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Posts from the ‘Expat Life’ Category

Learning French- No class required

Most people would probably agree that learning another language is a valuable skill. I certainly do, and that’s why I am in France. However, although many of us would like to learn another language, we can’t always just uproot ourselves and move to another country. Nevertheless, that is not an excuse for not trying to become bilingual.

Thanks to this marvelous system of interconnect computers known as the internet, it seems that you can learn almost any language– and do so for free. Before that, most of us probably learned French through this gem:

If you just watched that YouTube clip, then you’re either giddy with nostalgia or very confused. Let me know which by leaving a comment.

Without further delay, here are my resources at the moment, in no particular order:

1. FrenchPod101.com

This is service isn’t free– but the podcast is. Just search for “French Pod 101.” The only downside is that you’ll have to sift through the episodes because they’re not broadcasted in a progressive order. On Monday, they may post a beginner less, but then Tuesday they may post an advanced session.

The premium service is only $25 per month, and the resources available on the website are plentiful. There are audio lessons, flashcards, quizzes, etc. You can create a dashboard based on your level and listen to the audio lessons that consist of daily French conversations and read along with the transcript for anything you don’t understand. Afterwards, you can add the vocabulary words to your flashcard deck just by clicking a button. You’ll learn common French expressions, grammar, and also French culture.

They also offer the same resources for many other languages, including English, Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Polish, etc. 

2. News In Slow French

Again, this is a website, but it also offers a free podcast. This is my personal favorite at the moment. However,  I don’t recommend this to beginners. If you’re still trying to learn basic phrases and vocabulary, then hold off on this for a couple months– or not, maybe just use it as secondary study. I use this everyday while I’m on the train and metro.

News in Slow French is simply that: the week’s news spoken in slow French. Catherine and Rylan share the week’s top news stories while speaking slowly and enunciating each word so that you can train your mind to listen and comprehend while not feeling too overwhelmed. This is a great way to practice listening comprehension and acquire new vocabulary. Repetition is key. Pick about 4-5 podcasts and listen to them repetitively throughout the week after reading along with the transcript a few times first.

I love this program because I’m expanding my vocabulary in a practical manner by learning words that I’d want to know immediately. It also offers grammar lessons, and teaches a new French expression each week. However, this is only available through the subscription, which is also pretty cheap. I think I paid $100 for the entire year or something around that price.

The only downside I can think of is that now I have an irrational fondness for Rylan and Catherine. I really want to meet them and to know what they look like. I’d like to say thank you for  offering an awesome podcast. Maybe we can grab lunch. This is a usual side-effect that I suffer from while becoming a regular listener to a podcast. They have very nice voices and Rylan sounds like a very animated and funny guy. I think we should be friends.

3. Le Petit Quotidien

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One of the kids has a subscription to this and I keep stealing them. These are a great resource to practice reading and acquire new vocabulary– but since it’s for children, the writing isn’t complicated. This also makes them perfect for a beginner to lower intermediate because you can focus on acquiring new vocabulary while not feeling intimidated by an overwhelming amount of complicated grammatical structure. Instead, you reinforce the grammar you have already learned while picking up maybe only a couple new structures.

The stories are fun and often come with supplemental information. The pictures help by providing context clues and visual aids to remember and recall what you’ve learned.

Each issues covers vocabulary, current events, the weather, etc. Additional information varies, but from these I’ve learned French vocabulary for geography, earth science, cultures, etc. You’ll learn by reading about fun educational topics that range from “How Earthquakes Work” to “What is Racism?” In all seriousness, that was one of the headlines for one of the editions earlier this week. It’s a great tool for youth education. Does anyone know if the New York Times has something like this available for kids in the United States? If not, they absolutely should.

Although the resources that I’ve just listed pertain particularly to French, there’s most likely an equivalent out there for most languages. However, if anyone reading this is interested in finding resources for another language, then please leave a comment and I’d be glad to take on the challenge and see what I could find!

But of course, it goes without saying that the best way to improve your language learning process is to TALK. TALK. TALK. TALK.

And I know: it’s easier said than… said done. I have difficulty seizing the opportunity to practice and I actually live in France. But there’s resources for that too that I’ve recently found!

I’ll continue that topic next week. Bisous!

For more resources, check out my other article about Learning French Through YouTube

Pardon My English

I came to Paris without having studied French other than a month or so before I left. Before then, my knowledge of French didn’t extend much beyond silly phrases from childhood cartoons– such as this:

We all loved this guy back in the day...

