We finally did it, guys. We moved to Paris. I know that we’ve been talking about this forever. Friends and family are probably getting a little tired of hearing about it. But this experience is something my partner-in-crime and I have been day-dreaming of for years, back when there were only two of us, and we didn’t have to worry about things like whether our vacation rentals came with a crib, or how completely impossible it is to travel with a car seat, much less TWO car seats.
A few months ago, we raised the possibility of a leave of absence with our employer and, once that was settled, began putting some of the details in place. A furnished rental. Traveler’s insurance. Visa applications. School registration for our oldest. A very brief foray into French lessons. The idea that all the paperwork and logistics and packing lists and difficult conversations have finally, finally culminated in what has always felt a little like a pipe dream still seems impossible. I’m writing this from my new apartment in the 16th and I still can’t believe it’s happening.
The question we are most often asked is how we are going to spend our newfound freedom. There is this assumption that we should be doing something productive with our sabbatical. Surely we’ll be learning a skill, developing a talent, pursuing an interest. “I’m not sure yet,” I’ve said; people look worried. “Probably studying French,” I add, and they’re relieved.
In truth, we don’t quite know how the next few months will shape up. For now, we’ve decided to do more of the things we love, and less of the things we don’t. For us, that means more walks, more parks, and more books. It’s more croissants, too, and more wine, more early mornings drinking cafe-au-lait and more afternoon crepes. For Dave, it’s more cooking and picture-taking; for me, it’s more writing. The best part, though, is more time with Connor and Avery, watching them experience all the things we love about Paris.