I’m Moving to Paris!

paris2014_1

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.

paris2014_2

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:

apt2014_1

apt2014_2

apt2014_3

apt2014_4

apt2014_5
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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
April 4, 2014 / life / dog / Travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 54

54 comments

  • Can you type OMG infinity times? Because that’s what I was saying the entire time I was reading this. What a dream come true Erin and I am so proud/happy/excited for you. So blogger Paris trip is what you’re telling me, right???

    • Haha, merci girl! I do have a sofa bed (un canapé-lit!) ;) xo

  • This is crazy!! C’est génial, je suis très très contente pour toi! Je crois que tu a pris une bonne décision! La vie est tellement courte, il faut la profité maintenant! Mon rêve c’était l’Italie et j’aurais voulu faire la même chose que tu vas faire mais à la fin je n’ai pas pu. Franchement c’est très bien, t’auras pleins des expériences à raconter à tes “petits-enfants” après! Bravo à Jamel! Mais je pense que c’est un gars intelligent et il sait très bien qu’en te laissant partir il t’auras après pour toujours! C’est un super nouvel, tu te racontes on va être voisins….et oui, parce que Bordeaux -Paris est seulement à 2 1/2 en TGV. J’espère que tu voudra visite le “petit Paris” et tu vendras nous voir!! Je promet faire la cuisine ligth pour que tu rentre après dans ta robe de mariée. Bravo et encore bravo!!
    Bis et à très bientôt :)

    • Merci, Eva! Je suis en d’accord, la vie est trop courte! J’ai pensé, “Maintenant ou jamais!” Donc, Paris! C’est plus simple que regretter, haha. Je vais visiter Bordeaux si j’aura le temps, mais je veux! Blogging a me donné beaucoup d’amies, tu sais? Et je suis fou mais j’adore le train/TGV, haha. Nous parlerons en mai, quand j’habiterai en France, oui? Oui. :) xoxo

  • Félicitations! Profite bien de cette aventure! J’ai hâte de voir tes photos et de lire tes postes. Je suis un peu jalouse – Paris me manque tant! Penses-tu que ça dérangerait à mon mari si je rentrais à Paris pendant quelques mois?!

    • Merci, Melinda! J’ai peur mais si nos rêves ne nous avons pas peur, ils ne sont pas assez grandes, ils disent. Oui? si tu demandes à ton mari bien et explique tes raisons, il doit dire oui! ça marche pour moi ;) Je te promet: beaucoup de photos! xo

  • shut the front door! …to your new paris apaaartmeeent! that apartment is so gorgeous. you are going to wake up every morning for 60+ mornings in that big white fluffy bed. you can do your laundry in your apartment (maybe you can now, but i can’t so i noticed that nice w/d set), have can you tea on the terrace, sit at that perfect little white desk and write, and just roll around on the wood floors laughing (or crying) because you are living in paris!!! it is amazing!

    this is the best idea. i am so happy for you. i’ve really been secretly hoping you’d do this at some point (or maybe not secretly. i might have mentioned it before).

    okay questions: you will still blog, oui? and, well, i guess there was just one question. i am so happy for you twinsy!! xoxo

    • oh this is such an important question. you have to find time to blog while you’re there! how else will i get my paris fix for one more year?! i am so looking forward to your photos and stories!

    • Squeeeee I KNOW!! I cannot tell you how many apartments I looked at in this quest, but this one clicked the moment I saw it. I do have a washer/dryer at home, thank the lord, but it’s a luxury I do not take for granted (and one I’ve grown accustomed to, to the point where I was willing to pay more just to have it in Paris). But you’re right, and Lauren actually said the same thing, I won’t have to waste time at the laundromat this way! And how did you know “rolling on the floor and crying” was on my to-do list?? It’s like you just GET me! ;)

      OF COURSE I’ll still blog! I can’t promise it will be on any sort of schedule or with any regularity, but maybe I’ll post a few photos every day or every other day, and then a few updates here and there? Je ne sais pas! I am too overwhelmed to really process the “actually being there” part of this plan. Gah! xo

  • Question: What happens if you miss me so terribly that you can’t stand it????? Oh wait, that might be the other way around.

    • Haha, there are direct flights from PHL to CDG every day, you know!! :) Fear not, maman, we will Skype on the regular! xo

  • Ha! warding off questions before they’ve even been asked, lady you always have everything covered. Yay Yay and triple Yay, that’s very exciting news for us all here in Europe :) You’ll be practically fluid, um fluent after 8 weeks xx

    • Haha, well I did have a few months to get this post just right, you know. I had lots of time to think of Qs and As ;) I’m so excited! Can you tell? xo

  • Holy crap! Not only is that AMAZING news, but that apartment is an absolute dream. So excited for you, girl!

    • Thank you, Gloria!! I promise to share more photos of the apartment, and Paris (!!), once I’m there. :) xo

  • We hit Paris on April 25. See you there, bebs! SOFT CHEESE AHOY.

    • !!!!! IT’S HAPPENING! Meet you at Ternes in, say, 25 days? xo

  • what?!? Is that your where you are living???

