do this all the time.

[00:39:05] Elyse Rivin: And interesting for me, I find that I watch much more French television than you do. And I watch a lot of programs that are about history and about events, specific events, or specific people in the past, and I enjoy that because it’s a wonderful way of learning stuff.

[00:39:23] Annie Sargent: There’s a few people who are historians who are big names on French TV and radio. And I’ve gotten to know all of them and I follow all of them and if they have a book out I will buy it. I bought this book about, I can’t remember her name, she has a really long name… anyway, she wrote a book about the saints and the remains of the saints, how they got all these churches would claim that they had the right hand of Saint blah, blah, blah.

[00:39:53] And so she recouped all of that. And she decided that St. Peter has hundreds of arms and hands and legs and so many churches claim, and she wrote a book all around that. And it was fascinating, you know. There’s another French guy who wrote a book about the meaning of colors in the Middle Ages. PaStoureau.

[00:40:11] Elyse Rivin: Yeah. I have all his books. Yeah.

[00:40:14] Annie Sargent: The thing is, if it’s a paper book, I’m not as likely to read it. Honestly, the reality of my life is such that I don’t often sit and read, and I want to. The other day, I’m renovating my apartment in Spain, and so the other day I went to the store here in Spain, and I, I looked for a chair, and I was, oh, this chair would be so good to read in.

[00:40:35] It’s, oh, it’s lovely, lovely, and, but then I thought, how likely are you to sit and read? But when do you do that? You don’t. Unfortunately, that’s just reality, but you take the time to sit and read more.

[00:40:45] Elyse Rivin: Yeah. Me, me, me, me. Yes. Yes.

[00:40:48] Annie Sargent: Yes.

[00:40:49] Elyse Rivin: Yes.

[00:40:49] Annie Sargent: Yes. Yes.

How we met our Husbands

[00:40:51] Annie Sargent: Okay. Megan asked how we met. We talked about that. How we met our husbands? Several people asked that.

[00:40:56] Elyse Rivin: You met yours in the States. I met mine here. So there you are.

[00:41:00] Annie Sargent: Yeah. For me, it was easy. I went to college and I met my husband in college. He was learning French, and I was the head resident of the French house. My job was to make sure everybody spoke French in the house, which was, if you ask me, very easy. In return, I got food and lodging, which I thought, wow!

[00:41:22] Vive l’Amérique! They pay me to speak French. Yes, I have arrived. And I met my husband there. And there you go. So yes, it was college. I mean, this classic, you know, you, a lot of people meet in college and so did we.

[00:41:40] Elyse Rivin: Yes, that’s true. I was traveling around France and I was, by chance came to Toulouse and through other people I met Pierre, and then I, that was just a, something at a time when I was traveling, I was being adventurous for over a year. And then I went back to the States and it was when I came back 26 years ago, that we hooked up again and that was how we got together.

[00:42:06] Annie Sargent: And you’ve been married a long time.

[00:42:08] Elyse Rivin: Since 2001.

[00:42:09] Annie Sargent: Yeah, so, yes, I’ve been married longer than you, but you other…

[00:42:14] Elyse Rivin: I had other adventures in my life.

[00:42:18] Annie Sargent: Me, I’m a one note person. Okay.

[00:42:23] Jennifer Hodge Jerzyk asks, and hello Jennifer, we know each other in person. Yeah, because she lives in Montpellier, but she was in Toulouse for a while.

[00:42:31] She even came to Thanksgiving at my house, and you met her there, didn’t you? Mm hmm.

[00:42:36] Elyse Rivin: Yes.

The Future Plans for the Podcast

[00:42:37] Annie Sargent: What are your exciting plans for the next 10 years of the podcast?

[00:42:42] Elyse Rivin: Expand to other parts of the country that we haven’t been to. I have a sneaking suspicion that Annie’s planning on expanding to Spain as well.

