I lived in Paris, France, during study abroad in college the winter and spring of 2009. It was such an amazing and life-changing experience. And, funnily enough, I ended up marrying a Parisian years later!
If you’re interested in living abroad, or just travel in general, here are five things I wish I knew before moving to Paris.
MORE: 5 tips for changing travel plans on short notice
I clearly know how to blog now, but at the time social media and blogging weren’t as big as they are today. I did start a small travel blog but didn’t keep up with it. So if you love to travel and like to write and photograph, then blogging is a great way to tie it all together. And you can save your memories while sharing them with others too!
One thing I wish I had taken was a better camera. I took an old school digital camera that was a point-and-shoot and now my photo quality hasn’t held up as well as it could have. Investing in a DSLR or iPhone is a great idea in advance. If you’re into film, then take a film camera along too if you can.
MORE: How to choose your next vacation
Language & culture
Je ne parle pas français. My husband is fluent, so I am pretty good at understanding it – and I took a French class while there – but I had previously studied Spanish, so my French was lacking. While technology helps a lot now, it’s still great to go in knowing a lot of keywords and phrases. So studying more French would have helped before moving to Paris.
And just like anywhere, always research customs and culture beforehand. This way you won’t make any rude mistakes on accident!
List of recs
This is something I did do in advance, actually! But I would have put even more energy into it having traveled more now. Talk to other people who have been before and do your research online. Then make a list of all the places you want to go and see. Check out this post on creating and sharing travel plans and then this post on how to make the perfect travel itinerary.
MORE: Sign up for media consulting services!
While I love to plan and recommend doing it – don’t over-plan! Some of my best memories are on days where I did nothing but leave time to wander and explore.
Have fun, stay safe and hit me up with any questions! Now you have my top five tips on moving to Paris.