I moved to Lyon, France.
Before that I lived in Pennsylvania, USA.
The reason for moving here was a fresh start.
If I were to describe my current city in one word, that would be astonishing. It is a perfect blend of old and new and the lows and highs that come along with that.
The first thing a new expat needs to know when moving here is integrating into the community is a challenge.
The language issue – Probably my biggest ‘if I had a chance to do things over’. Two years in I can understand pretty well but I still speak like a turtle. A turtle with a bad accent.
Since I moved here I stopped feeling like I had to be doing something every second of every day. C’est la vie!
Since I moved here the new thing I stared doing is taking public transportation. Really. I know.
My biggest lesson learnt was there are so many things to experience in life and I was always boxing myself in.
Some weird habits at the locals: The only thing you eat with your hands is a baguette sandwich. Fork and knife all the way baby.
My biggest cultural shock was the inefficiency and the pace. MUCH slower than the US.
My funniest / weirdest / scariest experience was the first time we had to navigate French healthcare for a major issue for my son. I felt out of control, scared, and helpless.
What I miss the most from home is Target. Sorry, family and friends.
Whenever I get home sick, what I miss is my big living room and comfy sofa.
I go home as often as twice a year. Grandparent-Grandchild withdrawal.
I keep in contact with my friends and family constantly through social media and Facetime. I do call my mom but some days I wish she could just follow me on Instagram. She could get real time updates!
My favorite dish/local food is Rosette de Lyon. It’s a sausage/salami. On baguette with small cornichons (pickles) and butter is perfection.
My favorite places in town are….this is too tough….the outdoor bar where we have cocktails, the 2nd district where I live and all the restaurants, the river promenade…the list goes on.
I get around the city by tram, metro, bus, and bike.
Street fashion? Always chic. Always. I get dressed to walk the dog.
My view on people: Some are nice. Some are not. I think this applies everywhere.
Being an expat: It is definitely a little bit of a surreal experience. You have a bond with other expats and you have to work really hard to break into the local scene.
In 5 years, I see myself living in…5 years is a long time away!