Most people that know me or frequent the shop, know that I’m a bit of a Francophile. It’s no wonder that our shop’s name has a french spelling. ( Remember French Fridays?)
Before our sweet boys came along, my husband and I spent quite a lot of time in France. We have a connection with the culture and desperately try to speak the language.
I only took 2 years of high school french, and was the annoying student in the front row raising her hand to answer every question. I listened to French music and bought books and dictionaries and language programs to try to learn more, as a lot of people trying to learn a second language do. You think to yourself, after studying for a period of time, “Hey, I’m really getting this! I think I could communicate well if we went again to France. Hell, even my accent is good! They may not even realize that I’m American! ” Such confidence can be really helpful when you are learning to speak to others in their language. It might even help you power through important situations like ordering a glass of wine. But while I could only rattle off a few conversational things I learned from Mr. Bailles french class or Earworms on iTunes, I wasn’t fully prepared to know what a response might sound like. Or the dreaded follow up question. Or even equally as scary, not being understood because my accent really was tres mal in the end.
Once while in Biarritz, I went to buy a Perrier. I ask the man at this cute little stand, in my best, most confident french, for a Perrier. After three attempts he asked me back in english “ You want a Powerade?” Hopes dashed of ever speaking this beautiful language, I dropped the act and said, “ No, a Perrier s'il vous plait.” I knew then that I had so much work to do.
Thankfully for us, every trip over we always saw big improvements in our knowledge and comprehension. Languages are a love. I love communicating with people. It’s always been a dream to live abroad, speak a language fluently. Be completely immersed in the everyday life of somewhere else.
Our kids are still small. Eight and three. We thought “ Maybe this is the time? While they are still small and excited to learn. Excited to be on an adventure with their parents.”
SO how in the world can we do this? Our little life in St. Augustine, Florida is pretty sweet. I am lucky enough to own my own business, on a street with fellow women business owners who are all around my age and have the same ideas and dreams. My team at the shop is my second family. We laugh so much everyday.We can’t wait to get to work to laugh about something or tell the others big news or really just about a silly show we watch. Their work is notable and we never really have any major issues with anything really. It’s rare and really sorta perfect.
Sascha, our older son, goes to school only a few blocks from the shop and our home. We can walk to both, a rarity in a lot of places. Although I just boasted about proximity,
we mostly drive everywhere due to the heat and a contrary three year old. We have fantastic neighbors. Our little neighborhood, our little town- it’s changing. For better or worse? We aren’t sure. But my goodness it seems like perfect timing for this adventure.
Now, we didn’t just wave a wand and make this happen overnight. So much foot work and research goes into a trip such as this. Our initial work was to determine if we could actually run our businesses from afar, have our kids in school and have the security blanket of them hopping back in, if said mission was to be aborted. Our home and trusty old siamese also needed to be attended to. Would anyone take an old cat? Would we be comfortable leaving our house in the hands of people we didn’t know well? Our things? Our life?
If truth be told, my husband is the more adventurous of us two. He is always so good at finding a way to make things work. Once we started looking into it, meeting with schools both here and far away, finding someone to rent our home,find an apartment abroad, find someone to take our cat, sell our car, we realized that this little dream just might be possible.
But that wasn’t the end. We had to tuck away special and valuable things, make loads of copies that had to be complied and a long drive down to Miami with our tiny travellers to get our visas. But we did it. All of the pieces of this puzzle were carefully put together.
We will be spending most of our time in the small beach town in South Western France, for the fall winter season. In this time I am hoping to connect with fellow stylists, visit with our friends at Davines in Parma, Italy. Perhaps take a class or visit the farms where the ingredients from their products are cultivated. Of course you know I’m going to keep trying to work on my french and hopefully grow
Our Boys will attend an International Montessori School and learn to speak french along with their others lessons. My husband’s business allows him to operate anywhere in the world, and as for me, I will run the business side of Philosophie and blog about beauty and travel while peppering in happenings at the shop. (You didn’t think I could stay away from those guys did you? I bet they're having fun without me as we speak!)
So follow my little experiment. Life + Living is a part of beauty and style that’s always been my philosophy!