Bonjour mes amis! I’m feeling pretty excited and borderline-obnoxiously smug. I just booked a one-way ticket to France!!!!!! The smug part of it is that I paid $20 for all of my flights from San Francisco to Paris. And I still have enough leftover airline points for at least 2 more round-trip plane tickets on Southwest.
This is the result of a lifestyle of meticulously calculated travel rewards credit card usage and semi-intense online research of airfare tickets. I didn’t make any special purchases, I simply used my credit cards for my normal expenses whenever possible (and made sure to sign up for any credit card I have during a large sign-up bonus point offer). Very important to pay off the balance in full every month, otherwise there are large interest rates. If anyone cares to know more about what I did, I am happy to go into details. I can also refer you to some resources where I learned some of my travel ninja ways:
Cheap airfare aside, there is the incredibly exciting detail that I’m moving to Strasbourg, France! I finally received my arrêté de nomination (work contract) in the mail. On annoyingly-sized European A4 paper and everything. And as I will be teaching English at a high school in the city (as well as teaching at a middle school in a suburb just north of the city), I will look for a place to live in Strasbourg itself!
The following is from an essay by Hanna Rosin as seen in the Lenny newsletter. Her essay describes her experience as a woman taking a leap and trying a totally new career in her 40s, starting as a noob. I will aim to keep this in mind if/when teaching English in France gets hard and I am trying to remember why I quit my stable, decent-paying job in my native country:
“When I was feeling especially incompetent, I tried to remind myself of what they say in the books: You will gain inner grit! Reimagine your life! Autopilot is death! And some evenings, as I was walking home from work, I could feel that these things were true. Every day I was exhausted, the way you are when you visit a foreign country. You don’t speak the language and everything takes too much time and the people don’t act the way you expect them to and you are functionally a child. But the days go by fast, because novelty is a kind of drug. I learned a ton of new things about myself, in the way you can only do if you are fucking up daily.”