[00:42:56] Annie Sargent: I might. You know, I would feel like a fraud until I can speak decent Spanish. When I can speak decent Spanish and when I can actually go places and speak to the people then it will be more than just: Oh, isn’t this pretty? Which anybody can do, isn’t this pretty, but you want go a little deeper than that.

[00:43:17] So if I get proficient enough in Spanish, I might, because I do love Spain. I do love Spain. And my ancestry is mostly Spanish. I look like, you know, people are always, they look at me and they’re very surprised when I don’t speak Spanish because they go, Oh, you look like one of us. What’s wrong with you? Do you have brain defect? No, they don’t say that. Anyway, so yes, yes, I think more of the same, really. The podcast is going to evolve in natural ways. We are, I do not plan on doing video. There are some people who are very, very good at video and I’m really not. I plan on keeping it audio mostly with perhaps the occasional video, but really rarely.

[00:44:00] I plan on keeping, on doing more, VoiceMap tours of Paris, perhaps other places as well. You keep threatening to do some around, you’ve done one in Toulouse, which is excellent.

[00:44:11] Elyse Rivin: And Albi’s, Albi’s actually going to be coming up soon.

[00:44:14] Annie Sargent: Oh, good, good.

[00:44:15] Elyse Rivin: My second favorite place around here.

[00:44:17] Annie Sargent: So I think it’s going to be more of the same, more trip reports, talking to different people about their vacations. I think the way people vacation is going to change as well. I believe that we’ll all take longer vacations, but fewer times. I envision a time when people will come to France, like it was in the early 1900s, when you had to take the boat or whatever, and you would stay a long time. Australians already do this, when most Australians, when they come to France, they stay a long time.

[00:44:47] Elyse Rivin: Because they’re so far away.

[00:44:49] I’m curious, why do you think that, that will happen?

[00:44:52] Annie Sargent: Because I think as the climate crisis continues to deepen and people are more and more cognizant of the real cost of flying, some people, I’m not saying everybody, but some people will just decide to come and stay longer, you know, once every two, three years, instead of having many short trips. But that’s just my, I think people will do that in general. And perhaps that’s a very French thing to say.

[00:45:22] It’s possible. I don’t know. I might be an optimist. I try to fly less personally because once you’re somewhere, if you drive an electric car, your carbon footprint is quite a bit lower than if you would fly. But sometimes you have to fly. You just, I fly too. I mean, sometimes you have to, you have to.

[00:45:42] That’s just how it is.

[00:45:43] Elyse Rivin: It depends on how far you have to go, obviously.

[00:45:45] Annie Sargent: It does. It does.

What is your favorite episode of the podcast?

[00:45:47] Annie Sargent: Tamar Mays. Hello, Tamar, you were on the bootcamp, unforgettable woman. I really like her. I think if we were in the same city, we would be friends. What is your favorite episode of the podcast? Ha! I don’t have one really, but I have to say the one that comes to mind, that made an impression on people and on me, is the one I did about Cathar Theology.

[00:46:12] Because, all my life, I have grown up around the Southwest, and you hear all these things about the Cathars, but I didn’t really dig into the theology that much, until that episode. And then I read several books. I really spent the time on that one. I sometimes look around me, and I think, how will the Cathars look at this?

[00:46:37] Do you, really?

[00:46:38] I do. Because they had this thought that the world was an evil place.

[00:46:42] Elyse Rivin: Yeah.

[00:46:43] Annie Sargent: And so when you’re in a beautiful place, nature or something, how would they think about this being evil in any way? Like, it goes against nature. So this, this one had a big impact on me.

[00:46:55] But I’ve loved, it’s like, all your children, you love all of them. I have a fondness for every person who’s ever come on the podcast because they are really helping. They are helping this community. They are helping you all to make plans for your trip to France, to feed your desire to learn about France, which is. You know, we all have interests in different things.

[00:47:21] And I think having an interest in France is pretty harmless as interests come.

