What it is really like living in this magical country
We all have dreams of what it would be like to live in another country. Some realistic, some romantic. When it came for us to move to France we thought we knew enough that we would have an easy transition. No research in the world prepares you for the experiences you will have when you move to France.
Let’s dive into my first year in France by season.
The first time I came to Europe was in the winter, the second time was when I moved here, right in the middle of the pandemic. For the most part, the summer here is pretty mild, when visiting a normal year. This first summer here made it painfully aware that we were not prepared for the humidity or the heat.
Most of the time we tried to put a positive spin on everything, but sometimes it was just too hot to move. We were also in an AirBNB that was super tiny, right in front of a street that was super busy and of course no a/c. But hey we were in Paris! The first month or so here, we lived like Parisians. We ate at cafes and visited different famous sites.
It was our first summer where we relaxed and enjoyed our surroundings. Summer was gentle in 2020, once the heat subsided. The lack of tourists actually made the transition a little easier, and a lot less crowded.
My favorite time. of the year, no matter where I am. It was during this time that I moved out of the 12th arrondissement and into the 15th. Right after I moved I decided to visit one of my new favorite spots in France. Versailles. For me, there is nothing more romantic or breathtaking than Versailles, and when visiting this glorious spot I feel incredibly proud to be French.
The gardens are so very colourful in the fall, the leaves are turning and autumn flowers are blooming. Of course right after I visited here I wasn’t able to do much more because we entered lockdown. That was when I realized I did not want to be in Paris.
Of course, Paris is lovely, and sure you are exposed to a different but wonderful culture, but Paris is not for me. I felt cramped, and I felt like I was not in my own skin. So, in the middle of winter, I moved out of Paris and to the country.
Not able to do much besides going to work, until we shut down again I busied myself with gathering things for my new home and working online for a week before getting to go on a break. This was truly an odd year.
Another one of my favorite times of the year is winter. France had a tough act to follow because I loved the winter in Portland. Despite the easing of the lockdown I was content with the weather, after all, we had snow. I took this time to visit a few tourist spots such as Notre Dame. Despite being closed it was indescribable. Though I must admit that Notre Dame was a bit smaller than I expected, my husband says it is because of the fire.
Despite the cold, people were on the move. Shops were slightly empty but there the bakeries were booming. The sweet, warm smell of bread baking lingered through the air. Children running about eating their bread sweets, and the chocolate shops were bursting with delicious treats in the shape of Santa and his helpers.
For some reason, a lot of people think the French really don’t celebrate Christmas. I beg to differ, despite the cancelations of celebration and the strange year that continued to drag and drag us with it, there were still cheer and mulled wine filling the air. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the. year to visit Europe, trust me in a normal year tourists are not lacking in the wintertime!
This year I was privileged to experience a different kind of spring, one that was not typical. It was cold and wet, and it snowed. Now, I was more than delighted especially since the restrictions were lightened and we were able to travel more than 10kl. I understand how suffocating it is not to begin able to move about as freely as you would like.
In addition to the spring entering our lives, I was now able to explore my new hometown! The trees were fresh with new leaves, the flowers were blooming and the bees were all over the place. The gossip is that Paris is lovely in the Springtime but honestly I think the countryside has Paris beat!
Here is a symbolic toast to the next year, I am looking forward to more wonderful times, searching for that farmhouse and getting some chickens!
What time of the year do you love? Comment below and while you’re there make sure to sign up for our newsletter.