Fall in full swing

I’ve had so many things to say – and so little time to say them.

First and foremost… It’s my France-iversary!

I’ve officially been living in France for a full year, minus those couple of months at the start of this year. But my stuff has been here for a full year and that’s what counts. Home is where the heart your stuff is.

It’s amazing to me that it has been a year already. This time last year, I was just moving into a freezing apartment with no heat, nervous to try the metro alone, and starting a long, strange few months working from home. I can’t believe how much has changed since then. Travel, engagement, married (twice), working, feeling settled… I couldn’t have asked for more. Continue reading

Packed & Ready

I’m heading back to Paris!

I can finally say I’m going back – to Paris, to my apartment, to my cat, and of course to the fiancé I left behind for nearly 3 months to wallow through the winter without me.

For the entire time I’ve been home, there has been some measure of uncertainty. Not knowing when I could go back, not knowing if my paperwork was going through, not being able to tell anyone at work I was planning on going back… It has been exhausting. When the pieces finally all fell into place and I not only had solid plans but could share them? That was a big day. And once I was able to tell my team and give my notice a huge weight was lifted and I finally felt like I could enjoy this a little. Not that quitting my job didn’t come with its own set of stressors, but I wasn’t keeping secrets anymore and that was a relief.

Speaking of paperwork, I can also finally celebrate all of it going through! We got our marriage stuff in order… I got my visa application in order and received it… all that’s left is to get on a plane and go to the city hall! Continue reading

My story on Inspirelle!

Hey friends – I have news!

I recently had the opportunity to write for Inspirelle.com, all about my move abroad to Paris and how it happened. And now… it’s published!

Paris Plunge: Leaving Job, Family and Country for French Love

If someone had told me a year ago that I would walk away from everything to move to Paris, I would have laughed. But here I am, just days away, about to move to THE city. PARIS!

And it all happened so quickly.

Suddenly, I had no reason not to go. What’s the worst that could happen?

…. and you’ll have to click on over to read the rest! Seriously, check it out. It’s a cool site and I’m so excited to have been able to write for them. Continue reading

Week 1: A Recap

It has been an interesting, remarkably “normal” week, despite the fact that I up and moved across the Atlantic. I feel stuck between vacation and work, and each day has a little bit of both.

On one hand, I still get up every day and “go to work” – albeit digitally – and spend my day writing content and replying to emails and fielding the same issues I did a week or a month or a year ago. On the other hand, I am in freaking France. Signs are in French. It’s the Métro and not the T, and I’m in a strange new apartment with things that work differently that I need to figure out.

Rather than overload with every instance of something new every day this week, I’ve condensed it all into a Captain’s Log of my first week here in France. Continue reading

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

I’m here!

I made it to France, more or less in one piece. Unfortunately, they switched the plane out on us so we had the tiniest seats in the world, but after a good meal and about 12 hours of sleep, I’m feeling good.

We’re chez les parents for now, which means not having to find our own food – a definite plus. Frenchman’s mother does not hold back when it comes to mealtime. A full meal for lunch after we arrived, a full meal for dinner last night, and croque monsieurs pre-made for us for lunch today. Not such a bad deal for temporary accommodations until we are able to get into our own apartment. Continue reading

A Story of 3 Suitcases

Tomorrow, I leave for France.

Today, I pack.

I may have packed and moved out of my apartment by the end of August, but after living out of suitcases for the last 6 weeks, my belongings are – at best – scattered. I did my best to pack my things in such a way that I could access what I needed throughout these weeks without too much trouble, but inevitably there were things I needed that had to be dug out. Not to mention that when I was packing, it was 90° and humid. Not exactly in the proper mindset for thinking through what I would need when it dropped from 80° to 50° in just 24 hours. (#NewEnglandProblems)

The last few weeks have been an exercise in ingenuity, trying to figure out how to wear the same 2 reachable long-sleeve things on repeat without people at work noticing. Also, as a girl with an admitted shoe habit, wearing the same pairs over and over has been borderline cruel and unusual punishment. Continue reading

10 Things I Wish I had Known Before Moving to Paris

Despite what Hollywood might tell you, moving to Paris is unfortunately not as simple as walking into the airport, suitcase in hand, and hopping onto a plane to your happily ever after.

For months, I’ve been doing research on how to move abroad, from visas to arrondissements. With all the details of “how to get there” finally settled, I’ve moved on to “what to do when you get there.” I’ve been looking for any and all expat wisdom from those who’ve gone before me.

Lucky for me, British expat blogger extraordinaire Chloe Martin, over at mylifelivingabroad.com, was willing to dish some of her best advice for moving to Paris after 5 years living there herself… Continue reading

Homeless in Paris: the musical!

5 days and counting… and still no place to live.

That’s what I think about every day, since the rug was pulled out from under us with our original apartment. I have to laugh. I knew this was all going too smoothly!

Back to the listings we went, looking at place after place online assessing whether it would be acceptable for us. Unfortunately, it seems we’re looking for a bit of a unicorn at this point, with mere days to go. Good area, decent size, real oven, place to put a desk… It wasn’t too much to ask a month or so ago, but it seems like it is now.

Over the weekend, Frenchman went to see 2 places. One was in a great location but is too small. The other was bigger, but not in a great location. When I learned he didn’t sign for either of them, I was a liiittle concerned. I might have cried. Maybe. He wants to keep looking at other options. I reminded him that we only have a couple of days left…

Stay tuned for Homeless in Paris (the hottest new musical, opening on a street corner in an arrondissement near you!) Continue reading

Things to pack when packing your life (to move abroad)

I hate packing.

I could be going on the most glamorous vacation and when it comes down to the packing part, I’m miserable. I get stressed out simply thinking about what I need, and what if I forget something, and oh, now I’ve packed too much, and wait what if we do something fancy? What if it rains? What if it’s hotter/colder/wetter/dryer/weirder than I expected and I don’t have the right things?

I get all caught up in all the possible eventualities. Ultimately it never really matters, but in the thick of it, it feels like it’s all so important.

And so, when you’re packing to move to France, and not just packing for vacation or a move down the street, it inevitably gets exponentially more complicated. And stressful. Did I mention I hate packing?

Here’s what to pack when you’re packing your life (to move abroad!)

Some of this is sensible. Some of this is silly. All of it was important in making me feel whole and human and helping me survive my arrival in France. Continue reading