“Why are you moving to France? Is it for a job? Do you have a place picked out?”


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As we started to tell friends and family that we are moving to France this summer (granted, it’s been a year and a half in the making), one of the very first questions people ask is:

“Why?”

This question is asked in various tones.

“Why would you ever want to leave the US?”

“Why would you want to go so far away?”  

“Why raise your children anywhere but in America?”

But I have to say, overall, the most frequently asked questions are:

“Where are you going?  Do you already have a place picked out?”

“Why are you moving to France?  Is it for a job?”

Both of the latter questions are 100% viable (and I’ll just pretend that the top three were never asked).  I understand why people would ask them.  I probably would ask the same question if someone told me they were moving to a “foreign” country.

Gotta love the word “foreign”.  Honestly, I think in our day and time, it’s a very dated word.  What’s foreign anymore?  We don’t even call our languages department “Foreign Languages” anymore.  We are now called “World Languages“.  The only reason we can call something or someone “foreign” is because we haven’t taken the time to learn anything about them.  With the world being as small as it is these days, I think that’s a darn shame.

But to get back to the point, I think it’s high time I answered the question of whether we “have a place” already.  The answer is “no”.  We don’t have a “place”.

We sold our house here in St. Louis, we are going to move to France this summer, and when we get there we will have a “place” rented before the container with all of our household goods arrives 2-ish months later.  No stress.  We’re going to rent an apartment, and hopefully a really cute one with a guest room and an office (am I dreaming?).  We do happen to be in the fortunate situation of having family in the area, so we won’t have to worry about where we will stay in the meantime.

As for the second question:

“Why are you moving to France?  Is it for a job?”

People are always completely astonished when I answer, very simply, “No.  It’s not for a job.  It’s for a change, and one we’ve been dreaming of making for the last 14 years.”

That said, we are not independently wealthy, so we will certainly be working in France!  About a year ago I started thinking that rather than looking for a job to work for somebody else, I’d rather create something of my own.  What have I come up with?

Teaching English and French via Skype:  I got hired on by a France based company to teach English and French with them, and I already have five (sometimes six) students.  It’s so much fun!  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it, and in the beginning I was really nervous.  As it turns out, I love it!  My husband has a business background as well as teaching in a French immersion school.  I have lots of teaching experience.  The plan is to start up our own Internet-based language school, and I am very optimistic.  I recently started a new blog to that effect:  learnfrenchwithjennifer.com   It’s only the beginning, but I know it will be something wonderful.

Oxbridge Académie de France:  A year and a half ago, this was a longshot.  I applied for the position of Dean at this French immersion school in Montpellier in February of 2012, but I was too late for the summer of 2012.  I wrote it down in my calendar to not forget about applying in 2013.  The job description seemed to fit me like a glove.  On January 4 of this year, I sent my CV and cover letter off to Oxbridge and hoped for the best.  It wasn’t until March 1 that I heard from the Executive Director of the school.  A month and a half and two Skype interviews later, I’ve just been offered the job.  I’m clearly on cloud nine!  It will be a summer of joy, I know it, because I love working with young people who have a passion for France (and French!).  It will be exhausting, but so rewarding.  My family will be just a few kilometers down the autoroute, so we will get to see each other often.  And how about that updated CV?  Sounds like a good plan to me.

What has being 40 (alright, 41) taught me about self confidence?

At this particular point in time, I honestly feel that the world is my (our) oyster, and why shouldn’t it be?  I’ll be the first to admit that I see the jar half full.  What’s the harm in that?  In the last six months I have come to believe that sometimes you just have to give yourself a chance.  Why wouldn’t something good happen for me if I’ve worked hard for the last fifteen years to try and fulfill my dreams?  (Side note:  It’s actually been 22 years, ever since I became a single mom at age 19 and decided I didn’t want to be a statistic).  I’ve often had the opinion that I’m not quite good enough at what I do for my dreams to come true.  I know, I can hear the violins.  But honestly, if we can’t believe in ourselves, who else would have a reason to?

14 thoughts on ““Why are you moving to France? Is it for a job? Do you have a place picked out?””

    1. You poor thing, you’re sure lucky it didn’t rain, you could have rusted like that! I sure do appreciate it. It will be an adventure, that’s for sure. Are you still in Portugal? What’s next on the itinerary?

  1. I can relate to much of what you said. People just couldn’t believe I would choose to leave California and come to France??? After five and a half years, I love it more each day. Bonne chance!

    1. Merci! I know what you mean, I think you’re either born with the travel gene or you’re not. If you don’t have it, it’s just hard to comprehend. I’m glad to hear that after five years you’re loving your life there more and more. It’s so refreshing to hear some positive, good news🙂

  2. What an inspiring post Jennifer! I know you will love it here! The only “hard” thing coming from the US, is to learn how to slow down. It took me a while… I am so excited for you! What a brave person you are! Truly inspiring!

    1. Thanks so much for reading my post, and for commenting🙂 It probably will take me some time to learn to slow down. Funny you should say that, because I really hadn’t thought about it. These days I feel like I’m doing everything in fast motion, and I already don’t know how to slow down. However, when we are there in the summertime (usually for 2 months) I manage to really slow it down. Then again, I’m on vacation when I’m there and don’t have to work. This is real food for thought, thanks! Speaking of food, I feel inspired to pick up some dim sum for dinner tonight. Where do you think I got that idea?

    1. Thanks so much ! Yeah, I think you’re really onto something there. A lot of my ways of thinking (mostly about myself) are seeming to change, and for the better. It’s not really a conscious decision, I guess it’s nature’s way🙂 Tell me again, if I’ve forgotten. How long have you been in France?

      1. Well 16 months is still a long enough time to really benefit from your time spent there🙂 Just don’t think about it, you still have plenty of time!

  3. So happy for you!!! The new job seems like such a great fit!! And you will truly bring a bright light to those lives you touch as your are radiating happiness!!! Congrats!!!

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