Why I’m Excited to Move to Paris (Later Today)

So I’m taking off for Paris… tonight, around 10 pm! I”m really excited but also nervous… What if the family doesn’t like me? What if I’m truly incapable of driving stick?

In other news I was featured on IAMPACKED.com! I shot this picture of my travel essentials which they then featured on their website. I truly cannot live without my Kindle and cameras, and now that I’ll be a Parisienne I will naturally need some red lipstick.

Side note – Isn’t my brand new EOS just gorgeous? Sigh.

Anyway, here are the reasons I’m excited to move to Paris. (Which I still can’t believe is happening.)

Excited to move to Paris

So here the stuff I’m incredibly excited about. I think this list says a lot about my priorities. (Cheap wine is so low just for appearance’s sake, I assure you.)

1. City life

Moving back to my quiet suburban town after four years in Chicago was a bit of a change. It turns out I’m just really not cut-out for suburban life. I hate malls, I can barely drive and I think being home alone in a house is scary… there are just too many entry points!

I’m excited to be able to walk to my morning latte and to take a cab home after a night out at the club. It’s just more of my natural habitat, shall we say.

2. Farmers Markets


It’s wild game season in France, which means there will be lots of game meats like wild boar and pheasant, as well as fall produce like mushrooms, truffles and chestnuts. I’ve spent five summers in Europe but have never gone in any other season, so it will be exciting to see what fall, winter and spring have in store.

This winter will also be my first snow-free winter, knock on wood.

3. Cheap wine

Decent wine in the U.S. is at least $15 a bottle. In France you can buy a good wine for $5! That’s a huge plus.

4. French

I’m excited to take on a new language. For the past three summers I have been working in Paris and while I have learned some French, I never took it in school so I have a shaky foundation. When everyone back home says, “Oh, so you must be fluent!” I have to woefully shake my head. No longer!

While I’m apprehensive about going back to school (ugh… when will I be a grown-up again?), now it’s all in the name of a language I’m dying to speak! (And only six hours a week, which helps.)

5. Friends

Some of my very close friends live in Paris, and there are a few other people in Europe that I’m excited to see. I am also hoping to make lots of new friends, and am going to amp-up my networking. I even have plans to grab coffee with a few travel bloggers!

Overall I’m just happy to have a new start and to try something I’ve never done before…  living in Europe for nine months. I live for adventures and surprises so I can’t wait!

So what do you think about the reasons I’m excited to move to Paris? Good ones or not so much?

I would love comments if anyone has some tips on how to parallel park and drive stick. I truly do not know!

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

23 thoughts on “Why I’m Excited to Move to Paris (Later Today)”

  1. Dear Ashley,
    I just wrote a long comment, and my quick machine erased it! Darn.

    I love everything you are doing and thinking, and proud to be your Gamma.
    I can’t drive stick shift anymore, but I know you can learn, but not having driven much in traffic like Paris–you need
    to have someone be with you several times to catch on to their rhythm, which is different from America

    Will be thnking about you and all your new learnings.


    • Aw thank you, Gamma. I love receiving your comments :). I will try my best with the stick shift, I’ll just need to test drive the car before I brave the Parisian traffic. I will call you before I leave today… and see you at Christmas!


  2. have a safe flight! looking forward to hearing about your new adventures via your blog.

    and i have been living in europe for a while now and havent even attempted driving stick…or driving anything here. small roads and snow (which it is currently doing here in oslo) scare the crap out of me. ill just stick to the magical thing that is european public transportation ;)

    on another note, it costs $5000 to get a license here. that is $5000 better spent somewhere else for me.

    • Thanks, Megan!! Oh my god that’s so expensive, I wonder if I’ll need a French license as well. Hopefully it will be expensive and then I’ll have an excuse not to drive :P

    • Salut Ashley!

      You don’t have to get a French driver’s license. You can use your US license and in the process, benefit from much more sympathy from French law enforcement. Remember that certain driving rules we take lightly are very much followed and enforced: left lane is for passing only and no changing lanes across solid lines.

      Bon voyage et bon sejour!

    • Merci Alexandre! You may have just saved my life with your traffic advice, so thank you! I’m going to need all of the sympathy I can get from the French police, haha.

    • wow that is so nice to be able to use your US one. in norway you can only use it for three months than you must convert…and spend an arm and a leg for a norwegian one. sucks.

    • That is really annoying :(. I’m sure Norway is gorgeous though, I’ve always wanted to see the fjords. So there’s that!

  3. Hi Ashley,

    We love you so much!! Have a great time in Paris and see you for 2 weeks at Christmas.

    Love Mom and Dad

  4. These are very good reasons :)
    I would focus much more on public bicyles, lowcost flights and high speed trains to travel than on driving a car.
    And sharing cars has became much more popular recently.
    I wish you the best for your new adventure.
    Bon voyage ;)

    • Thanks, Pierre! Hopefully I won’t have to drive at all, public transit is amazing in Europe anyway :)

    • Thanks, Amanda! I’m glad to have you along. I love the name of your travel blog by the way, how clever :)

  5. That’s exciting that you’re moving to Paris! I have a friend who worked as an au pair in Montmartre and she loved her year there. In terms of parking, I remember seeing Parisian drivers literally bump into the car behind them just to make sure they were in…weird! Wouldn’t want to have a nice car in that city.

    • I’ll just have to stick to walking around and taking the subway… hopefully no one bumps me! And I love Montmartre, it’s such a fun, bohemian area with lots of great shopping. I’ll be posting lots of photos of Montmartre I’m sure :)

  6. By “stick” I assume you mean manual gearbox? If so it should come naturally after a short period of time. Or maybe a couple of lessons will help?

    With the parking you might need to consider that they park bumper to bumper in Paris so getting in and out could be tricky.

    Paris (as you know) is a wonderful city. You’ll love the diversity and always have something to do in your free time.

    Try The Frog and Princess / Frog and Roastbeef (Roisbef???) pubs if you can, lots of character. One is just off Boulevard St Germain.

    My friends lived in Paris for a year. Loved much of it but hated the sudden strikes which brought things to a grinding halt.

    • Yes, manual. I struggle enough with driving as is so I’m not looking forward to it! And I will look out for the Frog and the Princess pubs, that sounds really cute. And who doesn’t love a good pub?

  7. How exciting! I have never been to Europe and Paris is #1 on my list so I am really looking forward to hearing about life there. I can’t imagine trying to drive there – you are a brave soul! Bon chance et bon voyage!

    • The subway definitely does without a doubt, haha. So far I’m really enjoying myself, the food is my favorite part of living here for sure. I’ll be keeping up with your adventures as well!

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