One-Way Ticket

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Happy Wednesday everyone! I have a somewhat exciting announcement to share with you all today: I’m moving to Paris. I have a one-way ticket from JFK to Charles De Gaulle on January 4th. I’ll be teaching children English, (hopefully) picking up some freelance writing assignments, and writing a novel. Part of me feels incredibly naive doing this; “But Earnest and F. Scott did it” is not exactly a great rationale for packing up one’s life and carting it across the ocean. However, my literary fantasies are not my only motivation: I’m ready for a career change, I’ve always wanted to take advantage of my UK citizenship (thanks, Dad!) and live in Europe for a while, and, frankly, I’m unhappy in New York.

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Dad and me at L’Arc de Triomphe; note the ever-present Michelin guide

There’s a chance that I’m just going to exchange New York unhappiness for Parisian unhappiness, but I don’t think that’s the case (and besides, Paris has a much longer tradition of unhappiness than New York does; being part of a centuries-long collaborative project automatically makes it more bearable). I certainly have a few demons prowling the streets of New York from which/whom I’m running away, but running away at least means I’m going somewhere. One of the reasons I chose Paris is because I don’t (yet) speak French. I’ve lived in England and Germany before and I wanted to go somewhere new, where I would really feel like a stranger. It feels kind of like starting college: a completely blank slate, so many people to meet, an awareness of potential and possibilities.

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With Mom at le Tour Eiffel; surely not the last time I will rock a pair of sweatpants around Paris

Anyway, I’m excited to move and I promise to share all of my Paris adventures with all of you. I hope you enjoy these throw-back pictures from a family trip to Paris in 1993 when I was 6 as well. Do you have any Paris tips? Hidden gems?

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22 comments

  1. That’s so exciting! I recently moved to Reykjavik, Iceland from DC, so I totally related to everything you’re saying about moving. How did you go about finding a teaching position? Would you mind sharing that information. When I’m finished with my master’s degree here, I’d like to have a few options for teaching English, and since I already know some French, France would be a great spot…

    1. Hi Hannah! I found the teaching position by emailing some people in the alumni directory of the university I attended for undergrad. I was actually just emailing people to find out what their experience moving to France had been like, and ended up getting this job from one of them. Not sure how helpful that is specifics-wise, but I think connecting with as many people in Paris as possible is a great place to start! If you are ever passing through the City of Lights let me know and perhaps we can have a coffee together :)

  2. Congrats! I’m so excited for you and a little jealous. I too live in NY (the state not the city though) and I’m going on an adventure of my own in January. I’ll be going to Guatemala for 6 weeks to learn Spanish and immerse myself in a new culture, I’m not as brave as you though and I purchased a return ticket for February 27th =)

    I look forward to reading of your adventures in Paris!

    1. Thanks, Bekah! Your Guatemala adventure sounds amazing; I can’t wait to read about it on your blog. Will you be working while you’re there?

      1. That sounds great! By the way, I got myself a DSLR for Christmas so I can document Paris properly; I’ll probably have lots of questions for you!

    1. Thank you! I was just thinking the other day that I haven’t heard from you/seen a new blog post from you in a while. How is the Proust going?

      1. Proust has been pushed to the side, sadly. Time is not on my side. I did post a few days ago. The piece is long and discusses what I like to call my nervous breakdown. It was good to write. I’m trying to put more of my work out there this month. I need to do this. Trying to unite with other sensitive souls in this sometimes cold world.

  3. growth is never given opportunity if one allows complacency to prevail over risk…
    opportunities await because you are willing to risk …. tough but admirable…
    ps how cute are those photos xo

  4. How exciting! I left Singapore for Europe three years ago and spent a wonderful first year in Paris (and picked up French while I was there too). While I moved to Brussels for work, I would go back to Paris in a blink if I could (i.e. visa) and the city remains close to heart for many reasons.

      1. It’s rather unusual city – not exactly large nor is it small, sometimes it feels like a small city/big village that expanded too quickly. The Brusselisation phenomenon (http://angelinahue.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/brusselization-bruxellisation/) is one of my least favourite things about the city.

        I think the overall energy of the city has been influenced by its huge bureaucratic population and I wish the city could be much livelier.It takes more time and effort – I find, than in Paris, to discover some of the pleasures / gems in this city. Got to scratch harder at the surface! Since you have friends here, it should help a lot :)

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