Why I need to live in France
Or Italy. Or Spain. The point is, I need to live in Europe. Most people think I’m crazy. What? Why would you leave the comforts of home? The place where you know how things work? But to me, that’s precisely the attraction of living abroad.
Don’t forget, I moved to Milan, Italy with two young children, just for the adventure and a chance to introduce my kids to the world.
So every dollar I save these days goes into my “Move to Europe” fund.
Paris is my first choice. It used to be Italy (we speak the language and know how the country works — or, ahem, doesn’t work), but last fall, a trip to Paris changed our mind. Now that I wrote that, I realize that our trip to Italy last year was equally as memorable. Maybe I’ll just have a flat in both.
I love the pace of life in Europe. I love the plethora of outdoor cafes, and the fact that they’re always full, any time of day. I mean who just sits and relaxes and drinks a glass of wine at 3pm? Apparently, everyone in Europe. I’ve been called a “lush” for suggesting a glass of wine on a Wednesday afternoon at 3pm here in the U.S. We’ve been programmed differently. Relaxing is unproductive. But I dispute that. Relaxing is when my subconscious, creative thinking take over and that’s what we’re lacking in corporate leadership these days — creative thinking. I digress…
It occurred to me the other day when my son, a college junior, moved to New York for a summer internship. He’s called (okay, texted) me every day with some exciting news — who he met, what he ate, funny things that happen only in NY. It was then that I realized how, like me, every experience is an adventure. Good or bad. It’s the thrill of experiencing something new that feeds my love for food and travel. I think that’s what sets adventurous people apart — we see the positive in every experience.
So imagine getting to do that every single day. Because that’s what life in a foreign country is like for most people. It’s not just experiencing new sights, or new foods or the trials and tribulations of daily life. It’s meeting new people who all have interesting stories to tell. It’s seeing new fashion, new architecture (Oh how I wish I had paid better attention in art history), new ways of doing things. Because that makes every day an adventure — a learning experience. There is no Groundhog Day, waking up and going through the motions of your every day life. Because living abroad, every day is something different.
Would it get old? Probably. Truth be told, it got old for me after two years in Italy. So if Paris gets old after two years, I’ll go to Madrid. And then the Azores. And then Croatia.