I quit my job to live in France.
That sounds like an intriguing start to the next New York Times Best Selling novel, but the reality of it isn’t as fun as it sounds. I mean, I can’t say it’s all bad, not at all. I get to sleep late, go nowhere if I don’t want to, hang with the cat… It’s actually pretty great. For the first week or two.
After the rush of wrapping up my job at the company I was with for over 4 years (and saw grow from 10 people to nearly 200), rushing back to France and getting married, then showing my parents around Paris for a week, I was ready for a break. It was nice to relax a bit. But after the first couple of weeks, having nowhere to go gets old.
When you picture “I quit my job to move to France” you imagine leisurely strolls through ornate gardens with a croissant in hand, sipping espresso at cafés, and mid-week visits to world-famous museums. The problem is that while, yes, I do have all the time in the world to do those things, I don’t have the income to support it. You can’t make daily trips to the terrasse for a coffee on an indefinitely-unemployed budget. That’s the part they forget to mention in movies; the funds required for a life of leisure.
So what do I do with my time? Whatever’s free.
So here’s my Unofficial Guide to Being a Bored Expat
- Sleep in
- Play and/or snuggle with the cat
- Clean the house
- Catch up on Netflix
- Find new shows on Netflix
- Rewatch old favorites on Netflix…
- Apply for jobs
- Apply for more jobs
- Go to immigration appointments
- Check Facebook
- Go for looooooooong walks
Like, really long walks. Why not when you have nowhere to be but wherever you are?
I’m lucky that this period of funemployment falls just when the weather is starting to get really nice. We’ve had rain off and on, but we’ve also had quite a few days of beautiful, sunny, warm and even hot weather. I take full advantage and have been going for long wanders through the city. I go for 1, 2, or even 3 hours just walking and looking around. I occasionally meet Frenchman for his lunch break and then just meander my way home through whatever streets look interesting. It’s a great way to pass the time, get some fresh air, and get some exercise rather than deepening my imprint in the couch.
Sights and scenes walking off the beaten path in Paris
(Bonus: our Cat tree is coming in nicely…)
And now…. Big News!
What’s great is that I wrote this post and was planning to publish it on Friday, but didn’t get around to finalizing things. That little delay means I get to wrap it up by saying that I will be *BORED NO MORE – I got a job! I got the call late Friday afternoon, just in time to make some family phone calls and then celebrate all weekend with delicious crêpes (which I should tell you all about in detail at some point because they’re that good) and various other treats.
So what’s next? I have a bit more time before I start, since I am not yet officially able to work. I have an appointment at the Prefecture de Police for a “changement de statut” in order to receive the right to work in France, so I’ll be starting after that.
In the meantime… shopping! A new job is always an excellent excuse for a whole new (French) wardrobe, right?