We have all at some point, fallen a little bit in love with Paris. That fascinating foreignness of culture, language, and history, that still seems so familiar.
Hi there, I’m Nassie, and I’ve been living here for more than 10+ years now (yikes, time flies)! I still remember my first trip to Paris at 18, with my parents from Canada.
I don’t know what I thought back then, but I definitely did not think that one day I would move to France and become a French citizen myself.
How I ended up in France
A few years after that initial trip to Paris, my love for travel continued. I went to university, trained as a CPA, and travelled a lot more. From solo backpacking to Contiki tours, I did it all.
But slowly, I realized that what I wanted out of traveling was changing. I didn’t care about ticking off every item on the “Country Checklist”, I wanted to really get a feel for the people and the culture. I wanted to stay longer in one place, not visiting another museum, but really imagining what it would be like to live there. The idea of “slow travel” was taking form.
And then I stumbled across that magical “open sesame”: the Working Holiday Visa in France. A year abroad with Paris as my base, to travel across Europe and the globe. Didn’t French people have this idea of Art de Vivre and slowing down, anyway?
I’m not sure where I got the courage from, but I quit my job, got the visa, and gave myself at least one summer in the City of Lights. One glorious summer in the sun, no expectations, and no crazy deadlines. If I got a job (it was a working holiday visa after all), “tant mieux” as we say in French. All the better!
As it happened, at the end of those 4 summer months, I had met my future husband, gotten a job in my field, and transformed into a “Parisienne“.
Like a movie, except it didn’t really feel that way at the time. It just felt like I could have been anywhere, with the additional requirement of a mountain of paperwork.
Fast forward a few more years and a couple of kids later (more paperwork), and I suddenly realized that with a French husband and children, I was no longer the cool expat wandering the globe. I had become a local.
And to my kids and everyone else around, I was now just boring ole’ “Maman“. Paris is still Paris, but those rose-colored glasses have turned much clearer.
How Snippets of Paris was born
I eventually moved on from that job, and plunged into my art shop Ainsi Hardi. Art had always been a “love on the side” while going for that “proper job”, which could also explain how I ended up in France! And while that is really interesting, I realized I couldn’t really explain some of my thoughts and inside jokes in that format.
I wanted to document some of the funny quirks and eccentricities that come with living in a foreign country, especially with my little Frenchies who have a completely different perspective.
And I wanted to pass on that same experience to other people who love to travel, to really be able to imagine what it would be like to live in France. I realized that the only way to do that was in a blog or online magazine.
No, my daily routine in France does not involve spending my mornings in a farmers’ market, then sitting at a terrasse drinking coffee and wine all afternoon, and finally going home to cook a large meal for 3 hours. All the while dressed in skinny jeans and a white shirt, of course. Not.
That romantic French ideal tends to take a sharp curveball when it meets real-life stuff like work, school, and kids. From conversations over the dinner table, dating to getting married, commuting to work in the morning and enjoying a few drinks on a night out, this is the sort of stuff I like to dig into.
And no, I won’t have any breathless reviews of new bars and restaurant openings in Paris. (To be perfectly honest, between working full-time and with my kids running around, by the time I get to that new restaurant, it will probably no longer be “new”!)
I do love history though, so I tend to write quite a bit about little historical tidbits I have come across. Because what is the point of coming to France and not uncovering all the stories of those who walked before on these same streets, in times gone by.
So let’s get real. Let me take you to what is now my home, the French version with the highs, the lows, and the not-so-pretty bits.
Travel with me
Snippets of Paris aims to tell you what the locals tell their friends about, to go beyond the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower. My photos aren’t perfect, but I’ll share with you fun anecdotes about what daily life in France is like, so that you too can imagine yourself living here.
Does Paris continue to hold its charm, if you are living there, rather than visiting? Do you ever become fluent in French? And raising kids in France!? Ooh la la!
with love, Nassie xx
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Frequently asked Questions:
How did I arrive in France? What visa did I use?
I came on a working holiday visa, and then switched to Young Professional. It was a long and exhausting process (paperwork!) so I won’t bother to write about it, since the procedures change every 6 months, let alone 10+ years.
Do I like living in France?
Yes, for the most part. It has become home now. And I don’t believe in having only 1 home, home is where the heart is, Canada is my home too.
I don’t know that I always love the Parisian area, sometimes we debate moving south which is where my husband’s family is from. But for work reasons, we continue to live in Paris.
Will I ever move back to Canada?
Maybe one day, I never say never! As the Zen quote goes: “No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place”. (I like quotes, as you can tell!)
Have a question? Let’s keep in touch!
But I must confess I don’t always actively post on social media, with their routinely changing algorithms which decide what to show to our subscribers. After all, who has time for that!?
It is just so much simpler to communicate directly, so I usually stick to email (via substack) for updates and other fun stories from France. You can get a taste of it here, in my newsletter archives. Sign up now to get to get all the news and cultural commentary directly to your inbox 😉
Wondering where to begin? Start here
Planning a trip to Paris?
For my recommendations on where to stay and what to do in Paris, please see my Paris Resources Guide. If you would like to explore Paris a bit more, allons-y!
- Where to stay in Paris: A guide to the Arrondissements
- Picking an Airbnb in Paris: The Checklist
- 40 Things to do on that Ultimate trip to Paris
- What NOT to do when visiting Paris
- What is Paris like in Winter? 16 Reasons to visit
- Paris at night: Ideas for a scintillating evening in Paris
Life in Paris?
- Living in Paris: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- Fun facts about France
- The Guide to a typical French Dinner
- French Dining – The Cheatsheet of Do’s and Don’ts
- Decoding the 11 French Emergency phone numbers
Moving to Paris?
- Where to live with a family: Paris or the suburbs?
- The French Work Culture: Differences that will astonish
- Cost of Living in France
- 22 Things you should know before driving in France
- France’s famous Myth: the French 35 hour workweek