Relocating to Chicago: A French / USA Alliance!
As my husband is American, I knew from day one of dating that we’d run into cultural differences. Although, he is pretty easy going and is used to foreign cultures (he has lived outside of the US for nearly a decade), we still have our moments of utter disconnect. Living abroad is hard, even with a strong support network.
Living abroad was always my dream. When I was in Paris, I was always looking for a way to escape my French life. Since leaving I have come to know and love my country more than before, but I don’t plan on returning anytime soon. Despite challenges, living abroad has helped me become a better version of myself (I have still a lot of room for growth!). I continue to learn and reflect and the process hasn’t grown old (I don’t think it ever will).
A few things I’ve learned thru expatriation:
1. If all else fails, rely on yourself.
2. Surround yourself with people you trust.
3. Distance has made me appreciate home, my roots, family and friends more than ever.
4. Life is best when you do the things you say you will.
5. It’s best to appreciate the moment and accept differences
6. Solitude and independence make it easy to know what one wants AND what one doesn’t want (carve out some time for yourself).
7. You are in control of your own attitude. A positive and flexible one goes a long long way.
8. Bad things can be the best things.
9. Managing people’s expectations is key, and can be very difficult amidst cultural differences. Communication is the key!
10. Don’t be afraid to take risks and stand alone and show the world what you’re capable of.
Cécile lives in Chicago though is originally from southern France. She’s an avid traveler and is always excited by new adventures. After living in Ireland, Australia and Canada, Cécile is an advocate of having a routine but not staying comfortable for too long.