FRIENDS!! I’m sure if you’ve been following my personal account on Instagram @anastasiachansen that you’ve seen that I’ve made a very BIG life move! I’ve moved to PARIS! After a brilliant combination of things happened in my life, I decided to make an exciting move to put my job on hold, sell my car, put my house on Airbnb, and move across the ocean!
Moving to Europe has been a goal of mine pretty much since I graduated college. I work full time in management consulting (blogging is my second full-time job), and did a bit of work abroad in temporary project work in Europe. You might have noticed that our travel section at It’s Not Hou It’s Me massively increased starting in 2016 as I bounced across Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and Spain leading sexy software implementations. The day job and blog responsibilities kept me busy and satisfied in Houston, so I never fully investigated the logistics of permanently transferring abroad, but the thought was always there. I was looking back on old notes I had done ahead of performance rating calls for work dating back to 2015 and “move abroad” was always at the top of the list…and still is!
This January, my boyfriend Kyle took a new job that transferred him to Europe. Once we got news of this move, I immediately looked into my job benefits and the logistics of what my company offers called “Future Leave.”
Side note: If you work for Accenture and are reading this. Look it up now. Best benefit ever.
What’s Future Leave?
Essentially, any employee who’s been with the company for three years and is still in good standing (aka not about to get fired) can take up to three months off of unpaid leave. All you need to do is give your supervisor a heads-up and put in a 60-day notice.
With my five-year work anniversary coming up this summer (eek…5 years!!), I submitted the paperwork and put in my notice to move to Paris over the summer. We’ve been doing the long distance thing for a while–and while I love waking up at 5am to FaceTime with him for a few minutes on his lunch break, it’s much more exciting to say “I love you” in person. I’m sure anyone who has ever done a sliver of long distance relationships could agree.
Fun Fact: Kyle’s first rotation was in Frankfurt. Odd I chose Paris in the summer over Germany in the winter, right? LOL. Check out my guides during our whimsical winter travels in Germany and Switzerland: Frankfurt, Bern and Grindewald.
How are you paying for this?
With “Future Leave,” I still get to keep my benefits and have a job when I return, so one less thing to stress about there. Leading up to the trip, I managed to save a few of my paychecks, sold my car, and put my house on Airbnb for some rental income throughout the summer and plus some income through the blog!
Want to put your house on Airbnb and make dollaaaz on the side too? Click here to use my referral link. Want to share my love of travel? Get $40 off your first stay with Airbnb with my link here. You can also shop (or judge) my wardrobe on Amazon here.
What will you be doing?
I’ve been very intentional about leaving all my options open for this summer. As I’m taking time off work, I want to use my time in Paris to do things that I haven’t had time to do when I’ve had a crazy full time job… a growing blog… a packed travel schedule… and a team of 12 people. Firstly, breathe!
But also, I’m very much focused on using these three months as a period of personal discovery and growth. Somethings I have in the back of my mind include deciding where I want to take the blog, what I want to be when I grow up, and learning something new.
One of my top strengths at work is “Activator” which means I want to do things now and I like a full packed schedule of activities. I’m intentionally trying to reverse that while I’m here in Paris and leave space for imagination and spontaneity. I honestly can’t remember the last time I haven’t had a full-time job, a summer job, an internship, a packed summer camp schedule or classes. Middle school? Elementary school? Now!
It will be exciting to see how I can break the many, many years of packed schedules and crazy routines to sleep in, read books, meditate and go on long walks. Thus far, I’ve found a yoga studio, a run club, and a neighborhood pool, and (more importantly?) a wine bar that I plan to be a local at. If you’ve been following my Instagram stories, most days I pick a card from this Paris City Walks deck and wander around the city to see a new neighborhood.
Do you know any French?
No! But I’m learning. Holla Duolingo app is actually pretty helpful. And after studying abroad in Santiago, Chile and taking engineering classes there for six months, I speak Spanish pretty fluently. I’m sure you’ve seen my phone screenshots in Spanish), thus I have a solid base for understanding (at least reading) romance languages. Thus far, I haven’t been super inconvenienced by not knowing French (everywhere I’ve traveled–expect for Morocco, you can basically get by with English). I’ve been going to yoga in French daily and signed up for 4 weeks of French classes at Accord French Language School.
But what about the blog…!
Still here! First, there’s two of us writing and sustaining all the super exciting content from Houston and abroad. Secondly, I now finally have time to write, edit, and publish a TON of blog content that’s been on the back burner for months due to the craziness of my job–including a TON of cool Houston things. Not to mention, I’ll inevitably be traveling a bunch while I’m here in Europe, so stay tuned for up-and-coming travel guides.
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It’s Not Hou It’s Me will continue to be your go-to guide to all things awesome in Houston and around the world. For a behind the scenes look at everything I’m doing, follow my personal Instagram @anastasiachansen for adventures and highlights on daily life in Paris. This summer is going to be an ongoing experiment of stories, photos, and content that bring to life the person behind the blog!
If you’re itching to read some travel posts right now, check out my latest blogs about France and Europe. To shop my Parisian outfits and the France street style, click here for my Amazon recommendations on clothes, accessories, and packing.
What happens next?
United States citizens can stay in the Schengen Zone of Europe for up to 90 days without a visa. So I’ll be here until that expires and I (hopefully) come to a decision as to where I want to go next with my career, my home location, am I Parisian yet, etc. Until then #ItsNotHouItsParis, follow my adventures at @anastasiachansen on Instagram. I #WishHouWereHere 🙂