I found this in the “drafts” section. It was written around 2011/2012 before we moved.
I don’t have a lot of acquaintances, but the ones I do have asked me about why and how I will be moving to France.
Why are you moving to France?
Aaron: I lived there in 2003 for about a year and made some friends there. Since that time I’ve always wanted to live there. Since then I’ve gotten married, had two kids, and finished my Master’s but I’ve basically always had this plan.
How long will you be there?
As long as it takes! I guess. We don’t have a set amount of time to return to the States, so “forever” is the official answer.
So you found a job?
Aaron: Yes. Finding a job as a technically skilled worker was “not difficult,” I would say. You do have to speak french well enough to get through the interviews of course. I will work for GFI, apparently as a consultant about 40% of the time and on in-house projects about 60% of the time.
Will you get a car?
Maybe. The plan is to NOT get a car, but since I’ll be handed out to work on projects for various companies at different locations it may be necessary. The public transportation system is quite good over there though, so we’ll see.
Where will you live?
In Aix-en-Provence in the south. It’s where I stayed in 2003 and it’s a great city.
Are you going to buy a house?
We don’t have enough money to just buy houses in other countries. We will save up though and see what happens. There are very few houses in the center of town where we’d like to live anyway.
But what will you do in France?
Aaron: This is one of those “I don’t get it” questions that I get sometimes. I will go to work, come home, spend time with my family, and everything else normal people do. Just because it’s a different country doesn’t mean I’m retiring or ending my productive life.
Jen: The same things I do here. I will take care of the kids, take care of my husband, take care of our home, and whatever else I need to do. After that I will figure something out. There isn’t really an answer for “what will you do” here in the States, so there isn’t a real answer for that in France.
What about your kids?
They will be fine. They’re not the first kids to speak two languages. We can all think of some other examples. 🙂
What about your dog?
He will be fine. He’s not the first dog to speak two languages. He’s coming with us of course! There’s no quarantine when going from the States to France. Quarantines tend to be only for islands like Britain and Hawaii.
Will you visit the States?
Yes. Probably at least yearly, although we haven’t decided what time of year yet. There are advantages to coming during a warmer time of year when outside activities (besides skiing) can still be enjoyable. We have Ohio to visit for Jen’s family and Colorado to visit for Jen’s and my family.
Can I come stay with you (for free)?
If we’ve said to you “you should come visit us,” then yes. Otherwise, no. In other words, if you were invited then yes, otherwise no.
What will you miss the most?
Aaron: Probably Chipotle and watching my mother and daughter play together.
Jen: Besides my friends and family, Starbucks.
What will you love the most?
Aaron: I will love raising my children in a place where salads are served in schools, where there is a minimum of 21 days vacation a year, and where the work week is 35 hours instead of 40 without a huge fuss. We also plan on trying to absorb some of the better assumptions and prejudices that Americans have about the French, such as there being less consumerism there and having a general love for life and personal enjoyment instead of a love for work and money. Plus it’ll be fun and a challenge.