Could you, would you, pack up everything and move to another country? I have always dreamed of moving abroad and living in Paris, France. I never thought I would, but I did it! I’ve been traveling to Paris for twenty-five years, but I never thought to reside here. Why would I leave my perfect beach home in Southern California? I never imagined such an adventure would become a reality. After being laid off from the company I had worked at for 19 years, I was on the hunt for my next career move. Nothing was happening the way I wanted. Life wasn’t falling back into place. I sat back and looked at what I wanted to do next, but the answer was shining brightly upon me. Instead, I was in a haze of confusion.
I need a sign!
I wrote. A lot. A few times in my diary every day. I made “go/stay” lists and meditated for the first time. Okay, three minutes at first, but I learned to like it, and it began to last for a whopping ten minutes! I read soul-searching books, drank lots of wine, and worked out to burn off the wine and enjoy the endorphin high. I listened to the wind while walking along the beach, feeling that sea air blow through me. I prayed that something or someone would please tell me what to do! I asked myself burning questions; take a glance here. Every type of soul-searching you can imagine, I did. As the days passed and the bills piled up, I knew I needed to decide quickly. “Oh wind, please speak to me!”
Take my home, please!
I decided to put my home up for rent to see if I had any takers. This would determine whether I should buy more sunscreen (stay in my beach home) or buy an umbrella (move to my new Paris home). After two weeks, an offer I couldn’t refuse came in, and that mighty wind decided for me. Paris became a reality, and the adventure began–time to pack.
Honestly, I was appalled at how much stuff I had accumulated. Okay, I wouldn’t say I was at a “hoarder” level, but I would be a close runner-up. I consider myself a neat freak, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t much crap “neatly” put away. In three weeks, I sold, discarded, and donated fifteen years of my life; there was no turning back.
I don’t care what you think
Don’t rely on others to tell you what to do; the only thoughts that matters are yours. Of course, I cared what people thought, but the feedback I received was mostly, “are you crazy? Your life is here!” Well, something inside was telling me otherwise. I desperately wanted to move abroad to Paris, France.
Everyone’s situation is different. I never followed the “normal” path. People always asked me, “When are you getting married, settling down, having children, buying the white picket fence home?” I’ve been asked these questions my entire life, so I knew not to solicit others’ opinions. My path in life veered from the norm at an early age, and I knew not to allow others’ negativity to influence my decision.
Here I come!
I did it! I left it all behind and moved to Paris! My French is still horrible, and I am acclimating to French, which is not easy. But despite all these facts, I can honestly say that I am happy. I’ve stepped back and looked at all I’ve done. I’ve reflected on the number of times I didn’t think I could push forward anymore, yet I did. I see a path ahead, and the wind is finally blowing me on and no longer holding me back as I continue to Follow a New Path. Learn more about my life as Champagne Travels here.
Take that jump in life
We are not wired to let go; our brains keep replaying the past. Letting go is difficult, especially when you don’t know what’s on the other side. I am on that journey, and the first steps were hard–I mean hard. I look back and ask myself how I did it. I don’t know how, but I did. You quickly realize you are stronger than you thought. Even though I sometimes feel like I’m on a cliff, I am proud of the distance I’ve climbed. I don’t know whether I am going up or coming down this mountain, but I am not jumping off. I am going to hold tight and enjoy the journey. More importantly, I believed in myself, and moving abroad to Paris, France, was the best decision I’ve ever made. Take that chance, whatever it is. The adventure is worth it.
Eileen Callahan in Paris, France