“You can never do something for the first time, twice”.

You’ve known about the move for around 9 months, completed a few weeks of French lessons, have numerous people tell you how exciting this is and how lucky you are but you have no idea… no idea what’s ahead.

You’ll pack your life and belongings into a couple of suitcases and cardboard boxes and fly across the world with your new husband on this pending adventure.

This move will shake you up and spit you out in the midst of a lifestyle you don’t know at all. You’ll come over to this side of the world semi expecting things to be easy, reliable and comfortable because that’s what life has been so far. Then you’ll get hit with the cultural divides like the food, driving, politeness. You’ll battle lows and enjoy the highs.

You won’t be heading to work every morning but you will do or learn something new, every day, for the next year.

You should know that the first time you do things – will be hard. The next time you do it, will be just as hard. It may never get easier as such, you’ll hopefully just get used to it.

You’ll have to grow up faster, in an unusual way. In a way where you have to figure things out on your own in a foreign speaking country, where you don’t have your close circle anywhere near. You’ll go through a million feelings in one day, you’ll learn to listen to them, acknowledge them and ride the wave, but not before they get the best of you.

Supermarket trips will be lucky dips where you’ll never know what you’ve actually come home with.

You’ll come to know the scale of distance and time in a new way. You’ll appreciate family, friends and home more than ever. You’ll rely on social media heavily to keep in touch and up to date with loved ones while sharing your new life too.

You’ll support Ihaia in his longest rugby season yet, playing 32 games and between that you’ll travel to amazing places and make the best memories together. Its always while travelling you remember how lucky you are to be here, to be a 3 hour plane ride away from Santorini, an hour away from London… so close to everywhere and so many places to explore.

You’ll get a dog, become a fur mom and learn to love like you’ve never loved before. He will fill your days with company and laughter and you’ll find therapy in daily walks with him.

By the end of the first year, you’ll find yourself still settling in. It’ll take a long time to adjust to the way of life in France. You’ll feel like you’ve spent the first year with a cloud over your head, fighting everything you can and constantly disagreeing with things but you’ll grow in ways many ways over the year, you’ll experience things that’ll shape the rest of your life.

France is hard, but growing and changing feels good. Heres to the years ahead. XX

1 Comment

  1. Hi Danielle,
    Just discovering your blog, and wondering if, after a few months in France now:
    – Was it actually with it?
    – Compared to expected, is it: Better? Worse? Disappointing? Exciting?
    – if you were to do it again, what would you do different?

    Really curious to read you about this …
    Have a good evening – bonne soirée 😉


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