Tuesday, September 29, 2009


It has been almost 9 years since I moved to France. On the days I walk the streets of Paris, I still can’t believe that I live so close to this wondrous city. I had been a Francophile for so many years and now I am here. I live about 35 minutes north of Paris via the RER train in a small village.

So how did I get here exactly? To answer that I will have to give you more background. I grew up in the industrial, steel city of Gary, Indiana and after college, I moved to Chicago. After 12 years in Chicago, I moved to LA in March of 1978. I can clearly mark this as my beginning of my wanderlust.

Why LA? Why not? The sun shines 90% of the year. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I thought I died and went to heaven. My career in advertising sales with magazines became incredibly fun and creative.

It was while I was working for Forbes magazine that I had my first opportunity to visit Paris. The moment I settled into my hotel in the 6th Arrondissement, I felt myself being taken in by this city. Then I ventured out into the streets to walk the city and I knew I was in love. To this day, whenever I view the Tour Eiffel…at any time, from any angle, my breath is taken away!

From that time forward, it seemed I was in Paris or somewhere in France at least every other year. My home was filled with things French…books, home furnishings, and catalogs. I had become a Francophile.

In October of 1999, I decided to take another vacation to Paris. Additionally, I might add, at this time in my life, I was 52 years old, running my own small business out of my apartment and taking Pilates lessons twice a week. My instructor knew I was going to Paris on vacation and during one lesson she mentioned that her husband had a French friend who was in LA on business. He was coming to their house one evening to go to dinner. Perhaps he could give me advice on some new things to do in Paris. I agreed never thinking it could be someone I would think of in a romantic sense. My instructor was not thinking that either. She was just being nice.

So after that evening lesson I met a man called Guy Benoit. That meeting is a whole story in and of itself. We were married in France in April of 2001 and “Voila comment l'aventure est arrivee” (that's how it is done)!

In France, I teach English as a foreign language in French companies. As for language learning, new French vocabulary and grammar will forever be part of my life. I love the cinema, to travel and experience new cultures and sights, do some photography and I read. Books near my bedside are mostly about other people’s experiences moving to another country. I, myself, have had a few stories published on “Bonjour Paris”.

Having this blog, hopefully, will inspire me to write more because there isn’t a day that goes by where there isn’t a story to tell. Certainly that is true when you live in a country that is not your own. C’est la vie!

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