[00:47:27] Elyse Rivin: I have to say that I didn’t think I had favorite episodes, but I know that one of the ones that I’ve heard the most people talk about is one I did about Eleanor of Aquitaine.

[00:47:38] Annie Sargent: Ah, yes.

[00:47:39] Elyse Rivin: And I know that, you know how sometimes even when you’re doing research about something and you’re writing it down and you’re going, oh, that’s really interesting.

[00:47:48] That’s really interesting. Well, that’s one thing, but boy, I was into that podcast. I was so into talking about her.

[00:47:56] I felt like I was on a roll. I mean, it just was, you know? I was like reincarnated into Eleanor of Aquitaine.

[00:48:02] Annie Sargent: And lots of people have commented about that, that it was a really exceptional episode.

[00:48:07] Elyse Rivin: I think that I just, I found her so incredibly fascinating. I’ve read a bunch of books about her and everything. But, it really was, there was something very special. I also, of course, as I think it would be easy to guess, I enjoy doing podcasts that are about women and about women artists. Which of course is something very important because of how neglected they have been in history, in general.

[00:48:32] So, there’s always fun involved in when I can talk about one of those.

[00:48:38] Annie Sargent: And also another trait about you, Elyse, is that, and perhaps I’m answering another question that I’m reading. One thing about you is that you love going to museums, even tiny little museums. You like going to all museums, and I wasn’t like that, I would only go to the big ones that I had heard of.

[00:48:54] And since starting this podcast, that has changed. I go to museums just because I want to see them. And very often my husband looks at me like, really? You want to go in there?

[00:49:07] Elyse Rivin: I have to say, though, the other thing that’s happened is that in the last year or so, we’ve done two or three episodes based on day trips we’ve taken. And I love those too, because I find that they’re different in the sense that, there’s a script, a bit, there are show notes, but it’s much more of a, it’s kind of like a cross between the historical podcast and one of your trip reports, you know, where we kind of bounce off each other and talk about, oh, that was really fun to do, that was really fun to see. So those are nice too.

[00:49:40] Annie Sargent: Yes, and over the years, people have suggested to me that perhaps we should record in situ, and I don’t really want to do that because that’s outside of my comfort zone as far as technically. I think, it would not sound as good, I would not be as confident, I would always be wondering, oh, is this recording working really, is it good, you know. So I prefer the kind of more confined ways we have been recording. I’m just not someone who can go in the street and sound brilliant just like that.

[00:50:16] Elyse Rivin: Well, I think also that it becomes very technical and it takes away from the actual spontaneity of the visit.

[00:50:23] You know, I was thinking of when we went to Saviac and walked around and looked at the mosaics and things like that.

[00:50:28] Annie Sargent: I just want to look at it. I don’t want about it as I’m walking there, you know, like that’s a different job. There are tour guides that they practice their craft and their skill and they do a great visit, but they’ve been doing this same place for a long time, most of them.

[00:50:44] That’s how you get good at it. If I’m just discovering a place, I don’t feel confident enough to be podcasting about it as I’m discovering it. I’m just not that good, you know, so there you go.

Annie’s ability to switch between French and English

[00:50:56] Annie Sargent: Kathy asks about Annie’s background, time in Utah doing translation, and her ability to switch between French and English.

[00:51:04] Yes, that is my one trick, I’m a one trick pony. I can switch between French and English when I want, when you want. Voila. This is something that I have developed willingly. This was a willful decision, just like I’ve decided that I want to learn Spanish. This is something you decide, you set a goal, you start working on it a little bit every day. And so it is. And if you don’t quit, which it is my personality not to quit. If I have decided I’m going to do something, when I decided to start a podcast 10 years ago, I was not going to quit. And that’s just how it is. I think a lot of people would get. We’d have a lot more very, very good podcasts if people wouldn’t quit so fast, because you do get better at it.

[00:51:50] Like at the beginning, we were not that great. I don’t listen to the early episodes because I’m sure I would cry. I’m like, Oh my, why did you say that?

