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Flag of United States  , Texas
Saturday, December 28, 2013

Most of you have heard by this point that I have decided to spread my traveling wings once more and will be relocating to France for the next 6 or so months.

I have been traveling abroad almost every other year since I was 14 years old, so it's due time that I get out there again! My last adventure took me to Lebanon where I interned for American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) for 3 months. It was through that job that I discovered my passion for working with refugee populations. I have since worked for a resettlement agency in Austin, Texas where I continued to unearth my love for the job. In August, I graduated from the University of Texas and decided that I wanted to search for jobs mostly outside of Texas. Turns out, it's really hard to get a job...even if you're completely qualified!

The realization that I may have to start out as an intern and work my way up set in after a few months of fruitless labor, applying to every position at home and abroad that I was remotely interested in and met the majority of the qualifications. I knew that I needed to broaden my network and increase my skill set, so I started emailing people I already knew working in the sector and bought the Rosetta Stone for French. 

My morale was beginning to turn around as the scheme started brewing in my mind, and I hoped that I would be able to secure a real position by mid-spring. But event the best laid plans can be altered by a simple change in the winds. My east wind (Mary Poppins reference- I encourage all of you to see Saving Mr. Banks) was my friend Gabby who posted on Facebook that she met a woman in need of an au pair in Rome.

"Three months in Rome?" I thought to myself. "I could do that!" But as I read the rules and stipulations about being an au pair, I realized that being one in Italy just didn't make sense. You are required to take a course in the language of the country, and Italian- while beautiful -is of no use to me. I did, however, need to learn French. I had already bought the Rosetta Stone after all, and what better way to learn a language than full immersion for a few months?

Within one fall afternoon, I had decided to be an au pair in France and had already applied to about 20 different families. 

My adventure aptly begins on New Year's Day. A new year, a new start. I am very excited to begin this new leg of my life's journey and hope that you will all join alongside me! When I lived in Beirut, I tried to write weekly entries. Hopefully with better internet access and a bit more free time than I had there, I will be able to update you all more frequently from France. 

Love you all and thanks for each playing a role in my life! Enjoy!!
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Comments

Gabrielle Castagno on

This is awesome Lauren! I'm so excited you're coming over!! We shall definitely meet up soon!

Kelly Jones on

I'm so excited for you in your new adventure! Really looking forward to keeping up with it. Take care of yourself and enjoy living your life to the fullest!!!

Sara Seekins on

Yay!! Have fun, take it all in, and the rest of us here in Texas will be living vicariously through you on your French adventure! :)

pardonmyfrance
pardonmyfrance on

Thanks, everyone! I truly appreciate all of your support!!

Rita on

Very excited for you Lauren! Good luck with all your adventures. I'm looking forward to hearing more. Your 'target' friend :-)

pardonmyfrance
pardonmyfrance on

Awe, thanks so much Rita!! I thought of you today while I was eating this delicious Chinese grapefruit. I don't know if you carry it in your store, but you should definitely give it a try. I hope all is well with the baby shower planning!

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