From Beijing, to Orléans, with Love

Yeah. I moved out of Beijing, China in mid-July. I’m heading to Orléans (or as i have been calling it, old Orleans) in September. And I have so many feelings about it. Let’s use our questions words to talk about it:

Paris, a while ago.

Why am I moving? I was accepted into TAPIF, which is a program run by the French gov for placing English assistants in France. I’ve applied to this many times, been accepted and rejected before. This time both my boyfriend and I were accepted to the program and placed in a city together. I am definitely sad to leave China, I really loved all my time there. I spent 18 months teaching kindergarten to insanely cute children. Who wouldn’t miss that? Sometimes it just time to move on. I’m 25 and I really can’t keep eating all those noodles (or can I? Let me know…).

How am I going to France? I’m in the TAPIF program. You are placed as an English assistant in a classroom. The application opens in October, you write a french essay, have a language teacher write a rec, another teacher, submit transcripts, etc. I believe you have to have at least 3 years of higher education, a b2 level of french (sure..), some experience teaching, and I don’t think there is an age limit. The youngest I’ve seen applying is 21 years and the oldest I’ve seen is 30. I’ll probably do a TAPIF series because I have enjoyed reading about others experiences and found them helpful. If you want more info right now, just good TAPIF.

When am I moving? The end of September! I start working in October, but I arrive a week early so I can get my phone and bank and stuff set up.

What am I doing there? Teaching English! Mainly assisting middle schoolers in English. It’ll definitely be different for me because I’m used to being fully in charge of one classroom. Now I’ll be assisting in many classroom. Also, my students will be older, around 11-15 years old I believe. I will also be traveling, drinking wine, biking, re-learning French. Orléans is in the Loire valley so there are lots of vineyards but also lots of bike trails.

Paris, right after they won the World Cup in 2018 !

Who am I going with? My boyfriend, Johnny. He is better at french than me so he pretty much had to go, but he also wanted to go. TAPIF will place you and a sigfig together if you BOTH get accepted.

I’m going to miss China, and all the insane friends I made there. I feel very thankful for my time there and what I learned. Mainly, that I love iced americanos. Here’s some silly pictures because now I’m SAD!

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Lexington, my reluctant Kentucky home

So we are going to rip off a bandaid here: I didn’t get into TAPIF. A lot of you readers are going to say, “What the heck is TAPIF?” and that’s because I haven’t mentioned it at all. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. But here I am, telling you that my plan for moving to France has been moved back a year. Technically, I am still on the waitlist with a pretty good chance to be accepted for this coming school year, but I’m not in a position to be waiting. It really stinks to be writing this, but I think it’s going to force me to do what I have refused to do for the last year: really call Lexington, Kentucky my home.

I have lived in the same place for a year, stayed at the same job for a year, seen road construction begin and actually be completed in a year. I called myself a nomad for so long, maybe I shouldn’t do that anymore! I do keep the fact that I have the desire to move abroad around, with my pursuit of the French culture and understanding the laid back French lifestyle. You can still count on me to be a travel blog, I will just start to be more accepting that maybe I can be a travel blog who still has a home? We’ll see!

This means that I’ll just have to explore this city more in depth! I know that I think Lexington can be really cool, I have my favorite bars and ice cream shops, my favorite place to watch planes take off and land. So all this is to say, expect a Lexington guide soon, but also maybe I can branch out a little. Cincinnati, Louisville, Indianapolis, Asheville? These are all cities I have heard by word of mouth are great, but I want to put pen to paper about them.

Let me know how you guys have turned some sort of negative experience into a positive one! Also, what cities are you headed to? I’m currently planning a Canada and Iceland trip- and about 20 imaginary trips too!