There are days that I think “Moving to new country where I don’t speak the language, have no job and have to create a new business network from referrals and cold-emailing, having few friends….I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy.” In other words, it’s really hard. It’s the little things that can wear on me: not being able to explain myself to the shop-keep in my broken French or trying to figure which French stamps I need to mail a letter to the U.S. Then, on other days, I have small victories with finding a great biking route to and from school or getting our files organized and adapted to the French “binder system.”
The thing that I was most surprised with and disappointed by was how many of my friends in the States would fall away. Only a handful make an effort to keep in touch via email and there are fewer that I can reach via phone and with that, only one has figured out how to call me. Even with the phone friends, it requires scheduling in advance so all the spontaneity of chatting is gone (except for a few of my early riser friends I can call before 8am). I am not alone in this happening. Many of the other expats I’ve talked to said the same happened for them. I believe the 9 hour time difference is a big hinderance and I don’t necessarily want to talk at 9:00pm and those in the States can’t talk at a more convenient time for me at 8:00am or 9:00am Pacific. There also is also the adage “out of sight, out of mind.” So, here is am in Paris, making new friends and a new life and trying to adjust to the new normal with my old friends. C’est la vie! In the meantime, here are some images of my days in Paris as I explore my new life.