Parents in Paris!

Remember that time I got my parents to fly all the way across the ocean to see me get married and visit Paris? I know that was 3 weeks ago and it seems like I forgot but I swear I didn’t.

It was a crazy, full, busy week but it was so much fun!

Let me set the scene: my mother, a big European traveler in her day and, honestly, the reason my brain has been full of travel dreams since I was about 10 years old, hadn’t been to France in over 40 years. My father, on the other hand, had a brand-spanking new passport in hand, having never flown so far before in his life. Things were about to get very exciting. Continue reading

My story on Inspirelle!

Hey friends – I have news!

I recently had the opportunity to write for, 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

A Weekend in Deauville

After two whole weeks spent in Paris, it seemed the most French thing to do was to need a vacation. We have a weekend in Bruges coming up, but two more weeks was just too far away. So off to Deauville we went!

Deauville Trouville

It’s the off-season in this beachy, seaside town in northern France and since we were only planning to go for one night, we splurged on a great rate at a fancy shmancy hotel front and center on the beach. Our view – and our room – was spectacular. Way more than we could have asked for, and we took full advantage. Continue reading

Ms. Hepburn was right

Time is counting down and I’m nervous.

With just 2½ weeks to go before I leave for Paris, I’m starting to feel the pressure. There’s still a lot to do, a lot of things to take care of, a lot of people to see. I keep adding to-do’s to the list, but not checking off nearly as many as I’d like. Each one that’s added I think “hmm, I can get to that another day, after work” but the number of “after works” is dwindling faster and faster as days pass and calendars get filled with events.

There’s a car to sell, and people to share my news with. There are items to buy because I don’t know what I’ll be able to get in France. There are errands to run. Organizing to do. Continue reading

The Secret’s Out!

I’m so excited I finally get to talk about this big adventure out in the open.

The secret is out!

I have known for months now that I was going to be moving to Paris. I didn’t know exactly when at first, but I knew it would happen eventually. I am freaking moving to FRANCE!

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue working for my current company, doing my regular job all while I’m abroad (I’m not sure I ever explained that?) It’s such a relief after all that stressing, and I feel so fortunate to have a company that values me enough to tell me to go for it.

So since the end of June, I have known that I am moving, when I am moving, and all the exciting details that go with that kind of plan – and I haven’t been able to tell a soul.

Why haven’t I been able to talk about Paris? Continue reading

I’m committed.

I booked my flights. Or rather, Flight. Singular. No s.

This is now very very real. As if  the boxes piling up in the corner of my apartment hadn’t also been a clue, or the fact that I’ve done nothing but think about packing, or how I haven’t slept well in weeks…. But seriously. Seriously serious. It’s real.

I booked my one-way ticket to Paris.

Choose your own adventure

If you’re thinking about moving cross-country or cross-ocean to be with someone, you have to do it for you, not for them. Is that counter-intuitive? Isn’t moving anywhere to be with a person necessarily for and about them?

I’ve talked about this before, and thought about it plenty. It’s something that every resource online at least mentions. It’s something that bears repeating, and reflection.

If you move somewhere with nothing in it for yourself – everything hinging on this other human – you’re bound to be disappointed. Or to become resentful. Or for it all to go up in flames somewhere down the road when you’re lonely or don’t feel supported enough or the other person feels that you’re leaning too heavily on them for your needs. You need to have your own reasons for being there.

You need to choose your own adventure, that happens to have your partner in it with you

For me, with the thought of moving to Paris, I’m fortunate to have toyed with this idea long before I ever met my Frenchman. I was reading historical fiction novels set in France and throughout Europe when I was 8. (I was a weird kid.) I started learning French when I was 11, as I entered 6th grade. I immediately fell in love with the language, the culture, the humor. I’ve always said that it just made sense to me, in a way that a completely foreign language shouldn’t make sense. But it did, and I was hooked.

I’ve been imagining Paris since I was just old enough to know what Paris was and to understand the incredible stories my mother told of her whirlwind trips through France in her travelling days. So it comes as no surprise that I was dreaming of living some fantastical life in Paris, strolling down ancient cobblestone streets – basket of baguettes in hand. I’ve been picturing the idyllic lifestyle, looking oh-so chic and impossibly fashionable, going about my Parisian existence. But, true to my nature, it never occurred to me that I could actually… do it.

I’m also fortunate enough to already have a friend of my own in Paris. Up until recently, she was my French connection, my vacation destination. I met her in grad school, and had barely spoken to her since. But lo and behold, when I mentioned an upcoming trip to her city in the fall, she jumped at the opportunity to grab a drink and catch up despite the fact that she was packing to move the very next day. She was there for me then, at the drop of a packing box, and she would be there for me if I lived there.

Given that I would be moving to Frenchman’s hometown, his comfort zone, this seems so crucial of an advantage for me. Having my own, albeit minimal, support system to start with and having my own desire to be there means a lot.

There are things you’re supposed to consider when making a move for someone else, and things you’re supposed to make sure to do once you get there.

  • Do you really want to live there?
  • Make your own friends
  • Explore on your own
  • Have your own hobbies/activities

The goal, essentially, is to make the adventure your own and to have your own reasons for being there. You can’t cross the world and land somewhere with no reason besides accompanying someone else.

I suppose the idea is that ultimately, even if your relationship crashes and burns, you would have built a life for yourself along the way. You wouldn’t feel so abandoned or lost, and would have support for yourself in your own network of friends. Or at least you would know your way around by yourself.

When I think about these things, I think I do have them. I have the personal interest in moving there. I have the beginnings of a network to lean on. And I think I would be capable of trying to explore on my own – at least conquering the Metro by myself.

I have the makings of a plan to do this for me, too, not just for my Frenchman.

Things I didn’t address: Why I might just be doing it for him…