Archive for May, 2010

The Leap

May 6, 2010


To give a little context to my motivation for taking this trip and my decision to move to Paris, I thought I would start by reposting an entry that I wrote for an intranet blog I was keeping at the company where I previously worked. The following was originally posted on March 25, 2010, 17 days before my flight to Paris.

Petite parisienne, Paris, 2007. © All rights reserved.


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Lily: You’re like that goat with the washcloth. You want it so bad, and every time the world tries to take it away from you, you keep grabbing it. But, you know what? It’s just a washcloth. Why do you even want it?

Ted:
Because I have to be an architect! That’s the plan.

Lily:
Screw the plan! […] Look, you can’t design your life like a building. It doesn’t work that way. You just have to live it… and it’ll design itself.

Ted: So what, I should just do nothing?

Lily: No. Listen to what the world is telling you to do… and take the leap.

– How I Met Your Mother, Season 4 Finale, “The Leap”

I have a confession to make. I think I’m an addict.

It started out as most addictions do. A toe dipped cautiously in the water. A little dabble here, some experimentation there. Now I can’t imagine ever going back to my previous existence.

A little over two years ago, I was talking to a friend one day, when I said the same thing I’d been saying for years: “I really wish I’d kept up with my French after high school. It would be so great to speak more than one language.” It was not the first time I’d had this sort of conversation.

This is how conversations like this usually went with me:

Me: I really wish I… [insert random impossibility of choice here]
Friend: Yeah, me too. I just don’t have the [time/money/knowledge/energy/motivation] to do it.
Me: I know. It’s too bad. Oh well.
Conversation moves on and the topic is promptly forgotten until the next time it gets randomly dredged up (see above script for details on how this goes).

But for some reason, on this particular day, the script went a little differently.

Me: I really wish I’d kept up with my French after high school. It would be so great to speak more than one language.
Friend: So why don’t you pick it up again? The Alliance Française offers classes in Toronto.

I was a little taken aback. This was not how this dialogue was supposed to go. Where were my comforting token words of commiseration, followed by mutually-agreed-upon permission to dismiss the subject altogether? Do something about it? What a strange proposition. Why not indeed?

Actually, I could think of a lot of reasons why not. Continue reading »

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Coucou !

May 5, 2010
La Grande Roue at Place de la Concorde, Paris, 2007.  © All rights reserved.

coucou / kuku/ (familiar) Hi there!

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Coucou !  Welcome to my personal blog.

A few months ago, I made the decision to uproot myself and pursue a lifelong dream to live in Paris for a year.  I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport about three weeks ago with everything I could stuff into one large suitcase and a carry-on backpack.  (I’m still mourning all the pairs of shoes I had to leave behind.)

I decided to start this blog as a way to record and share my adventures as I try to navigate life among the descendants of the Gauls.  After years of drafting mass e-mails, posting travel anecdotes to third-party websites, and even blogging for work, I thought it was time to begin a proper personal chronicle of my own.  I’ll be writing about my experiences in Paris, of course, but I’ll also be including stories, photos and excerpts from other adventures as well.

Thank you for reading.  I hope you enjoy it.

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