You read that right, though maybe I’m overstating the “move” aspect, as it implies permanency. I will be spending two months (eight weeks! 61 days!) in Paris! PARIS! I leave April 30th (hence the countdown!) and fly home June 30th. I’ve been bursting at the seams wanting to tell you guys, the excitement has been just overwhelming. I might have slipped and told a few of you last year, but who knows if you believed me because when am I not threatening to move to Paris? This time it’s real. This is not a drill.
I’m sure you have a ton of questions, so let me see if I can head them off:
Q: You’re moving to Paris??! Why?! A: Because Paris, that’s why. I’m writing a book that’s set in Paris, and it would be helpful to be there instead of using Google Earth. Call it ‘book research,’ but it’s really fulfilling a lifelong dream. We all knew this was going to happen eventually. I don’t have kids and I’m not married yet, and trips like this only get harder the longer you wait. Eventually I’d love to move there for a year or more, but for now I’ll take two months.
Q: You’re moving to Paris??! What about your fiancé?! A: First off, let me just say I am so unbelievably lucky to have Jamal. He is without a doubt the most supportive and kind (and adorable! and smart!) partner I could ever hope for. But even he had some trouble wrapping his head around my pronouncement that I was leaving him for two months to move to Paris (understandably!). It took a few days and a lot of discussions for me to convince him that I wasn’t subtly trying to break up with him and that I am 100% coming home to him. After that, it was easy, and he completely supports me in wanting to do this. He even met my landlord and toured the apartment I’ll be staying in when he was in Paris for work last fall. And how’s this for the Supportive Fiancé of the Year Award: he used some of his airline miles to book a roundtrip flight for me. For free. Guess I can’t complain when he travels for work anymore!
Q: You’re moving to Paris??! What about Fitz?! A: Oh my god, don’t even get me started. Thank god for Skype, but I know that won’t be good enough. I’m going to miss that little stinker so much. But I’ll be back in eight weeks and he’ll still be there, crazy as ever, waiting for me. I’m sure he’ll miss me too, but Jamal is truly his favorite person in the world, so this won’t be as heartbreaking for him as it will be for me, haha.
Q: You’re moving to Paris??! What are you going to do for two months?! A: Write! I’m going there to finish this novel (or come as close to finished as I can) and while I’m certain there will be lots of traipsing around parc Monceau with a baguette in one hand and a box of Ladurée macarons in the other, my primary goal there is to write, not eat my weight in French carbs (I have a wedding dress to fit into, after all!). I’m going to take a million photos. Oh, and I’ll probably cry a lot, too, because Paris.
Q: You’re moving to Paris??! What about your job?! A: So as you can imagine, “I’m leaving for two months, but please still pay me and give me health insurance and let me come back afterwards!” is not the most endearing thing for a company to hear from an employee. And so technically, I’m on a leave of absence with no official guarantee I’ll have a job when I get back. I’ve been preparing (financially, emotionally) for the possibility/expectation of unemployment come July, so I’ll be okay either way. Paris is a risk worth taking.
Q: You’re moving to Paris??! Where will you live?! A: Here:
My list of requirements looked something like this: Haussmannian building, not on the ground floor, some original details (floor, windows, fireplace), modern updates (non-handheld shower, washing machine), not $$$$ per month. I checked almost every single box with this apartment. It’s not in a classic building, but has a TERRACE. Fair trade off, oui? I’m sure this is obvious to anyone who has ever searched for an apartment in a major city, but it is almost laughable how little overlap there would be in a Venn Diagram of my expectations of renting in Paris and the reality of the renting in Paris. I’ve been spoiled by the Philadelphia rental market, clearly (this apartment is more than our current mortgage, and 2.5 times more than my last apartment!). I sent over 100 messages to AirBnB hosts. I exhausted Jamal’s spreadsheet skills. I reached out to rental agencies. I looked in Saint-Germain, Ternes, Trocadero, Le Marais, Madeleine, Grenelle, and eventually ended up back in Montmartre. My biggest tip to anyone looking to rent in Paris: take your monthly budget and double it.
Whew. I think that’s everything! If you still have questions, leave a comment! I’ve been waiting to talk about this for so long, I could go on and on and on. Or if you just want to join me in my squealing excitement, that’s fine too.