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About six months ago, my boyfriend and I decided to move to Paris. I’ve previously visited it and documented everything for him so he was more than excited to see it as well. We both had lived in Toronto for the entirety of our adult lives and although we loved it, we both felt like there was more out there for us to experience. So we started comparing the cities:
- Friends & Family. We have been blessed with an amazing support system we’ve known all our lives and have basically been attached at the hip to. They have been there for us, from helping us with big decisions to everyday events like showing up with food and good company on those gloomy days. So we had to keep in mind that if we go ahead with this move, we will not see them whenever we’d like and can possibly risk growing apart.
- Same language. This may not be so obvious at first but to study, work and conduct everyday conversations in a country with their prominent language being French would definitely be hard to get by.
- Connections. We both are ambitious people in our careers (me in Fashion Marketing and my boyfriend in Photography), we had to consider leaving all of our acquaintances and anyone we’ve ever networked with that could possibly hand us an opportunity at our dream job on a silver platform (This may as well never happen but there’s always a chance right?)
- Familiarity. Humans are fundamentally creatures of habit and although I regularly check-in with myself to go against that and actively try new things and live in the moment, I couldn’t deny that knowing where everything is in the city, seeing familiar faces and knowing the ins and outs of the Torontonian culture was providing me with a sense of security.
- Community. I’m happy to have been raised in a city that consists of many different cultures and so the sense of community is strong everywhere you go. Not only is it a melting pot of cultures that reduces one’s encounters with intolerant people (although I have definitely ran into people that reduced me to my race and/or gender), Canadians are just unbelievably nice! Too nice some would say, and I am completely content with that coming from a big middle-eastern family where hospitality and manners are key.
- IT’S PARIS! That’s a plus in itself! It’s a capital for good food, leading fashion, and it’s very close to many other European city (cheap travel expenses for last minute getaways). Paris is a perfect mix of vintage and modern, fast-paced and leisurely, and innovation and tradition. Above all, we could see ourselves living there and loving it.
- The career aspect. Paris presents more opportunities for both of us to succeed in our careers. For me, to be able to work in the Fashion capital of the world would be incomparable to a smaller industry that is Toronto. For my boyfriend, since he is a street photographer he requires serendipitous opportunities that often requires foot traffic and beautiful backdrops that unfortunately come by rarely in Toronto.
- Find strength in struggle? Maybe. We are both individuals that have an instinctive need for self-growth both personally and professionally. We’re both happiest when we’re learning something from a difficult situation which has been a frequent scenario in both of our pasts. We’ve learned to appreciate the tough moments in our lives and be grateful that we’ve come out of them stronger people. So it would make sense why we would consider moving to Paris, however difficult it may be, if the end result would possibly satisfy us to our cores through seeing new things, meeting new people and finding more about what we want in life.
- Affordable Travel. Affordable travel to other cities and countries on our bucket list was certainly near the top of the pros list. When a train ticket to Venice is 11 euros, it’s hard to side with the opposing side.
After days (it did not take us long) of deliberation, we decided to go ahead and start the process of moving to Paris. It’s six months later and we just finished settling into our 30 metre-squared apartment and I can honestly say that the six months of slow bureaucracy with our visas and housing, and learning a language that proved to be more difficult than expected was worth it because this feels like the beginning of an exciting chapter.