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Let Me Catch You Up: What’s Happened Since We Left the US

A LOT.

Kevin ended up taking the job he was offered in France, and I decided to look for work once we arrived, while developing my own business on the side. We left the US for Europe in September, 2017, hopped around for about 6 weeks until we arrived in Montpellier, France, where we’ve been living and working since.Why I Quit my Teaching Job and am Moving Abroad.

You can read the plans we made before leaving in my official “Announcement” I posted on my teacher-blog in July, 2017 here–>

But as for after July 2017, here’s a quick summary:

Work

Since moving, we’ve continued to work, though we’ve both been trying to move towards 100% remote work. Kevin just completed his one-year contract with a job at a French University, but has continued to work for Savanna Institute.

As for me, after I tried several ways of teaching in France (private language academy, freelance tutoring, and an online ESL company), I decided I wanted to focus on completely remote, make-my-own-schedule work. I started developing my own teacher-resource business called Teacher Off Duty before we left for Europe, and since June I’ve been self-employed through that: writing curriculum, developing courses, and creating resources for teachers. Though transitioning from working with 200 people and a set paycheck to just myself and a variable paycheck has definitely had its ups and downs, it’s been one heck of a year. Wouldn’t change it for the world.

Travel

When we set off to live abroad, our goal was to travel as much as possible. When you’re in Europe, you might as well see it.

And while I’ve been working remotely since June, Kevin’s job this year tied him to an office during most weeks. However, he was given (a sparse) 42 paid days off as an entry-level employee. Yes. 42. As in 2 months. What? #Frenchlife.

After bills, we have stopped spending money on really anything but food and travel. We’ve been rocking the same outfits we came with a year ago and cook as much as possible, and have learned the tricks of the trade to find $20/night lodging and <$20 flights. So together with our time flexibility and finding crazy deals, when we do have an opportunity to take a $15 flight to London or Amsterdam…we try to do it.

If you’re a chronological kind of person, below is a running log of our travel. I plan to link posts back to the list below as we go. If you haven’t noticed, I won’t be posting blog posts in chronological order–so you can use this list to orient yourself.

Running Travel Log

September, 2017: (<–if it’s blue, you can click to see posts)

October, 2017:

On the last leg of our journey to France.

November, 2017

December, 2017

  • Paris, France

January, 2018

  • Carcassone, France
  • Uves, France

February 2018

  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Chamonix, France
  • Paris, France

March, 2018

April, 2018

  • Barcelona, Spain

May, 2018

  • London, England (Just Jeanne)
  • Nijmegen, Netherlands (Just Kevin)
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Brugges, Belgium

June, 2018

  • Angers, France
  • Andorra la Vella, Andorra

July, 2018

  • Cirque de Gavarnie, France
  • Paris, France
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Rome, Italy

August, 2018

  • Lyon, France
  • Couple day trips to nearby French towns

September, 2018

  • US for my brother’s wedding
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Munich, Germany

October, 2018

November, 2018

  • Oxford, England
  • Cambridge, England
  • Dorking, England
  • Stansted, England
  • Warsaw, Poland

December, 2018

  • Bialka Tatranska, Poland
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Córdoba, Spain
  • Granada, Spain

This life in between work—exploring new places, learning from people, and navigating as a foreigner—is where most of my stories will come.

Next Chapter

As I’m posting this on November 13th, we’re in an airport and starting a new chapter. Kevin’s job contract ended November 1st, which means we are no longer tied to return to any one place.

Our plan for the next few months until March/April is to live and work remotely in different cities in Europe, exploring as we go. To help make it more affordable, we’re housesitting using a site called TrustedHousesitters, where we can find opportunities to watch people’s homes and pets while they are away in exchange for a free stay. First stop, England!

_________

And that’s that! You’re caught up.

On to the stories…

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