A Bientôt (not Au Revoir) to the US!

I love my life in France; however, as I endure the 100+ degree weather that comes with living in the south, I can’t help but reminisce on the things and the people I left behind in Chicago.

I suppose the words, ‘left behind’, are a bit harsh. I didn’t really ‘leave’ anyone ‘behind’, though sometimes it looks that way since I’m thousands of km away.

Looks like we’re going to be sleeping on the 9.5 hour flight to the US…

In some ways, living in France has made my US relationships closer; in other ways, it’s done the opposite.

It’s hard to keep track of everyone when work, preparing for the arrival of a baby, and, well, just life in general runs its course. But, I try!

Thankfully, there’s Skype, FB, e-mail, courrier, and the various free texting aps I use to stay in contact with everyone. Oh, bien-sur, of course, there’s also visiting!

I’ve been fortunate in France – I have a loving partner and, together, we’ve turned our appartement into a home, I worked as an English Assistante during the 2014-2015 school year, I worked as an English Teacher from May-June, I have another English teaching job lined up for the 2015-2016 school year, I’ve made several friends (from a variety of nationalities), I’ve traveled in France as well as throughout Europe… I could make the rest of this blog about how lucky I am that I’ve been able to accomplish so much with so little. But, that’s not the point. I know I’m lucky to have been able to follow this dream of teaching overseas; however, I also know the sacrifices I made in order to get to this point.

Leaving this precious smile was so hard!

In May 2014, I said, “Goodbye,” to so many family and friends. Now, when I leave after a nice visit with them, I replace, “Goodbye,” with “bientôt!” (see you soon). So, I never really leave them behind.

However, there are definitely ‘things’ I left ‘behind’. For example, my precious car! (It’s safely stored away at my brother’s.) Oh, it felt so good driving him again (yes, he’s a male).

As I enter my 8th month of pregnancy, I’m starting to wonder if leaving the air conditioning behind was a good idea…

Paris is like Antarctica; Aix is like the Sahara. This picture was taken in Paris.

I left behind my dad’s grave, too, I guess we can’t have everything. But, it’s comforting to know that it’ll always be there – waiting for me when I visit. He’s always around – even in France – but, his grave and his main presence is in the US.

I left behind potential teaching jobs that offer a more consistent salary (bien-sur, if I were Francaise, I could take the CAPES test and have a similar teaching position in France that pays more), GOOD peanut-butter, Chipotle (as well as real Mexican food), big parking spots, my wonderful queen-sized bed (equipped with hundreds of pillows), and the ease of finding anything and everything (aka Wal-Mart, Target, Hobby Lobby) within a few minutes drive. It’s been a year and I’m still learning where to find stuff in France, which can be frustrating. For example, just yesterday, I finally found the store, Babou, that sells plastic drawers and tubs in varying sizes by the hundreds (simple things one could find at both Wal-Mart & Target)…and I wasn’t even looking for these things.

Even though I’ve left behind my life in the US, which makes me sad at times (a girl needs her mom at times, what can I say?), I’m happy with my life in France.

I wouldn’t change it for the world! I’ve embraced life here and I’ve found it difficult to completely ‘go back’ to the life I left behind. Now, to get my mom to visit… 😉 ♦


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