My French To-Do List


Here are my goals for the nine months I will be living in France…. wish me luck!

  1. Learn how to speak French fluently.
  2. Figure out how to use Espelette pepper in a recipe.
  3. Make classic French winter dishes, including Cassoulet, Blanquet de Veau (11/7, delicious!!) Coq au Vin (May) and Boeuf Bourguignon (at some point in Nov., pretty good!)
  4. Go to Brittany and eat galettes and salted butter caramel crepes.
  5. Go to Morocco and buy pottery and rugs.
  6. Couchsurf again.  Completed Dec. 2012 in Cologne- AMAZING
  7. Do yoga regularly.
  8. Try a French/English conversation exchange. (Many times!)
  9. Go to Budapest and bath in the hot baths.
  10. Learn how to drive stick.
  11. Look fashionable at least one time and post a picture.
  12. Make gougeres for a Parisian dinner party.
  13. Visit a World War I battlefield.
  14. Brave the Catacombes.
  15. See every new exhibit at Pompidou.
  16. Go skiing in the French Alps.
  17. Eat raclette after skiing the French Alps.
  18. Eat delicious Moroccan food in Paris.
  19. Dance at a discotheque.
  20. Learn how to artfully knot a scarf around my neck.
  21. Open a French bank account. (Nov. 2012)
  22. Go to Spanish Basque Country to eat pintxos and refresh my Spanish.
  23. Pick poppies.
  24. Buy a French perfume and have a signature scent.
  25. Go see only French movies (besides The Hobbit, naturally).
  26. Try a clafoutis that I didn’t make (maybe they’re actually good?)
  27. Make a chocolate mousse at home and share it with the whole family.
  28. Buy vintage French wine glasses.
  29. Frequent at least 3 Parisian antique markets.
  30. Go to Germany for Christmas and see the Christmas markets. (completed Dec. 2012)
  31. Become friends with the guys at the butcher shop.
  32. Buy lilies of the valley on French labor day and give them to loved ones.
  33. Have a French cell phone number. (Note- I have the lamest phone ever, but at least it only needs to be charged once a week!)
  34. Listen to lots of Jacque Brel and Gainsbourg.
  35. Visit the Sainte Chapelle cathedral.

And here are the goals I have for you know… my life.

  1. Get my scuba-diving certification in Thailand.
  2. Celebrate Carnival in Brazil.
  3. Climb Mount Doom in NZ.
  4. Write and publish a book.
  5. Fall in love with a really good guy.
  6. Compete in a Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder.
  7. Speak three languages fluently.
  8. Visit my ancestor's castle in France.
  9. Live in Australia.
  10. Visit Angkor Watt.
  11. Visit a coffee plantation.
  12. Eat jerk chicken on the streets in Jamaica.
  13. Attend the Full Moon Party in Thailand.
  14. Go to Tomorrowland in Belgium with my brother.
  15. Write for a living.
  16. See the Harry Potter thing at Disney World.
  17. Watch a soccer match at a stadium in Latin America or Spain.
  18. Eat lots of dumplings in China.
  19. Learn how to use chopsticks perfectly.
  20. Run a 5K Color Run.


  1. Stephanie

    All the best on your new adventure!

    • Ashley Fleckenstein

      Thank you, Stephanie! It looks like you enjoyed your European adventures this summer as well :)

  2. Laura R Segal

    Hey girl! Just wanted to let you know that your blog is awesome, I’ve just found you through the Young Adventuress Blog and I’ve really enjoyed reading through your posts! Also, I’m super jealous of you living in Paris! Two classmates/friends of mine are doing a uni semester there now and there pictures are amazing. (They can do an English/French exchnge conversation with you, haha? Well, as can I, but I’m not in Paris.)

    What I can help you with on your bucket list, though:
    #20, to artfully tie a scarf:

    There aren’t any cute little square silk scarves, but I’ve been able to use a few of the methods on those kinds, too :).

    I can probably also help you find Moroccan food in Paris as I’m Jewish Moroccan and quite a bit of my family lives in various areas of France, mostly Paris and Nice. I’ll keep you posted! :)

    Oh, and for you “speak French more fluently” goal – this might seem a bit silly because you’re in, y’know, The French Land, but I LOVE Mango Languages for their online language lessons. I discovered it a few years ago in class and most of it was free, which isn’t the case now since it’s become more popular, but you can do free demos for a really good variety of languages, and if you still belong to a library at home or to a university, they might have a subscription to it. It’s really helped me with my Spanish, Italian, and Hindi, even while taking Spanish and Italian classes!

    I would LOVE to scuba dive one day (or at least snorkel more, it was such an amazing experience on the Red Sea in Israel), and I would also love to live in Australia! I’d also LOVE to visit Angkor Watt. Oh and I’ve actually visited a coffee plantation (at least I think it’s what you would call that) in Costa Rica, it was called Cafe Britt, or something like that, and the coffee was sooooooo good oh my goodness. I still remember how good 4 years later!

    Was is that about your ancestors having a castle? WHAT OMG.

    Anyways, hope that helps! :) (And, wow, sorry for the long comment!)
    – Laura

    • Laura R Segal

      And yes, I can spell, sorry for the typos! I meant “their” pictures, and I can help you with “your” goal to speak French more fluently, LOL. I’m in the middle of midterms and half out of it, oops!
      – Laura

    • Ashley Fleckenstein

      Thank you Laura for so much great advice!! The Mango Languages sound as does the Moroccan food… and it looks like we have a lot of the same bucket list aspirations! Thanks for stopping by, I hope you’ll stick around :)

  3. Vyolet

    The puersahcs I make are entirely based on these articles.


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