[00:52:01] Elyse Rivin: You are not a quitter. That’s for sure.

[00:52:03] Annie Sargent: I’m stubborn and I will not quit and I will continue to do this podcast, and I will also continue to learn Spanish because that’s just what I do, you know, so here you go.

Which cultures outside of French and American cultures captivate your imagination?

[00:52:15] Annie Sargent: Okay. Let’s move on to more questions. Matthew Gamache, who has been a fan of the podcast since the very beginning, lovely to hear from you, Matthew.

[00:52:24] He’s been on the podcast a few times as well. He says, congratulations on 10 years. He would like to ask both of us, which cultures outside of French and American cultures captivate our imaginations.

[00:52:36] Elyse Rivin: Well, I think mine in terms of Europe is more Italy than anything else.

[00:52:41] Annie Sargent: Mm hmm.

[00:52:42] Elyse Rivin: Yeah. I mean, I’ve been to Spain a few times, but I have to say that what pulls me back is much more investigating and exploring parts of Italy, when I’m not trying to explore parts of France.

[00:52:57] Annie Sargent: Yeah. And me, it’s Spain. I do like Italy as well. I like Germany as well. I’ve liked England very much. I just like looking around. But Spain is easier for me because I have a place here. And so, I do enjoy that very much. And I love Spanish culture. I think people are very sweet. They’re a bit difficult to work with when you’re renovating your apartment, there are delays that you don’t like, but it will get done eventually. Okay.

Appreciation for the podcast during Lockdown

[00:53:22] Annie Sargent: So Susie Harris wrote, she didn’t ask a question, she just said expressing appreciation for the podcast, especially during the lockdown. And this is important because lots of people have said this to me, like that the podcast was a wonderful moment where they could think about at something completely different that they were looking forward to and that it was great to have the podcast in those moments. And thank you so much for saying that because…

[00:53:50] Elyse Rivin: Yeah, thank you, really, because it is true. I hadn’t really thought about it very much. I mean, because we were, of course, involved in our own worries about that whole episode, but thank you, because I’m glad that it did make a big difference in people’s lives.

[00:54:03] Annie Sargent: Yeah, it did. And I was worried that we were done in. That if nobody was traveling, how would we keep going? And the two of us could not even get together to record because we were not supposed to leave our houses pretty much. And so, I had enough episodes recorded to pull us through the more difficult times.

[00:54:24] And I recorded a few more over the phone and it worked. It worked with all of you helping out. It worked. So that was fantastic. Thank you.


No ads on the podcast

[00:54:34] Annie Sargent: Oh, briefly, I want to talk about why there’s no ads on the podcast, because this is something people ask me all the time. People tell me, you’re a fool. Why don’t you put ads on the podcast? It has millions of listens. It should have ads. And I don’t want ads. And I will not that I mind ads in podcasts, it’s just that I would not feel like I have enough control over the ads that they do put because once you sign, you just say, you know, I want ads that have to do with a category or rather I don’t want ads that have to do with a certain category.

[00:55:09] I could say, I don’t want ads about sexual health, but that’s kind of vague and broad. And perhaps they’re going to ask me, they’re going to slap on ads that I’m going to be like, no, I don’t like this company. I don’t want to do this at any rate, I don’t, I just don’t want to do ads.

[00:55:26] And so my decision has been to talk about my products and my services and it’s worked out. That’s why I made that decision. It’s just that I don’t want to bother with it, really. I don’t know if you have anything to add to that, Elyse, but…

[00:55:39] Elyse Rivin: No, not really. I mean, that part, I think is really a, that’s your own choice and your own decision. And I think it’s fine, it’s enough to have the products that are sold in connection with the podcast. So I otherwise don’t really, I think it becomes so commercial after a while, I find that listening to podcasts that have lots of advertising annoy me, to be honest.