We all loved this guy back in the day…

I think it would be informative for me as well for others for me to recount what methods are working for me and which ones are not.

If you or someone you know is trying to learn another language, particularly French, then perhaps you’ll find this useful– and also, I’d love to hear from you.

What I have found to make this process difficult is the following:

Paris is inundated with English.

Paris is a #1 tourist destination and receives something around 20 or so million visitors per year. In result, English is everywhere. It’s the language of business and commerce, and therefore, it is the language world. Most locals and tourists can speak decent English and often use it on  a daily basis. This is great when you’re a tourist visiting for a few days, but not when you’re trying to learn French while living in Paris. The French immediately pick up your accent and will often switch to English.

However, I will not pin this as rude. I’ve read quite a number of blogs or heard accounts of people being offended when the French switch to English. If you visit and this happens to you, don’t take offense. It’s not because they don’t like your accent, it’s because they’re trying to accommodate you and they’re probably excited to practice English too. Just keep replying in French. If it’s someone you’re comfortable with or know personally, then ask them to speak to you in French.

On a related note, don’t feel intimidated to speak French (this is an issue I battled with everyday as well). Immediately address people here in French– and always precede your encounters by greeting them with “bonjour.” It means a lot to them for you to at least take a stab at French while asking for directions, even if you’re awful at it. (Which is another topic I’d like to address in the future.)

Before I left for Paris, I heard many stories about Parisians being rude and criticizing foreigners’ French. I’ve yet to feel any criticism or judgment. Yes, I have witnessed some confused expressions from those who couldn’t make sense out of whatever I managed to garble out. I honestly think that most feelings of being judged derive from one’s own lack of confidence.

Worst case scenario involves me giving up and apologizing. I often say (in French), “I’m sorry. I still learning French.” And that often eases the situation.

But really, English is everywhere.

Right now, I’m writing this article in a Starbucks in Opèra. They’re playing Christmas music– in English of course, and I’m referring to all the classics and contemporary renditions: Frank Sinatra to Michael Bublé. I feel more up-to-date on American cinema than I’ve been in the past few years. Most films are available in “V.O.” or “Version Originale” with French subtitles. Furthermore, going to the movies here is much cheaper, so I enjoy it much more often than I used to back home.

All in all, if you’d like to learn French in Paris, go for it! It’s available as long as you’re disciplined– but if you want to learn English too, that’s plenty available.

In my opinion, most key factors to learning a language, derive from motivation and discipline. I don’t care what articles are out there ranking how difficult one language is compared to another. I don’t agree with them. If you’re motivated and disciplined enough to learn, then you will learn.

In my past 3 months, I’ve picked up so much more French than I’ve expected to– and I want to share my tips and resources with everyone because I think I’ve found some great stuff that’s helpful! So for the next few weeks, I’ll be posting about this subject.

In the meantime, here are the simplest, yet most essentials tips. For anyone who has researched the best ways to learn a language, you’ve heard this over and over again, but my experience so far prove them to be axiomatic.

1. Stay disciplined. Study and practice every day.

2. Incorporate all facets of comprehension and production on a daily basis: listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

3. Go out of your comfort zone. Walk around and meet other people who only speak that language and make friends. You may spend a long time struggling to communication, but nothing expedites the process faster than immersion.

Thanksgiving in Paris

Yesterday it was Thanksgiving in the United States, and the few days preceding the holiday were perhaps the first times that I truly felt subtle twinges of nostalgia. Perhaps it was the Facebook posts from friends excited to visit home, or perhaps it’s because the Starbucks in Opéra where I study French began to incessantly play American Christmas music weeeeeeeeks ago.

In the months prior to leaving the US, my occasioned thoughts about spending the holidays alone  and abroad often caused my imagination to picture myself with my laptop playing illegally downloaded holiday films while eating whatever form of “pumpkin spice” anything I could forage in Paris.

But on the actual day of Thanksgiving, I did not have time to even acknowledge those feelings of homesickness, let alone stew in them. Instead, I spent much too long trying to hunt down cranberry sauce.

First I tried Le Bon Marché, where I found a foreign food aisle labeled “USA”

This was a fantastic experience, because I was able to able theorize on the following questions:

  1. What do the French or Parisians think of as what Americans buy in the market and consume at home?
  2. What can Americans buy in Paris from Le Bon Marché when they miss home?
  3. What does Le Bon Marché think of as cuisine that is indicative and representative of the American diet and culture?

