Last weekend, I woke up to a beautiful Saturday morning in Vancouver, nice and refreshed with a wonderful weekend ahead. However, what happened next was basically what British people's nightmares are made of....there was no milk in the fridge! Dum Dum Daaaaaaaa. All I wanted to do was to crawl back in bed with my morning cuppa so I ran down to the shop in a half pajama ensemble that was verging on socially acceptable for Vancouver.
It suddenly struck me that I would never (and I mean never) have done this in Paris. No no no. You know that stereotypical Parisian, beautifully put together with an air oozing chic - well - this is not a myth...even the homeless had style.
I remember being short of cocktail dresses whilst we lived in Paris and needing to buy more. I remember taking so much care in my fashion ensemble and putting on at least some makeup every time I went out. I remember needing to shake off those pounds I had put on through gorging on camembert and fresh bread every lunch, so I embarked on a run past the Parisians sipping their Café in Les Marais leaving them the wide eyed open mouthed (moi? - red faced, puffing and in trainers - oh la la...)!
Yet in Vancouver I live in my Lululemon pants, everything I wear has a hood (because only tourists carry umbrellas) and any shoe with over a inch heel is collecting dust in my closet. My makeup has gradually decreased to one lick of Mascara on most days
Both Paris and Vancouver have the four seasons, so climate isn't the cause here. I found it fascinating how that without even noticing I had changed my attire to suit the culture of my new home. Obviously, I have generally learnt a great deal about myself and life itself from my adventures as an Expat Spouse so far. Yet, I am now left wondering what I have learnt specifically from the countries I have lived in to date...
Well, I know I learnt so much about style and joie de vivre from the Parisians. The Vancouverites on the other hand have taught me about exercise, healthy eating, the importance of a work life balance, that the outside activities like hiking are super fun and the words awesome and eh? can never be overused. They've also bashed the Londoner out of me and taught me that when strangers talk to you in the street you can talk back as they aren't about to mug you.
We all know the Parisians have style and most people know how active and healthy the West Coasters are but living that life initiates a change (even if you don't even realise it at the time). Neither is the right or wrong way to be (unless it relates to style and Coco Chanel is asking) but I would like to think I could conjure up some form of Parisian style at a moments notice yet exercise like a West Coaster.
So basically what I am saying and yes you could have scrolled down to this last paragraph and skipped the rest is: Having the opportunity to immerse yourself in culture by living somewhere for a period of time, means you truly learn to adopt the best from what each country has to offer. And that my friends, is yet another reason why Expat life and Expat Spouses rock.
So tell me, what have you learnt from your postings or adopted country?
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