"Paris for Less" Parisforless's Profile

Recent travels and short-term plans

This year (2012) has been very eventful in so many ways. It started actually last year with last minute New Year celebration in Costa del Sol in Spain. Needless to say, I found the bargain and it was great. The week spent in Andalucía was exceptional, the hotel had a great sea view and the unlimited drinks and crazy party celebrating the new 2012 was just a bonus.

Next trip was an escape from the cold winter in Paris and our family ended up booking another bargain trip to Tenerife. Two weeks of sunshine in February is all what we needed and the island that I’ve visited in 1979 retained all the beauties I’ve experienced a long time ago and have given us a few extras. I am fond of carnivals and Tenerife in February has the most colorful carnival I’ve ever seen before. Did I’ve mentioned that I had a great two-bedroom apartment with stunning views of the Teide Mountains and great sunsets over the ocean?

Spring in Paris brings many events, and fun but the weather this year continue to behave like a menopausal women (I am not talking about myself) to that extend that even the 14th of July firework was at stake (the first time in many years). The morning was rainy, the day was gloomy, the afternoon had seen some blue patches of sky and by the time the firework started it clear up and I’ve watched it from my apartment for the first time since I’ve arrived in Paris 3 years ago.

Than there were few events that made my family and me fly over to Florida where we used to live for 8 years and where we still have a house. It was partially business and partially nostalgia and a wish to see our old friends. We’ve spent 5 great weeks – it was hot, partially wet (read rainy) but the best part of it was seeing our friends. Needless to say after we’ve left for Florida, Paris experienced the real heat wave.
Being away for 5 weeks was not good for my plants and my best friend arrive just on time to save them. Her stay gave me a great idea to share my flat with travelers who wish to experience Paris with local flair, and I am doing just that. From time to time I rent a room or a whole flat that gives me the opportunity to meet people who love Paris.

My travel wish list:
Europe: Prague, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon
Asia: Thailand, India, Burma, Japan, Vietnam
Americas: California, Hawaii, Peru, Brazil, Argentina

Done in 2013 - China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cambodia, Italy (Cinque Terre, Florence and Tuscany.

The first time I saw Paris

1979, it was the beginning of something new. Until then, my parents (who were very strict) decided to send me to Paris on my own. Before, I was travelling with them (I guess they wanted to “protect” me), but it was a great surprise for me to go abroad alone.
O.k., I had an uncle in Paris, but I was still alone and was able to roam free. It’s probably funny for the new generation to read this, but the times were different, and we’ve started some things latter.
Don’t worry, I didn’t go wild, I didn’t find the guy, I just fell in love with the most beautiful city in the world. And that was 30 years ago.
In June, 2009, exactly 30 years from the first time I saw Paris, I finally decided that it was the time to live in this City. I’ve visited Paris many times, only to realize that this is the place I wanted to put my anchor.
Today, I look every day at the sparkling lights of the Eiffel tower (from my flat), sometimes wondering why I haven’t come earlier. However, it’s still the same old feeling of happiness and joy that I get in Paris. It has changed in many ways, but it will always be a place of beauty, art, romance and culture.
If you look at my world map, places I’ve lived and places I’ve visited, you’ll probably wonder if I am going to stay. I don’t have the answer, but for now I am here in the most beautiful City on earth.

I know that nobody will read this if I make it long, and I hope that these few sentences are enough to give you the felling of who I am.
The next one is about me being a bargain hunter.

Paris Bargain Hunter

My mother is the one to blame. She was always trying to stretch the Dinar (Serbian currency). Needless to say, we didn’t have much and she was a magician.
This continues to be my life goal, and it is now a sort of a “ritual” for me. I do agree that sometimes I exaggerate, and try to purchase things at the price of the 20th century, nor realizing that we are now well into the 21st(time flies).
Now, you know why I called my site Paris for Less, and I will be posting many tips for all of you who would like to visit this magical city, but have heard many times that it’s expensive. My goal is to show you the way to a less expensive Paris, yet giving you the best possible experience in this City.
Good food, romantic dinners, entertainment, culture, art and shopping in Paris, don’t have to cost much to be remembered for a lifetime.

