Living in a Parisian Apartment: The dream and the reality

There is always a made up glamour about what it must be like to live in Paris, the city of lights and the city of love. I must have some great, gorgeous view, wood-beamed ceilings and my building must be hausmannian. Yet the realities of living in Paris are completely different than what we see in the films, or even on Instagram. If you can see the Eiffel Tower from your window, trust me… a good part of your rent is paying for that. Continue reading “Living in a Parisian Apartment: The dream and the reality”

Scared of Mickey to Love for Disney

Here is the story of my first time at Disneyland, which was in Anaheim, California. You would have thought that for an 8 year old at the time, it was every kid’s dream to head to the land of Mickey. It was my nightmareContinue reading “Scared of Mickey to Love for Disney”

Falling In Love With Italy : Milano

I have always been in love with Italy. Italian food has always been top on my list, the language is music to my ears and the culture is not one that shocks me (by experience, the French jumble up Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese in one group: loud). My family has a friend who speaks multiple languages. I have always looked up to him since I was little. He learned Spanish in college and can speak it practically without an accent. I would always beg him to speak to me in two languages, French or Italian, but he tended to speak more in French since it was better than his Italian. Continue reading “Falling In Love With Italy : Milano”

Don’t Fear the Packing: What You Can Find in My Suitcase

Packing is probably one of my favorite things about traveling. For many, it is the toughest part. I love it because it marks the beginning of the trip. I have been packing since I was little (thanks mom and tia), and those trips always tended to be for two plus months. My summers were extensively spent in Spain, but we were always on the move. A few weeks in the north, a few in Madrid, a few in the south… So I have learned my essentials for packing, and quickly. You can call me and tell me we are leaving in two hours and I would be ready, but it is true that I do like to overpack. Continue reading “Don’t Fear the Packing: What You Can Find in My Suitcase”

Tips to Learn a Foreign Language

It has been two and a half years since I moved to France and something I am very proud of is how quickly I have been able to learn French. I studied French in high school, but the American system is not particularly great in teaching foreign languages. I left high school with a basic understanding of vocabulary and grammar. My French was practically barbaric when I arrived (and something that my first French family LOVED to point out, but if I mentioned their Spanish or English, they weren’t too thrilled when I corrected them). Continue reading “Tips to Learn a Foreign Language”

Another World

I think there is a moment when living abroad that you begin to forget the distance between you and what used to be your old home. The old life is continuing without you, you are living life without it, and there comes a moment when you realize those two things are no longer connected. The only glue is the people you care about.

It starts with the little things, like the style of speaking, the style of clothing and those changes become bigger and bigger. One day you’re sitting in your apartment with a French acceptance letter into university, French books spilling from the walls, and you realize this is now your life. You are speaking a language that used to just be beautiful mumblings, you are making a life for you.

It hit me today while I was watching a soccer match with French people as they were yelling and cheering about their team scoring, and it reminded me of football season in America. But this was different. When I screw something up, or do something out of the cultural ordinary, I tend to say “well in America…” but then I wonder if it really is like that in America. Or is it me?

This is a rambling post, but it was an interesting feeling today. I felt far from my culture, the land that raised me, the people that made me, but I know that I will never be able to shake that off of me. It is who I am. I will never lose it. Though it feels far today, I can’t deny the feeling that everything that I am working for at  the moment feels like what I need to be doing. I am proud of that.

If you are an expat, have you ever had a day like this?

Besos, 

Veronica

Mom, I Am Getting Over the Dark

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It was my first Friday night in Paris that I had a complete meltdown. I had been a week with no phone and limited access to wifi. I was staying out until what I felt was out of my comfort zone in the city with no phone when night would set in just so I could talk to family and friends at a café where wifi was accessible. Continue reading “Mom, I Am Getting Over the Dark”