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It Starts with Bonjour


Book Blurb

Why does travel rejuvenate us? Can it be a vehicle to generate meaningful connection, make the world a more understandable place, and restore our faith in humanity? What goes wrong when it does not? These were not questions on Duke psychiatrist Eric Kirchmann’s mind as he set out with his wife Courtney on another extraordinary adventure in France. In fact, writing another book was the furthest thing from his mind. Nonetheless, emerging from his unique take on travel, informed by a professional identity steeped in empathy, understanding and respect, and viewed through the objective lens of cultural observation, these questions came into focus. Join him in unweaving the sometimes perplexing but always enchanting fabric of France. Taste its exquisite and nuanced flavors. Travel back centuries, reveling in its incredible, layered history. And, breathe in the unparalleled variety of its breathtaking natural beauty.

A veritable tour de force, the book is an armchair voyage to France, an amazing cross section of the country and its people. Crisscross Paris enjoying genuine, authentic interactions with the help of secret, insider tips. Take in the sunset in the friendliest city in France, gorgeous and underappreciated Toulouse. Relax in wonderful, bucolic Gascony savoring exceptional, vintage Armagnacs. And finally, laze on Mediterranean beaches amidst the glitz and the glam of the Côte d’Azur. Rub shoulders with proud mom and pop proprietors, a humble countess, two homeless gentlemen, a down-to-earth baron, a shy Concorde pilot, and an immigrant struggling to live his dream in France. Enjoy the journey but come away with a meditation on how the unexpected, magical moments of travel can be transformative.

Professional Reviews

It Starts with Bonjour by Eric Kirchmann is a non-fiction travel book. This is about the second adventure to France that he and his wife took. They traveled to places like Paris, Toulouse, and the region of Gascony, to name a few. He describes the places they visited and he gives their history. Eric also gives insider tips and talks about all the people they met, the food, wine, and the Armagnac brandy they enjoyed, plus the history of Armagnac. I love these kinds of books; it is like having a mini vacation without having to go anywhere.

It Starts with Bonjour by Eric Kirchmann was a fascinating book. I was a bit disappointed that there were no photos of their travels
[Author's Note- there are on this website! See"Pictures, Maps & Links by Chapter" from the home page], but his descriptions were so beautifully done that photos were not really needed. I loved that he didn't expect you to know French as it's been many decades since I learned it. Eric is extremely good at writing details. You probably don't want to be hungry when you read this book. His descriptions of the food will make you hungry and made me wish it was a cookbook. I thought the insider tips that Eric gave were great, not the usual type you normally get. I always loved learning about the history of places I visited, so I was fascinated with the detailed history of each place that he and his wife visited. If you are thinking of traveling to France or just love the country, I highly recommend reading this book. —Readers' Favorite

Book Accolades

#1 Best Seller in Culinary Travel

#1 Best Seller in Travel Tips

#2 Best Seller in Provence Travel

#1 New Release in Culinary Travel

#1 New Release in Provence Travel

#1 New Release in Paris Travel

Interview with Carole Handel from French Views

“‘It Starts with Bonjour’ is different [from the] first book, which was filled with travel tips to help navigate a trip to France. His latest book focusses on the connections that can occur on our travels… There are many amazing moments, culturally and gastronomically throughout the book… ‘It Starts with Bonjour’ reminds us to start politely and amazing connections may evolve. Be open to people and your travel experiences will be more rewarding. If you love travelling, I urge you to buy a copy of Eric’s latest book” —French Views


Click the image to read the full interview!

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