About me

I am a 31-year-old Canadian in France.

As a young girl I dreamed of living in Europe. I'm lucky to live that dream.

I started out living in Belfast in the early years after the Troubles were over. I went on to work in London, spent a summer picking apples in Prague, struggled through Dutch lessons in the Netherlands, participated in three language stays in Italy, worked at a hostel in Athens, was an Erasmus student in Spain and started and completed my undergraduate degree in Wales. Oh, and I learned how to drive in Wales. What a disaster that was! (I'll talk more about this soon.)

Now I'm an immigrant in France, but I recently spent 6 months as a trailing spouse in Denmark, hence the name Den Nation. (More about that later.) I am based in Bordeaux, in the south-west of France.

I love learning about Europe; its culture, languages, people and history fascinate me. I love eating too, a little bit too much, but can't stop myself from eating around Europe.

It's definitely time to branch out a little. Last year I visited Brazil and China thanks to my husband's work. There are future possibilities for us to spend longer periods of time in these countries, something I am keen to do. There is more to this world than just Europe, and I will get there, little by little.

I don't really know how much of my previous 'lives' I will talk about on this blog. Belfast was, after all, more than 10 years ago. I'm not even sure of the themes I want this blog to have. I guess time will tell. I am sure, though, that I wish to connect more with other immigrants in France to share experiences. I've enjoyed reading other bloggers' experiences for a few years now and it's time to become part of this community.

14 commentaires:

  1. Welcome to the community! We are thrilled to have you :) I also love that you are another 30-year old Canadian ex-pat like myself! Keep blogging and I'll keep reading!

    1. Thanks Crystal. Yeah, it's strange isn't it, you're like me in so many ways: we share the same age, nationality, we're both married to Frenchmen, we both don't envision having children, we both live in France, etc.

      I don't have pets though! And I weigh a lot more than you!

      I'll keep reading your blog as long as you keep posting too.

    2. I have to admit, it's amazing to "meet" two other people, besides myself, who don't envision having children! It's such a relief to not be the only one!

    3. I feel the same way, it's great to meet another expat that doesn't have children on the cards. Especially one that will live in the same city as me.

      I don't know how old you are, but I am 30 years old (in case you didn't notice my tagline). I am at a really tricky age. I know so many people who have babies or who are trying to get pregnant. Also, I often wonder how my age and marital status impacts on my ability to find a job (a little voice in my head is telling me that these two things are 2 strikes for me).

      I feel so alone sometimes. Like I live in my own little world, a world that nobody else is a part of. I have one French friend who is childfree, but even she thinks I'll change my mind later!

    4. Hi, had to chime in on the not wanting kids thing! I'm 30 too and the number of friends (especially back home) settling down and having kids is just mind-boggling. My main concern is that I'm going to end up with no social life since everyone I know will just be home with their kids all the time...

    5. A French couple I know has just come back to live in Bordeaux after spending 3 years teaching in Africa. They are the same age as me and are having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that most people have left their rentals in the city centre to buy apartments or houses further out in order to have more space for their growing families at lower prices.

      My social life has definitely changed - I would host people at my place a lot more before, but now we tend to go over to our friends' houses for dinner because we don't have kids and they do.

      The hardest thing for me, though, is finding things to talk about with other French women. They travel in August to Bretagne or Spain with their families and that's about it. Most people I know here are are fonctionnaires so they talk about that as well. I don't want to have children, I travel a lot and am not a fonctionnaire, so...

      I'll definitely be writing more about this, and soon I think.

  2. Great job on the "about" page! This is always the first page I check out when visiting a new blog. I got some info from your blog tagline but this is a nice intro.

    I had no idea you had been all over Europe! Wow, you know the EU much better than I do. So you are in Denmark for six months, right? Are you moving back to France after that? Was the paperwork difficult to be a permanent resident in the EU?

    Sorry, sorry, just curious!

    1. I also always check the “about” page first when looking at new blogs! I think it's important to have one because, to be honest, I wouldn't want anyone wasting their time reading my blog if they didn't love culture, languages, food, travel or Europe. I'm even thinking of making a "what this blog is not about" page.

      I started dreaming about living in Europe when I was 13. I was 14 when I knew I wanted to work with languages, especially European languages (I am talking about a specific profession, you know what it is, but I am a bit apprehensive about writing this word in case my clients were to find this). Yes, we'll be in Denmark for 6 months, but my husband already has a permanent job offer here (starting 2014, so we are going back to France for at least a year). We don't know if we will accept the offer yet.

      I am very, very lucky to have an Italian passport thanks to my parents who were both born in Italy. Your post on your multi-cultural family has inspired me to create a post about my multi-cultural upbringing. Do you know many first-generation Canadians?

    2. I totally understand you want to keep part of your life private (re. your job). I feel the same too, although it's not hard to connect the dots if you really Google me.

      You definitely should write an article about your multi-cultural upbringing! Part of my family is originally from Italy (I have an Italian last name) as well. No Italian passport though!

      Most of my friends also have a multicultural background and are either "new-ish" immigrants (landed within the past ten years or so) or first-generation Canadians. I had never realized it until now actually! Funny. Ottawa seems like a conservative city but come to think of it, there are a lot of new Canadians and first-generation Canadians, it's not that "WASP".

  3. It's nice to learn a little more about you! Your experiences all over Europe sound so interesting and I would love to hear more about them sometime. This motivates me to think about doing an "about" page on my blog sometime too.

    I'm looking forward to reading more about you, your travels and your experiences in France and around Europe!

    1. I'm thinking that I should talk about what I call "my other lives". I am worried about bragging, though. It's my blog, of course, and I can talk about anything I want, but I'm worried about being too in-your-face. However, I have certain posts that I'm thinking of writing (like why I regret learning Spanish) that mean I can't really hide my experiences.

      I admit that the "about" page is often a deciding factor in whether or not I continue reading a blog. I did't even know that your blog doesn't have an "about" page; I guess this is because I liked the first post I read on your blog! If there is no "about" page, I usually read a free posts to see if it's worth sticking around.

      I can't wait until you get to Bordeaux so I can read about your adventures!

    2. I think you should definitely talk about these other experiences! And I, for one, would love to read about them (though I might be a bit jealous!).

      I actually never even thought of having an "about" page until reading yours. Though I've seen them and read them on other blogs, the idea never crossed my mind to do one of my own until now. If I can think of something to say, I might just do it! But I'm glad you liked the first post you read enough to stick around!

      I also can't wait till I get to Bordeaux and I hope to have lots to write about!

  4. Wow. What a cool life experience. I feel inspired. You must have lots of amazing stories to tell.

  5. I hope to inspire people to live abroad or at least travel more if they can!

    I am really lucky that I have been able to live the life that I do. I am doing exactly what I thought I would be doing when I was younger. I even found a husband that has a job that involves a lot of travel!