    • Oui oui, mon chou! I splurged a bit on the apartment, but I couldn’t help myself! Look at it!! xo

  • OH MY GOSH, i am so so so so so excited for you! i “moved” to paris in october of 2012 for three weeks {wish it would have been as long as your trip} and it was truly the most magical experience of my life. after that i traveled through europe solo and although i missed my BF terribly it was such a fulfilling, introspective, life-changing experience…and having him to come home to just made it that much better. agh, color me green with envy mon chéri :)

    • Merci, Molly! I’ve only read briefly about your stint there but it sounded absolutely incredible and life-changing, for sure. That’s what I’m hoping for out of this trip, and I can’t imagine I’ll be disappointed! Every girl should have this kind of experience, and I’m beyond grateful I have the support system I do to make it possible. I promise to post enough photos to keep us both satisfied :) xo

  • oh and ps, your flat is unreal! seriously…what my dreams are made of :)

    • The only reason I’m convinced it’s not some mirage is because my fiancé saw it in person. Otherwise, you’re right, it’s like not even fair how beautiful it is. xo

  • I am so happy and excited for you!! You’re moving to Paris. OMG OMG OMG

    • Ha! OMG OMG OMG is right!! xo

  • So happy the cat is finally out of the bag! I was having trouble keeping my excitement for you to my self.

    C’est super fantastique. Genial!!!!

    • Hahah I’ll never forget the time you blurted out “That’s a nice bag! Is that for PARIS?” right in the middle of the office and my stomach dropped into my butt. I thought I was going to die! Thankfully no one heard it, and I owe you an immense debt of gratitude for keeping my secret for so long. You’re the best! xo

  • stoooop! well, don’t stop by this is way better news than i expected! what a trip of a lifetime and so perfect for your book! i have so much to say this little box will explode when i finish!

    i am so thrilled to hear this! i am all about moving there, even if for “just” two months. how incredible! how and why did you keep this a secret so long!? i am so happy for you! will jamal be visiting? will your mom be visiting?! this is a great excuse for anyone to visit you there! even i have been itching to go back, 4 years is just too long for girls like us to go without revisiting. but we have italy on our radars for next year so i’m thinking we can’t revisit paris without steven going to italy first. artists, psh.

    jamal is so wonderful and understanding, i love that he knows how much paris means to you and this book! have you thought about your honeymoon yet? have you mentioned it on your blog and i missed it? would you and jamal go to paris again for your honeymoon? so worth it, right?

    your apartment there, so cute and so chic. that balcony! i can’t stand how adorable it is!? why is everything in paris better? what is that curse? this is going to be an amazing opportunity and something that will remain as your legacy. paris is really part of who you are!

    you are absolutely right about doubling the rent! our monthly rent here is what we paid for two weeks in a paris apartment. but soooo worth it.

    when we were in paris, we stumbled upon a little bookshop near the seine called the abbey bookshop, an english book store, owned by a canadian. we bought a little book of illustrations of cafes around paris (the bookshop was even drawn inside, it’s such a treasure) and we got to talking to the owner and it turns out his parents live where my parents do – in a small west florida town. small world. before we left he invited us to a little “party” at the shop a few days later, for an english writer, who was writing a murder mystery set in paris so she was in paris for book research as well! how cool would it be if you could do something like that?!

    • Merci, Yelle! I can’t believe I kept this a secret for so long, a) because I’m a really, really bad liar and it was KILLING me to keep this in when all I wanted to do was shout it from the rooftops, and b) I ended up telling more people in advance than I originally intended to, and i was convinced it was going to leak at some point. The reason I had to wait to share the details is because I had to figure things out with my job first, I couldn’t tell them too far in advance or too close to my departure date, so the timing had to be just right (I’m friends with enough of my coworkers on facebook that it would have been impossible to keep from them, and thus, management). Once all of those details were hammered out, and my bosses/HR knew, I knew it was safe to share with everyone else. But yeah! Things have been booked and ready for months, so this has been tough!

      Jamal is pretty great :) For our honeymoon we’re going to Greece because we wanted to try something new, but Paris was absolutely discussed as an option when we were planning, bien sûr! But we’ve talked at length about making Paris a priority, and basically as long as we can afford it we’re going to try to go every year for at least a week.

      The apartment is a dream, J checked it out for me and met my landlords and just kept saying over and over how “perfect” and “me” it is. He’s going to spend a few days with me at the end of May, tacking it on to a work trip to India again, so that will break up the trip nicely.

      That story of the bookshop made my heart burst open!! What a small, beautiful world. You should post about that, I’d love to hear/see more. It’s very Sex and The City, when Carrie finds fans at that bookstore! I’m planning on going to the writing workshops Saturday nights at Shakespeare & Company, which I’m sure is a whole adventure in and of itself. I cannot wait. And of course I’ll blog and share photos and stories. I can’t keep it all to my self!! xo

  • You’re moving to Paris??! That is awesome freaking sauce. The apartment looks beautiful! I’m sure you will find a ton of inspiration, meet lots of amazing French folk, and eat a ton of tasty-in-your-belly foods. Enjoy the two months; make the most of the experience. And keep us posted on your adventure along the way, please!

