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! 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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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Uganda. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Colorado. She's been to forty countries but somehow still gets lost in her home town. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour magazine.
Ashley Fleckenstein