I have a deep love of travel. The early part of my career was architected with a profession and jobs that included travel. My travels led to many amazing experiences, and when I met my husband it was no coincidence that he too loved to explore new places. We have friends from around the world, honeymooned in South Africa, and have passport stamps from dozens of countries. But travel alone holds no comparison to the experience of living abroad in a foreign city.
That city was Paris France – one of the most breathtaking cities in the world. The city that captured a piece of my heart.
Despite traveling to many different countries, up until this point, I was always a guest. The opportunity to enjoy the present moment but with knowing I’d return home to what was familiar.
Life abroad in a foreign city is a whole different experience. An opportunity to be enriched about life in a different place, but also about my own adaptability.
Being Immersed in a Foreign City
Moving to a new country creates a mixture of excitement and fear. My past travel experiences gave me confidence about what to expect but I was surprised and challenged in ways I never even thought about.
When you live in the comfort of one place for most of your life, you can get stuck without ever realizing it. Living abroad opened my eyes to a just how diverse the world is so much more than just the occasional trip.
Adapting to a new lifestyle was like a brand new beginning. For example, living in the heart of a new city, not owning a car, and having to learn French at the same was thrilling while at the same time a just a bit daunting!
Embracing A New Culture
The culture is very different from your own. The French culture is deep-rooted in nationalism, the French language, and peoples mindset.
It’s a world of complete opposites. Every day I relished in the wonders of the Eiffel Tower, the river Seine, and the Champs Elysee. All the while people went about their day completely oblivious to all of the beauty around them.
But I what I loved the most was enjoying every day, and welcoming a host of new celebrations and traditions. One of my favorites, the Feast of the Epiphany, enjoyed with friends with La Galette des Rois.
Becoming a New Version of You
I learned a lot about myself from traveling, but nothing compared to living abroad. I experienced a whole new perspective and opportunities to embrace new things. It showed me I was capable of doing so much more than I had ever thought possible.
Learning to navigate the city on the metro and navigating the grocery shop with foreign labels was part of settling in. Immersion into a new city, however, makes learning the language far easier. And I still long for the ease of getting around by metro vs. driving everywhere.
My fashion sense certainly styled up to a whole new level. I sport a wardrobe with flair, but living in Paris added a whole new spark to my love of stylish expression.
The uber confidence of the French women I met and had the good fortune to work with is ultimately the most impactful experience I carry with me to this day. I was awed by the way they live, react and glide through life in the most effortless way.
Paris is above all a city that you don’t just live in, you taste it, breathe it, make love to it, and become one with it.
If you ever have the chance to live abroad, pounce on it! The experience will change you and open your eyes to amazing things. Click on over to a few pictures that capture a tiny essence of my favorite city and it’s surrounding pleasures here.