    • It’s such a shame there is no French equivalent for “awesomesauce” because that would be perfect! ;) I promise to share as many photos and stories as I possibly can!! I’m sure I’ll have tons. xo

  • Congratulations! I’m quite proud of myself for guessing a vacation in the previous post, although that’s a pretty easy assumption to make. The apartment is gorgeous and looks to be good fuel for your writing. I’m very much looking forward to posts (if you plan to blog while there) and can’t wait for what this experience will bring to your book! Might I suggest that you develop a little travel guide or itinerary for future Paris travelers from your perspective with the best spots for writing inspiration and people-watching (those two often go hand in hand).

    • Haha, your powers of deduction lead you most of the way to my secret! ;) You’re good, you. I know that there is no perfect place to write; you can either write anywhere or not at all, but COME ON. If this apartment doesn’t give me a serious boost of inspiration (not to mention, the city outside!) I don’t know what will! I love your suggestion about an itinerary/guide, that is so clever. Much more useful than a shopping guide, oui? xo

  • Congratulations!

    • Merci beaucoup! xo

  • OMG! I am SO excited for you! What an adventure!!! Have the BEST time ever. Can’t wait to read your novel. Your dad would be so proud of you! Best of luck & enjoy EVERY moment:-)

    • Oh, Ange!! That is so sweet of you. I think my dad would be really blown away and in love with the plan, too. He might’ve even come with ;) Thank you so much, and belated congrats on le bébé! You’re due any day now, right? xoxo

  • Your moving to Paris??! Promise you will keep blogging/keep us posted!
    This is such great news Erin! And I’m with Gloria- the place looks phenomenal.

    • Bien sûr! I can’t believe I forgot to address whether or not I’ll be blogging over there. Of course! I don’t know how much or when, obviously, but if nothing else I want to have a visual diary of my time there, so I imagine I’ll have plenty of photos to share! xo

  • Erin, I can hear the excitement in your voice. I’m so happy for you, I’m sure you’ll make the most of every minute. There is no better city in this world. My boyfriend and I spent 8 nights there over Christmas and I felt completely spoilt – but two months? Amazing. Bravo for taking the leap. x

    • My excitement is palpable, isn’t it?? Ha. Paris at Christmas sounds like an absolute dream, I bet you two had an amazing time. There really is no better city in the world (well, maybe Philly ;) but I’m biased) and I can’t wait to be there again. Thank you for your kind words! xo

  • oh, this is fantastic news. I’m so happy for you!!!! and we may even be able to meet up, depending on if I go back to London or not. if yes, it’s an easy visit for me. if not, I have a very good friend there that you have to meet (unless your social life is already full to the brim). let me know….

    Petra who has a very big smile on her face right now xoxoxo

    • Who knows what magical, far-off part of the world you’ll be exploring in 3 or so weeks! To be honest, all of you bold adventuring really encouraged me that this plan of mine would work out. Is that cheesy? Email me your friend’s info, it will be nice to have some local friends there (I have two lined up!) haha. xo

  • As you well know, I am beyond happy for you. I meant to hop on Friday and say so but an emergency run to school to medicate a migraine got in my way. Happy, happy days my dear. May all your wildest dreams come true.

    • Napoleon Dynamite was right! If you vote for Pedro err, move to Paris, all your wildest dreams will come true :) Thank you ducky! Hope everyone is feeling better around your house. xo

  • so happy for you love! all that’s left to do now is rearrange that fabulous apartment so that your desk faces the window & the rooftops beyond! ;)

    • Ha! That’s not a bad idea. I don’t think there’s enough space at the window by the end of the bed, and the window next to the desk opens up onto the terrace! Maybe I’ll just move the desk out there? Ooh I’m just so excited. xoxo

  • !!!!!! Dying. DYING. Are you kidding?? I am beyond jealous…although I can’t think of a more perfect person to be moving to Paris! ;)

    • Thank you Alexa!! Not kidding! How cruel would that be?? I don’t think I could even handle making a joke like that, my poor little heart would break. I am so far past excited, I don’t even know how to verbalize it. xo

  • Woooooow! That is AMAZING!! And so romantic – ‘moving to Paris to complete a novel’ I love that. So great for you! If you find yourself with a weekend to spare you must pop over to Sweden (I’m sure you can incorporate it into the novel somehow….:)

    • Merci Niki! I know it’s a bit of a cliché, moving to Paris to write a novel, haha, but I couldn’t resist! Thank you so much. A friend of mine living in Paris is actually from Malmo, so maybe I’ll tag along with her if she goes back to Sweden for a visit while I’m there! xo

  • This is so cool! Congratulations!! I’m maybe just a tad bit jealous. :)

    PS – Found you from Ruth’s blog today (amiusmie)

  • Hi Erin, I really enjoy your blog and am so happy that you are spending some time in your favourite city. I live there so please let me know if you need help with anything during your stay. Good luck with your novel!

  • I am an American girl who just quit my corporate job in New York to move to Paris (to study at HEC Paris) for at least two years! This is a great post and I am looking for an apartment right now so I can definite relate to the frustration!

    Join me as I move from New York to Paris at booksandbaguettes.com!