I have lived in Paris for exactly 3 weeks.
Okay wow that sentence is still really scary to write, much less actually believe! The last few weeks have felt that a dream and I’m not sure when I’m going to wake up.
As many of you may know, after graduating from the University of Georgia in May with a degree in Mass Communications, I decided to spend the next year in Paris as an au pair for a French family. After a few Skype calls, many emails, and one visa later, I was ready to start this next chapter in my life.
My mom and I left for Paris on September 5th. I am so thankful she was able to come over with me for a few days, making the unpacking and settling in a little easier! When we landed in Paris, we headed straight over to my new home. I live in the 8th arrondissement which is one of the financial districts, north of the Seine. That day I was able to unpack my bags in my new (pink!) room and meet my kids. They were all so sweet and welcoming to both my mom and me, giving us a tour of the house and even making me a welcome sign. I brought “Destin, Florida” t-shirts as gifts and they loved them! The youngest even wore hers to school the following day, insisting on showing all her friends where her new au pair was from. The next day, my mom and I met my host mom back at the house for lunch. It was so exciting to finally meet her! After lunch, she walked us all around my new neighborhood showing me shops, grocery stores and cafés I should check out. She gave me the next few days off to spend time with my mom and explore Paris a bit so we said goodbye to her then until Sunday.
We made the most of our mini-vacay. We went to Musée d’Orsay, walked through Jardin des Tuileries and up the Champs Élysées, ate amazing food, and watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night. The best part of the trip, we both agreed, was our day-trip to Versailles. (Pro tip: go there early in the morning to beat the afternoon crowds.) We walked though the beautiful gardens and toured the grand palace. Neither of us had been before but we both decided we would definitely be back! We picked up lunch from a charcuterie and deli in the town of Versailles and ate on a park bench before catching our train back home. It was very idyllic and felt very French~
Saying bye is never easy. But Sunday came and my mom and I said goodbye with only a few tears. As she left for the airport, I officially moved into my new home and began my next chapter.
Since then, I have been working on getting adjusted to my new life in Paris! I’m learning my new routine with the children, working the metro and bus system, meeting new au pair friends, and only locking myself out of my house once! Last week I started French lessons which is good because my French repertoire currently only consists of: bonjour, merci, au revoir, and baguette. I’m slowly starting to get a routine here, which has been nice.
Nearing my one month mark in Paris, I put the pressure on myself to finally finish this site and my first post. The idea behind calliekaltz.com is two-fold. One: I wanted a space to update friends and family on things I’m doing in the next year, especially since I’m so bad about posting pictures on Facebook! Two: I wanted a creative outlet to foster growth in writing, video editing, and any other creative outlet I feel called to in the next year. The year ahead for me is going to be about listening to myself and learning more about what makes me happy. Eventually, I’ll use this site as a digital resume of sorts because, yes Dad, I promise I’m going to get a big-girl job at some point!! I’m excited to see where this site goes and where the next year takes me. I hope you’ll join me on this journey, wherever it leads!