And from this aisle the answers include the following:

  • Ranch dressing
  • Beef jerky
  • Salsa and guacamole
  • Chili-flavored potato chips
  • BBQ sauce, yellow mustard, and relish
  • EasyMac
  • Cheese Whiz
  • LOTS of Planter’s peanuts
  • Popcorn but it was some French brand called “American Classic Foods.” This shouldn’t count. They need to sell Pop Secret, Butter Lover’s edition in order to place it in the USA aisle. Come on, France; I know ya’ll can do better.

Please note that cranberry sauce is not on the list. I was told I could find some there, so I felt dejected and slightly panicked because I needed to be home in an hour.

At one point, I  suffered from severe emotional whiplash: in about 1 second, I suddenly felt exalted and victorious, to absolutely crestfallen because I had (wrongly) thought that I had found cornbread. Turns out it was just  more of those damned Madeleines.

Eventually, I stopped following advice and typed “Thanksgiving in Paris” into Google…maps. Google Maps. Yes.

There is a rather famous stored located in the Le Marais area of Paris called Thanksgiving in Paris. You can take the metro to St. Paul  and walked to Rue St. Paul to get there. I found plenty of cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie filling, stuffing, gravy, and you can even order turkeys. And yes, there was also Pop Secret popcorn.

Of course, the moral of this fable blogpost is that Thanksgiving isn’t really about cranberry sauce, despite my over-investment into locating a can of that crap. The actual point of this blogpost is to recount the particular memory that kept running through my head while I was thinking about Thanksgivings back home these past few days.

Thanksgiving and the winter holidays back home is a time to be with family– however, my family back home doesn’t consist of much than my mother and my sister. In result, you can imagine that cooking a turkey for three doesn’t leave you all that motivated… our participation in these winters holidays began to diminish when I was about 15 years old. We don’t even buy a Christmas tree anymore. So back home, my holidays are a bit lackluster.

I remember a few years ago when my mom and I were discussing what to do for Thanksgiving that year because all we would have was each other: why cook for three? What should we do instead? Go to the movies? A theme park? Vacation of some sort? No matter what alternative was conjured, nothing seemed to suffice.

To be honest, I can’t really recall how we came to our solution for our Thanksgiving crisis because it was so long ago. I don’t recall any “aha moment” or any flashes from lightbulbs that were hovering above our heads… it sort of just happened.

For however many years now, we’ve had what I’ve always called an “Orphan’s Thanksgiving.” We invite over whomever we can think  of that we know is alone for Thanksgiving. During our first Orphan’s Thanksgiving, within a matter of a couple of days, our empty holiday turned into a small-scale logistical mess of trying to plan and cook for 12 or so people. Our guests consisted of our friends who were most often foreign and living on their own in the United States. They often left family to either find work in the U.S. and/or go to school. Even though Thanksgiving is a holiday that does not exist in those other countries, its presence remains overwhelming. You can’t work and you don’t have school, and all of your American friends and co-workers have left to be with family. Even if you’ve never even heard of Thanksgiving, if you’re in the United States during that time, you can feel a bit left out.

Every year in college I’d invite any friend I had made who was studying abroad while my mom, sister, and I continued to have our regular guests attend. Our Thanksgiving family includes loved ones from Myanmar, Croatia, Puerto Rico, Nepal, Argentina, and so on. And despite spending the holidays with people that perhaps I’ve barely met or don’t know that well, it is those memories that I cherish most. Those Thanksgivings has been the most fun and it’s been great to meet so many people from everywhere without having to leave home.

This is the memory that kept replaying in my head these past few days; it’s my first Thanksgiving spent away from family, no matter how small or big my family is. What should I do? Cooking a turkey for for 1 is even sillier– and let’s be honest: it has nothing to do with finding a turkey. It’s spending hours cooking with my mother and being annoyed by her simultaneously; that’s the fun. So I’m applying the same solution here in Paris.

 

 

If you’re abroad or have been abroad for the holidays, I’d love to hear about that! If you’re interested in hearing more about Expats celebrating Thanksgiving check out NPR’s Project Expat

Serendipity While Sitting at the Train Station

Perhaps one of the most beautiful aspects about traveling or living in a new place is how– no matter what obstacles or mishaps occur– things always seem to turn out alright.

