Moving into a new city always comes with excitements and worries. Lots of questions come to your mind regarding the new life you are about to live. In March 2018, I first set foot in France’s wine city. Now, after one year in Bordeaux, I thought it would be a good time to talk about my amazing experience here.
I still remember the first day I arrived through ‘Gare Saint Jean’ and took a taxi to my hotel. I was looking from the car’s window at these unknown buildings and streets, wondering what this city has in store for me.
My first impressions of Bordeaux were pretty positive. I liked the city, the people and the overall atmosphere. With the days passing, I settled in an apartment, started university and began to get to know the city from a different perspective.
I can describe my one year in Bordeaux as amazing. It was surely rich in experiences, events and new encounters!
The beautiful encounters and friendships
During my first year in Bordeaux, I was lucky enough to meet lots of amazing people that later became friends with whom I hang out.
The first people I met were through a language exchange meeting held every Monday. It is organized by ‘Tripmeeters’ and similar to Couchsurfing meetings that I used to organize in Lebanon.
Thanks to these meetups, I was able to practice languages I like and also make friends in this city which was really awesome!
The encounters continued when I started university. During this year, I made really good friendships that I know will last for life. Along the way, I kept on meeting other people or friends of friends and now, one year later I am very lucky to have known them all. We created some really good memories together. Should it be drinking beer every Saturday after university, going to an after-work, partying, trying a new restaurant or meeting for a picnic during summer. I even went for my first Corrida in a small village called Captieux south of Bordeaux!
Thanks to these people, I make the most out of time in Bordeaux! These memories combined form the essence of my story in the wine city.
After one year in Bordeaux, I can tell that people here are very sociable, and nice! It is easy to meet new friends and create amazing memories with them!
Work and new experiences
One of the best experiences I had during my one year in Bordeaux, was to do an internship in the alternative place: Darwin Eco-system. There will be an article soon explaining what Darwin is and why it is a must-visit whenever you are in Bordeaux.
I was lucky enough to work for a startup at Darwin, called COM&VISIT, as a web marketer but most importantly as a guide for the eco-system. I am someone who always had a passion for guided tours and with COM&VISIT, it was like a dream come true! For about 8 months, I was in charge of groups that ranged from 1 to 20 or more persons. Many of them were French, but many others were from the Netherlands, UK and even Japan. Doing these walking tours while working with amazing colleagues in a special place like Darwin is an experience I will surely remember for life!
Another experience I got to try in Bordeaux was bartending. I spent a lot of time pubs and always thought that it would be nice to stand behind the bar, pour drinks and discussing with people. Well… this also came true in Bordeaux. It wasn’t really a job but more like helping some friends I met who own a pub. I very much enjoyed helping them out for some nights, pouring beers and serving customers. I can now check this item off my to-do list!
The touristic part of my journey
Bordeaux is a nice city that has much to offer for all tourists. During the first months, I didn’t really visit any landmark. I guess this is a way of thinking when we are living in a city with no return ticket. I was always postponing as I knew I was staying for at least a year.
When summer arrived, I used my Bordeaux pass card to discover some of the landmarks. I visited ‘La Cité du Vin’, the Aquitaine Museum, and went up on the ‘Pey Berland’ tower where I had an amazing view of the city. These visits gave me a brighter idea of the rich history and culture of Bordeaux and its region.
Moreover, as I had a 3 days weekend last summer, I took a bus to Saint Sebastian in Spain. This is something I really love about Bordeaux which is its proximity to Spain and Italy; within a few hours, you can cross the borders and visit a new country. My summer weekends also took me to Arcachon and Dune du Pilat which are a must-visit whenever you are in Bordeaux! These 2 places are by far great summer destinations!
One of the reasons I was very glad visiting this area is that I am a big fan of Oysters and I can assure you, it has the best Oysters I have ever tried!
Saint Emilion was also one of the villages I loved. It is very close to Bordeaux and very well known for its vineyards! I spent an unforgettable day there, visiting wine castles and wandering around the small streets!
This city has become a second home for me. I spent an awesome one year in Bordeaux and all the above represent a small sample of what I really lived. Walking in its streets at night is always a pleasure because the wine city is so beautiful when illuminated. She certainly is very pretty! I read books on its grass, go jogging on the right bank or just meditate next to the river.
I created so many good stories and memories in this city and still looking forward to what the universe has in store for me here!