The coolest thing about living in Europe is the proximity to a dozen other countries just a hop, skip and a jump away, right?
Well, it turns out that when you have a full-time job plus other responsibilities (or you, I don’t know, buy a house…) it becomes not-so-easy to just jetset around the continent. Truth bomb: flights and trains are still very expensive. All those people snagging 49€ last-minute flights must be leaving on a Tuesday mid-afternoon, because they don’t have an office job.
Anyway, the point is that I’ve barely made a dent in my long list of travel destinations, thanks to a cornucopia of complications. But I got lucky!
An opportunity fell in my lap to visit a place I never much thought about: Poland! Continue reading →
Here’s the thing about living in Paris. There are hundreds of “major” sites to visit, all of them surely spectacular, but unlike when visiting on vacation you’ve got work and real life to attend to so you never even get to half of them.
Literally so much to see, so little time to see it. How many things in your own hometown have you not visited except maybe when friends are in from out of town?
Fortunately for me, I work with a fun office manager who has a penchant for planning visits to nearby things to see. Our office is right in the heart of the city, so we’re perfectly placed to zip out and back during a lunch break. We’ve got a couple other expats, but quite a few French like to come as well because, like I said, it’s hard to find time to see everything in your own city when you’ve got everyday life to do.
So where did we visit this time?
Continue reading →
Last year, I got lucky. I had moved abroad, but I was still working for an American company. The result was that I had Thanksgiving day off as a holiday, just like always, allowing me to focus my time on cooking way too many mashed potatoes, picking up our fresh-ordered pumpkin pie, and generally lazing around the house to the smell of a feast in progress.
This year, I officially work in France where they do not celebrate Thanksgiving. In theory I could have taken the day off and, honestly, I had fully planned on it. But between our recent long weekend in Barcelona (which I will tell you about soon), plus being in the middle of a HUGE project at work, plus needing to take scattered days off soon for signing on our apartment and moving and all that good stuff, well, it just wasn’t feasible to take my Thanksgiving day.
So here we are, working on my treasured American holiday. Continue reading →
A lot has happened in the last couple of months, and I haven’t written about any of it.
It’s not like I didn’t have the time. For almost all of April and May, I was home just about every day. With exceptions of course for that time I got married and the week I showed my parents around Paris, I’ve had a pretty wide-open schedule. I’ve filled my days with job-hunting for hours on end, cat-snuggling (a full time job on its own, really), and going for really long walks to get lost and find my way home again. And yet somehow, I never found time to tell you all about it. Or maybe I just wasn’t inspired after several days straight on the couch.
Human contact is a funny thing. Too much of it and you’re dying for some alone time in your jammies with a snack and your favorite shows. Not enough, and you start to become a bit too attached to your Netflix account, who is always there for you and would never do anything to hurt you.
Over the last couple of weeks though, things have been looking up! Good stuff has happened, the weather got better (briefly), and I started to spend more time with fun people other than my cat. Lunches here and there with friends, shopping trips, and – most important of all – I found my people in France for weekly Game of Thrones viewing. It does a person good to find their fellow nerds.
Anyway, I’m bouncing back with a few random thoughts from the last few weeks of “Spring” here in Paris: Continue reading →
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
Continue reading →
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 →