In the 2nd week of arriving in Paris, (and I mentioned this in a previous post) I managed to take 2 hours to get home. Why? Because my last train home that I had originally planned on taking was cancelled due to a strike.

For a local (and now, even me), this is not a big deal. There are plenty of other ways to get home. You can take a taxi, walk, ride a bike, or take a bus. But when you’re a 23 year old American girl who just arrived in a brand new country with no money, friends, or french vocabulary in order to get home, you start to get a little anxious.

Fast-forwarding through the stumbled, mucked-up Franglish conversation that I had at 1am with the info kiosk, I found the night bus that I needed to take home. However, now I am standing alone at a bus stop at 1:30 in the morning, surrounding by a bunch of people that I don’t know and I cannot strike up conversation with because I can’t say anything beyond “Hello” and “how are you,” let alone, “is this right bus? Would you happen to know which stop I need to get off at to get home?”

And of course, this is the part of story where I manage to meet a very nice stranger named Peterson who speaks English. He asks me, “you’re not from here?” Nope. I’m not. Apparently, it’s that obvious. I probably looked stressed out.

Peterson helps me get on the right bus, and he lets the driver know that I’m foreign and new, and that I’ll need him to tell me which stop to get off from. Meanwhile while at the bus stop, we have good conversation– and he even teaches me some French. Unfortunately, I don’t have a phone, but I figured “Hey! Potential new friend! Can I have your e-mail address? We can strike up a deal for some language exchange.” That night, I am not more indebted to anyone than Peterson, who went out of his way to help me get home .

But sadly, I lost his e-mail address.

 

Let’s cut to about 7 weeks later. I’m a pro at taking the train, bus, AND metro home. Lost? Psh. Please. I finally know what I’m doing. One night, I am boarding the train home at platform 13 to catch the 22:35 ride back. I sit and sit and sit on this train and it doesn’t move. Also, no one else is sitting on this train. It’s now 22:35– what’s going on?

I look to my left and this is what I see: my actual train leaving from platform 13. I accidentally boarded the train on platform 14 and somehow didn’t notice. C’est la vie. So now it’s time to get off of the train I’m sitting on, and walk back down to the lobby area to wait for the next train home.

How on earth did I manage to miss my train when I arrive 15 minutes before its departure? How did I manage to not deduce from the empty car that perhaps I am NOT on the right train? And how on earth did I manage to read “Voie 14” and I think, “yep, platform 13. That’s my train, right there.”

I will probably never know.

At this point, I am slightly irritated. I am tired and I just want to go home. I sit down on my bench and start at the list of departures waiting for my 23:05 train to announce it’s platform. I have stuffed my headphones into my ears and am listening to some kind of music so that I don’t have to talk to strangers because tonight, I’m not just in the mood.

Apparently the person sitting on the bench to right of me begs to differ.

I can barely make him sight of him, but my peripheries do catch sight of someone waving at me to try and catch my attention. I ignore it.Sorry pal, but tonight is not your night. I’m tired and exhausted from being sick, and I want to go home. Nope, wave all you want; I’m going to continue to ignore you.

Ugh, okay fine. I’ll look and see what the hell you want from me.

It’s Peterson! Nothing could have perked up my night more. 7 weeks later, a lost e-mail, and an absent-minded, unintentionally made choice to sit on the wrong train allowed me to run into Peterson again. What are the odds of that?

Probably higher than I think– but for that moment, the serendipity was too sweet to spoil with statistics.

Photogenics: Père des pigeons

“Only the tourists feed the pigeons.”

That’s what I’ve been told– and yes, it seems to be true– and I’m sure it’s true for other places besides Paris. If I remember correctly, a friend of mine from New York City said they call them rats with wings.

Parisians love to picnic when the weather permits so– or rather, it begs so. So far, Paris in the summer and early autumn is absolutely divine… but pigeons pecking at your baguette or cooing nearby for crumbs can be quite irksome.

However, when I first arrived, I was walking alone the Seine near île de la Cité when I noticed this man feeding pigeons from his balcony. Unfortunately, I did not manage to snag a shot of a pigeon perched on his hand, but I swear this happened. He caught my eye with a pigeon perched on his thumb. To me, I thought he must be  a local living in the high balcony; I presume that there must be some kind of routine involved in being able to entice a bird onto his arm.

