WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES…..
For one….we’re actually finally starting our blog. 😊
After seeing all the benefits from chronicling our RTW trip experiences on Becca and Brian’s Grand Adventure, we planned on doing the same for this new life chapter. All of last year we had the best intentions and desires to document this family adventure with all of its ups and downs and excitement and challenges and lessons learned. But in some ways, one of the major lessons we ended up learning was how the best of intentions can be overwhelmed by life’s curveballs. While we had many really cool experiences and moments and never regretted making the move, it was in many ways a really tough year for all four of us. We thought that we were prepared for most of challenges that come with relocating to another continent, culture, and language, but we were blindsided by issues where we least expected it.
Because of these difficulties and the amount of work Brian and the kids were putting in to learn French and make their way in their world, we felt like we had unfinished business as the first year drew to an end and wanted to give ourselves more time in France.
Now we find ourselves here after a second fall and winter in France and while in many ways, everything around us remains the same, we feel like new people. The kids changed schools for this year and the difference has been night and day: they are now both growing and thriving and really enjoying themselves. And their French abilities have really blossomed. Brian’s French levels are continually improving, as is his sense of Euro style. It is crazy how many times people see him and think he’s French. (This is not something that ever happens to me :-) )
Mostly though, what we notice is how at home and comfortable we feel navigating Paris and greater France. Because of that we’ve decided to stay a third year to really make the most out of this opportunity. One area we continue to try and take advantage of is the chance to travel and explore during the numerous school breaks. Year 1 we explored Brittany, France (Oct break), Portugal (Dec), Amsterdam/Rotterdam (Feb), Provence, France (April). Year 2 is Barcelona/Bilbao, Spain (Oct), Copenhagen, DK/Alicante, Spain (Dec), Morocco (Feb), and Dordogne, France (April). Year 3, who knows? Hopefully we’ll eventually get all of these trips documented here, as well as the occasional musing on everday life living the France Project.