My Travels, My Countries

My map tells more than my words. I am a travel addict. I wanted to start traveling at the age of 4, but it was not “practical”, so I travelled with my parents, until it became “practical”.
I have never forgotten my first trip to Greece at the age of 13. It came at the right time, when I was about to learn the Antique history at school, and the visit to the Parthenon in Athens and other sites, made my school year a breeze. If I can transform the school system, I will make it into a year of travel, visiting places, where kids can see the history, art and culture with their own eyes. They won’t have to read books, just experience the places. You are asking about math and science? Well, it comes from Greece, France and other places, and there are many museums where you can learn these things (teachers – get inventive).
In the first part of my life, I have can say that I’ve “conquered” Europe. I was living in Yugoslavia (Belgrade), nowadays Serbia, and I didn’t have to travel far, to reach many European countries.
My parents introduced me to the world of travel at an early stage of my life that continues to be the most important thing in my life. I liked it so much, that I’ve decided to study Tourism and make it into a job/travel/fun life. Little did I know, that it was not well paid, so I quickly changed into something that will allow me to continue travelling with a little bit of money, on the side?
It was a business that I knew nothing about – courier post and freight. I learned it quickly and managed to travel more with some money left in my pocket. It lasted almost 5 years and covered few continents, the most memorable being Kenya and its amazing landscape and wildlife.
However, in every girls life, the time comes when you are not getting any younger, and that was the time when I found the man, had my first (and only) child and for a while stop to travel. Let’s be reasonable, you can’t travel with a little baby. It didn’t last too long, but it wasn’t as frequent as I wanted it to be. We’ve lived in England, during this time and I was not very happy with a climate that only “offered” rain with few minutes of sunshine.
So if you follow my map, you’ll see that the RED, goes from England to Florida, where I’ve managed to find sun and fun for 8 years. However, my wondrous spirit couldn’t settle and it was time to move again, to the location that I’ve always dreamed about - Paris.
I know that nobody will read this if I make it long, and I hope that these few sentences are enough to give you the felling of who I am.
The next one is about me being a bargain hunter.

My hobby - photography, painting, ceramics & more

In addition of being a traveller, I am a painter, photographer, artistic creator of ceramics & jewelry and much more.
I have been a part-time professional artist for many years. The ‘other’ part has been spent dealing in real estate and investment properties and gardens all of which I’ve successfully redecorated myself (a great way of supporting the part-time artist).
My tools include a simple digital camera that fits into my purse (to take stunning photographs), earth and glaze (for my ceramics), African beads and ornaments (for my jewelry), acrylic, watercolor, and oil paints (for very good paintings) and a quality inkjet printer (giclee) for paper or canvas.

I am proud to say, that I have created my own websites and the one where you can see more of my art is BellonGallery.com. Good for somebody who was computer illiterate two years ago?


All photographs on VT are mine, if you like to borrow some of them to send to your friends or add somewhere else on the web, you can, but please write something nice about me and include Bellon Gallery copyright notice (© Bellon Gallery) on all copies. Thank you

Don’t wait, travel Now

People tend to postpone the travels for later. My advice is to travel now. Abandon your to do list, leave your house chores for later, work less now and work more later, but travel now. Recently, I’ve met a couple in Paris, having a barbeque on their boat in canal St Marin, in Paris. He was wearing the T-shirt saying –“I am retired”.
We’ve had a short conversation. The couple was from Canada. They’ve crossed the Atlantic on the sailing boat 3 years ago. They spend winters in Paris and the rest of the year, they explore the rivers and the Med on their boat. When asked if they would have done it earlier, the answer was a definite yes. They both wished to have had this experience when they were much younger and later on in life continue to work. When asked when they are going back, the answer was not as clear, they are having the best time of their life.
Don’t wait, travel now.

  • Intro Updated Dec 5, 2013
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Svetlana Bellon
Paris, France
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