Pére des pigeons

I found the moment to be quaint, and it added to the picturesque setting that I was already saturated in, so I had to pull out my camera and try to snap the moment– and furthermore, it’s my proof that not only tourists feed the pigeons.

Photogenics: Sunset View from Pont des Arts

This is form Pont des Arts, which Pont Neuf behind me.

Fun fact: Every time I read and heard “Pont Neuf” I presumed it meant “bridge nine.” But nope, “neuf” can also mean “new.” It’s “new bridge.”

I took this photo in the evening; the sky was beautiful and I had to try to snag a shot. So far, I enjoy the sky here. For some reason, it always looks as though it can change colors form one end of my view to the other. For example, from outside my bedroom window once sunset starts, even at its earliest, the left side of my view will look like a light teal, but then it will morph into a dark shade of blue or pink. It’s as though two completely different skies are sharing the same space. I hope that makes sense.

To see it in its original size, which is slightly larger, just click on the picture.

Enjoy!

View from Pont Neuf

xx -J

How to Pack for a Move Abroad: Final post (for now).

Sometimes, I think that the deepest circle of hell would simply be a room where you are stuck having to pack your suitcase over and over again. Re-thinking what to bring and what to leave behind, and then realizing you forgot one thing or another, or not having it all fit, etc. I know that in my previous introduction I admitted that I love packing– but that doesn’t mean that I’m not willing to admit that in lieu of that fact, I must also have some masochistic tendencies.

So here it is! HOW TO PACK. Yes, the actual execution of the deed.

How to Pack:

This is section deserves an entire extended post for itself, so I’ll try to be as brief and concise as possible. I’m sure that I’ll continue to expand on this topic as the need arises, but here are the bullet points:

1. Pack larger and bulkier items first.

This includes things that cannot be folded, rolled, or molded in any way to jam into a crevice or lay flat. Anything that is in a box, case, etc. should be added first in order to pack other items that are either smaller or more malleable around it.

Examples are bottles, shoes, boxes, etc. It’s easy to jam in a jacket or extra pair of socks at the end of your packing marathon, but good luck trying to slip in that clunky hair dryer.*

*Side note: ask me about hair dryers sometime… I have my share of personal horror stories from toting them abroad that I assure would provide some insight if you’re considering it.

2. Space Bags. Look them up.

 

When you need to pack the puffy jacket, raincoat, 6 sweaters—and don’t forget your scarves— for the potentially eminent cold weather that may you encounter at your location, Space Bags are your best friend. They’ve allowed me to pack almost as twice as much clothing for the same space in a suitcase. They also protect clothing from any liquid you may have packed and could potentially spill during your journey.

On a related note, Ziploc bags are also awesome. If you’re packing any liquid, powder, etc. in your check-in luggage, put them it in  plastic Ziploc bags. If anything spills or explodes, it won’t ruin the other contents in your luggage.

3. Learn to fold and roll.

A 10-day trip to the Bahamas may allow you the freedom to toss your clothes into a carry-on, but packing to move abroad for a year or more doesn’t grant you that luxury. Folding and rolling will not only save space in your suitcase, but also the headache of a messy unpacking adventure when you finally arrive to your destination. I’ve tried to organize a closet jetlagged; it’s not fun. That would definitely be the sequel to that hell-circle of perpetual packing.

4. Save smaller items to stuff in last.

Things such as socks, underwear, tights, and tanktops, etc. can be stuck into the tiny crevices that exist in the edges of your suitcase and spaces between any clothing that you’ve zipped up in a space bag. I know that isn’t necessarily to most organized way to pack them, but in the end, when I re-packed my suitcase for the seventh time, saving the tights and socks to stuff into little pockets of emptiness was better for trying to fit everything inside.

As promised, here are some resources I found helpful:

How to Pack for a Move Abroad: Plan and Prepare

This is a continuation of the previous post re: How to Pack for a Move Abroad

I think the mere act packing for a trip can provide great life lessons and insight to one’s self. It forces you to think: what can I live without and what can’t I live without? Ultimately, that’s the question you’re answering whenever you’re packing for a trip, no matter how long or short of a trip that it is.

1. Research your country.

You should learn some essentials about your new home as soon as possible. In the near future, I’ll write about different way you can research your new home and add a link here, but for now, I’ll briefly advise some essentials to look up and learn:

• The weather.