[00:56:03] Annie Sargent: Mm hmm. Well, and they always say, oh, the ads don’t influence me. It would not be hard for me to write to the tourist bureau of whatever region and say, okay, I have a podcast that has X many listens, I have a lot of ears, why don’t you buy me a trip to whatever? I could do that.

[00:56:24] I don’t want to do that because then I would have to say things that I might not want to say and it would influence me, of course it would influence me. So that’s why I don’t want to do this. And in travel, typically, that’s what it is. You know, you put in a good word for my region and for my hotel, for my restaurants and there are kickbacks and I don’t want that. I just don’t want that. I would much rather have somebody purchase an itinerary service with me or some of my tours, or come on the bootcamp or, you know, there’s many things.

[00:56:55] You can see them all on the join us in, just go to the boutique. You can help the podcast that way, and you can be sure that if I tell you that I like a place, it’s because I like a place, not because somebody bought me a trip to that place. There you go.

The logistics

[00:57:10] Annie Sargent: Elyse, you wanted to talk about how we physically do the podcast.

[00:57:15] Elyse Rivin: This is, of course, an exception today. How do we usually physically do the podcast? Well, usually I come over to your house. And over the years, what is actually amusing to me is that I’ll show up every once in a while and Annie will say, look, we’ve got new equipment. Look, we’ve got a new microphone.

[00:57:35] Look, we’re going to try this. And so, over the years, it’s evolved, as she mentioned, and gotten much more expert and sophisticated in terms of the sound equipment and everything else. But that’s what happens. I usually go over there. There have been a few times for one reason or another when I have not been able to, and she’s taken all this stuff and brought it over here to my house.

[00:57:59] But 90 to 95 percent of the time, I just go there, I get a nice cup of coffee or tea and we talk.

[00:58:06] Annie Sargent: Now, there are plenty of podcasters who have a glass of wine before they talk, but because we almost always record in the morning we never have a glass of wine before we talk.

[00:58:15] Elyse Rivin: No, we never have a glass of wine.

[00:58:17] Annie Sargent: We get loose without the glass of wine. And now we are recording on Zoom because I’ve gotten better at doing that, and we might have to do that sometimes in the next few weeks anyway, because I’m going to be back and forth between France and Spain, quite a bit during this kitchen, well, this apartment remodel. But yeah, it works, you know, we make it work. That’s just how it is.

[00:58:40] Elyse Rivin: My car drives to Annie’s house. I don’t drive it. My car goes there.

[00:58:46] Annie Sargent: It knows.

[00:58:47] Elyse Rivin: It knows. It knows where to go.

[00:58:49] Annie Sargent: Car, let’s go to Annie’s.

[00:58:51] Elyse Rivin: Let’s go to Annie’s. There we are.

[00:58:53] Annie Sargent: It’s the self driving, it’s all brand new in France.

[00:58:55] Elyse Rivin: It’s podcast day, car. Let’s go.

[00:58:58] Annie Sargent: Elyse, it’s been a delight talking to you today as all these many times, so thank you for everything you’ve brought to the podcast. I could not have done it without you. Like, there’s no way I would have come up with enough interesting stuff to talk about without your input. So thank you!

[00:59:15] Elyse Rivin: Well, I thank you so much for offering me this, because I certainly would never have thought of doing it by myself, and the more we do it, the more I enjoy doing it, and it really keeps me motivated to go on and learn more things, visit more places, and it’s been a lot of fun, and it’s really great.

[00:59:32] Annie Sargent: Merci beaucoup, Elyse.

[00:59:34] Elyse Rivin: De rien, Annie.

[00:59:35] Annie Sargent: Au revoir.

[00:59:36] Elyse Rivin: Au revoir.

[00:59:37] Annie Sargent: And here’s to 10 more years. Yay!

[00:59:38] Elyse Rivin: Yay!



[00:59:45] Annie Sargent: The Join Us in France travel podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Annie Sargent and Copyright 2024 by AddictedToFrance. It is released under a Creative Commons, attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives license.

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Category: French Customs & Lifestyle