I'm always surprised when I meet clients who've moved abroad, away from their family, away from their jobs, to Paris because they've fallen in love with the city. My story isn't much different if you replace "the city" with my fiancés name, but regardless, it's still surprising. It takes a huge amount of courage and trust. Meeting these guys I absolutely loved hearing their story.. moving from the west coast of the US to Paris because they felt they really needed to. That was where their future was, so they put in for a transfer and made it their mission to move.
There's a common feeling among expats that I don't necessarily get from those who haven't lived abroad. It's a feeling of something more being out there, this belief that you can live anywhere with the right emotional support. Whether that support be from your partner, friends, family.. Once you've lived somewhere totally different from where you grew up, you can do it anywhere.
Paris seems like a major hub in Europe for expats for many reasons. An obvious one being the fact that it's the center of Western Europe and that traveling from here is so easy. (As you can see from my instagram stories!) Heading to London for the day? No probs. Rome? Only an hour and a half flight. Lisbon, two hours and you're there. From the outside, if you've never lived in a place so easily accessible, it's easy to put people like me (who travel as much as possible) into a category of those who are "lucky" or "rich". When honestly, if you're smart, you could travel to all the same places on a student's salary. (Meaning, very very little.)
Another reason for moving to France is for it's way of life. "La joie de vivre" or joyful living. Your focus is family, friends and travel, and not working 100 hours a week for the next promotion/pay increase only to work some more and never actually ENJOY life. This totally different way of living has got me hooked...
I say all of this because I know that somewhere out there will read this, wanting to move to Paris or Berlin or wherever, looking for the courage, and asking themselves if it's really the right choice.
The answer? Go for it.
You're not the only one and when you get to wherever you're going, there will be people like you, yearning to travel, to soak up a different cultures, yearning to learn a different language, yearning to expand, change, progress, love more, have less, do more, be more. I'm not going to tell you that it's not scary, or lonely at times. You will be homesick, you will be searching one day for Hershey's chocolate chips only to find crappy French "pipettes" of chocolate (that barely even MELT! UGHHHH) and wish you were back in the grocery store back home, you WILL wonder when you're here if this really was the right choice.
And still, my friend, still it will be worth it.
Because you will change and grow so much you won't be recognizable when you're back "home".
Even if it's just for a few months, or maybe a few years, or maybe it's for the rest of your life.
However long, wherever it is, whomever you evolve and grow into, you will not be the same person who went in. You will be different, more confident, more open, more loving, stronger in your relationships.