Is it cold or is it how? How cold or hot? Does it rain a lot? How on earth will you know which clothes to pack if you don’t know what kind of weather to expect? This should outline your intentions about what clothes to pack (and possibly purchase before your departure).

In Paris, I know that their summers are brief and their winters are often rainy—and last much longer than any “winter” I’ve experienced in sunny Florida. However, being here these past few days, I wish I had packed a pair of shorts against the advisement of my friends.

• Their culture and economy—as well as yours.

Are certain items cheap or expensive? Do you plan on having an expendable budget for buying items such as clothes, toiletries, etc.? Do you want to blend in or stand out in regards to your attire?

When I visited China, I could buy many things cheap, but in France everything is more expensive—especially since I’m mentally converted all the euro prices into dollars. I actually just returned from the Monoprix store and found my favorite nail polish for sale for 11.90 € (euros)… that’s almost SIXTEEN dollars for an ounce of polish! Essie nail polish back home is at most $8.00:

So think thoroughly about what your budget will be and what you can and cannot live without, and figure out whether purchasing items in that country will be cheap or too expensive. I need to have contact solution and my fancy shampoo, but I’m not paying $16-20 a bottle when I could’ve stock up and brought it with me for less than half that price.

2. Write down what you need (and want) to pack.

What things MUST you take with you? And what things can you live without or wait to buy there?

Plan ahead and write it down—especially if you’re planning to purchase and pack a supply of something that you don’t want to buy over at your destination.

As a mentioned before, I stocked up on toiletries for the year (contact solution, tampons, shampoo, etc.) I had a friend who lived and worked in Switzerland for a year, and she hated having to spend what little extra income she had on essentials rather than being able to save it for something like going to dinner with friends. I actually just looked up how much it cost for me to purchase my shampoo here in France. The cheapest price was on Amazon.fr it’s cost was 60% of my weekly income. Granted, I’m not making a lot of money at the moment, but regardless I can’t spend 60% of my week’s income on shampoo alone, even if I do insist on that particular kind. So for now, I’m glad that I already brought some here.

Writing it down will also make the actual act of packing much less overwhelming. Opening an empty suitcase and thinking “now what?” always leave my mind blank. If that’s something you suffer from as well, then you’ll be glad to have that list.

Packing can be something done in an hour or two– or in my case a week or two. It depends on your personality, but regardless, it’s an essential step in traveling, but it’s significance is heightened when you’re moving to a place rather than just visiting.

Every step taken to a big move abroad is overwhelming. During my final hours back at home before my flight, I had to deal with many errands to complete and qualms to relieve; the last thing I wanted to do was pack, let alone figure out what to pack. So if you’re prepping for move abroad, whether it’s to study, work, etc. the advice from many that I’ve received is to take some time to plan what you can regulate and control– because plenty will be happening that you can’t!

Remember that the space in your suitcase is precious, and shipping things from back home or back to home is expensive. So unless you plan to have many friends and family members visiting regularly to some space to spare in their luggage, you’ve only got one shot at packing right.

Happy Travels,

xx – J

How to Pack for a Move Abroad- Introduction

I’m going to be honest from the get-go here: I love packing.

I’ll plan what to pack, pre-pack, and re-pack until my heart’s content. I’ll usually start planning what to pack for a trip the moment that it’s booked and sometimes even before. However, I know that most other (perhaps normal) people don’t share this passion for packing that I possess.

Although I agree that you can almost always pack for a two or three week trip the night before, there’s no way around the fact that packing for a move abroad must be done thoughtfully and ahead of time.

When I first began drafting this post, I realized that I could probably ramble on for pages—but I’d rather not. Just like packing, remaining concise is key.

Packing for a move— whether it’s temporary or permanent— is much different than packing for a trip. You’re not just visiting for a brief stint, but you’re planning to make someplace your home for a period of time that outlasts your travel-sized bottles of shampoo and toothpaste.

Therefore, I’m breaking this subject into several stages that I’ll post over the next few days. This allows me to still provide all the information that I’ve learned from my experiences, but it also allows you to pick and choose what you want to read.

For this topic, I offer the following:

• How to Prepare

• How to Pack

• Resources that I found helpful for more reading.

For those looking for information on how to pack for a trip and not necessarily a move, don’t worry. I think this should still be helpful and I’ll also provide links that I’ve used in the past for reference. How I packed for my move to France derives from my own lessons and readings from packing for various travel destinations.