{EXPATRIATED} Ashley from Ashley Abroad

Friday 30 August 2013

Sometimes I get the impression that people think we are crazy for leaving all that we are familiar with behind for a life overseas but we aren't the only ones that have chosen this lifestyle.  In fact, there are a lot of us and many of us blog about it.  Expatriated is a series to introduce you to other expat bloggers.

It's been quite awhile since I've had an Expatriated interview but it's high time to get back on track.  Today, I'm happy to share Ashley's story - she's been living in one of Europe's most coveted cities and while I've featured another expat in this same location, it's always so interesting to hear different perspectives.  After all, our experiences abroad are personal and dependent on so many different factors.

With that being said, welcome Ashley!

-How did you end up in Paris and what inspired you to make the move?  Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m from the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. and now reside in the suburbs of Paris, France. Moving to France was never part of my long-term plans but I landed a job as an au pair through friends and took it on a whim after graduating. I came because I had a lifelong dream to learn French and wanted to learn more about the culture, history and cuisine of France. Especially the cuisine.

-What is the best part of living overseas?
I love living abroad because of the other expats you meet- I find we have really similar attitudes on how life is an adventure and should be lived to the fullest.
I also love being surrounded by a foreign language and culture- it makes every day an experience, and even the most commonplace activities feel exotic and fun.

-What do you miss most about home (besides friends & family?)
Hm… I certainly miss cheaper prices- anyone has ever sent out their dry-cleaning in France knows what I mean. I also miss Mexican food with all my heart.
-What was the most difficult thing to adjust to in the France?
The most difficult thing for me was adjusting to living with a family after four years of living on my own in college. Especially at the beginning it was hard to get used to sharing my space and living where I work.

-Any funny ‘whoopsies’ while adjusting to your new life?
Definitely, and mostly with language. Even though I would say my French has improved a lot I still make really silly blunders to this day- like when my friend was telling me about his fishing trip and I responded,”Oh that’s great, how many peaches did you catch?” Oy.

-Saving graces?  
I’m so grateful that I have a supportive family back home- to this day I don’t think I have ever heard a discouraging word from either of my parents. And a few months back my mom and little sister came all the way to France to visit me and we took a road trip down the French Atlantic coast all the way to Spain- it was incredible!
-What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your time in Paris?
That I can live my life abroad if I choose to do so. I had always pictured myself in the states but now know that there’s a whole world out there to be explored and lived in.

-If you had the chance to move elsewhere in the world, where would you go and why?
This question is on my mind all the time… but for now I’d love to live in a city with great weather. I’ve spent too much time in cities like Chicago and Paris- year-round sunshine would be nice!

-Any advice for the newly expatriated?
Be patient- the first several months are the hardest, and it can be difficult to create a circle of friends. And buy Skype minutes for those days when you're really homesick and just need to talk to someone back home.


Thank you Ashley.

If you happen to be heading to Paris, definitely check out Ashley's blog.  She shares all sorts of tips to help you experience the best of France's capital city.

Previous Editions of Expatriated


  1. What a great series - so interesting! I love Ashley's peaches story...too funny!

  2. Hi Ashley! I'm so jealous of you living in Paris, although I am only 2 hours away by train in London, I've always had a dream of learning to speak French and renting a teeny Parisian flat for a year.

  3. Love Miss Ashley :) Paris definitely misses her!

  4. I love these inspiring stories of expats! One year was enough for me in Spain. I realized that I can't live without my family.

  5. I think the hardest part of living overseas would definitely be leaving family behind but am glad that you're having such a fabulous time!

  6. I totally live in France vicariously through Ashley :)

  7. Thanks so much for featuring me, Jay, and everyone for their sweet comments! Here's to continuing to enjoy the fabulous expat life :)

  8. Love Ashley and her blog! And could not agree more about teh support system - if you don't have people encouraging you to stay strong abroad, it'd be near impossible!

  9. good for her taking that job right out of college! i wish i had moved abroad earlier in life

  10. This is such a great series! Travelling is great, don't get me wrong, but by far I enjoy the expat life. I feel like I am learning and growing every day! Every day in Hong Kong is an adventure. I can't ever picture moving back to Canada!

    1. I completely agree Oneika - we learn so much more about a place while living there versus just visiting and I'm definitely not ready to give that up!

  11. Yes, I love this series on your blog. Nothing like finding about more like minded individuals to make me remember how awesome life is! Loved getting to know more about you Ashley! x

  12. Love this series & already enjoy Ashley's blog tremendously! x


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