Translation: The Grand Experiment.
That is what I will be embarking on at the end of October. I am moving to Paris – for a month.
A little while back I came to the realization that I am not going to get full-time work before the end of the year. Instead of bemoaning that fact, I started thinking about what I might be able to do with this time and freedom. The jobs that I do have, pay me pretty good money, and more importantly, I can do them remotely. So, I decided to spend a month in Paris, not as a tourist but as someone who is living and working there.
I have rented a tiny apartment on my favorite street and signed myself up for a semi-intensive language course. And I’m just going to “be” in Paris. While I have been to the City of Light many, many times, the longest I’ve been there was for about ten days, and my previous stays were always vacations where I stayed in a hotel and the days were packed with things to do and see. With this month, I want to try and experience, at least a little bit, what it might be like to actually live in Paris. Yes, I’ll be working, as I said. I’ll also be cooking my meals, doing laundry, trying to exercise and keeping the apartment clean – you know, the everyday stuff I do here in Dublin, just in Paris.
When I had decided to make the move to Europe, I did talk to companies in Paris and it was a real possibility that I could have ended up there. I am so glad I wound up in Dublin because I think Paris as my first expat destination could have ruined my favorite city for me (you can read my ruminations on this here). But now, I am nearly three years into my expat experience and Paris does loom as a possibility. Professionally speaking, it has a very strong animation industry with several studios I would be happy to work for, and it’s fairly common knowledge that there is a real shortage of animation writers there as well, which is something I could definitely work to my advantage.
The language course is also a big part of my reasons for committing to this month in Paris. My French is pretty abysmal considering how often I visit. And I’m not being modest here – it’s truly awful. I don’t have a knack for languages at all. I am hoping that a month-long course that includes two hours of small group instruction per day, might help me turn the corner with my French. While I don’t necessarily need to speak French to work in the animation industry in Paris, I feel I do need a very strong grasp of it to live there or it would be a very lonely, frustrating life. So, hopefully after the month, I will be able to do more than order a glass of wine in a restaurant. Though seriously, if there is one thing you should learn how to say in French, it’s that (Je voudrais un verre de vin, s’il vouz plaît.).
A couple weeks ago, a friend asked me if I was tired of Dublin. The answer is no, not by a long shot. I am not spending this month in Paris because I want to leave Dublin. If the work stays steady, I could definitely see myself staying here for at least a few more years. But, as I said earlier, while I have the freedom to do so, why not give Paris a whirl? I would like to see if I realistically think I could live and work in the city, and be happy. Paris will always be a part of my life and I know that at the very least I will continue to visit on an annual basis, but could it be something more?