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Moving to Paris from Lebanon showed me my full potential

Woman in Paris

Living all my life at my parent’s house in Lebanon, I never really experienced living abroad. At that time, I knew I had to get out of my comfort zone. The need to step into an unfamiliar ride and start a new phase in my life lead me to start off my journey in the City of Love as they say.

Everything in life happens for a reason. It’s safe to say that by moving to Paris I learned this in a clear and concrete way…

My parents of course were shocked by this spontaneous decision of me going to live in Paris and do my 2 year masters abroad, but ended up encouraging me in all ways possible. After applying to the program on the deadline and a Skype interview, my journey had begun.

I have been living in Paris for 2 years now, and I can most certainly tell you that it wasn’t all “La vie en rose”. When I first got there, it was a hustle. Metro problems, bipolar weather, sundays supermarkets day off, paperworks and administrative formalities…I wasn’t used to it. During rainy and stormy days, I had to walk to the supermarket and back home (after I almost slipped 7 times) with 5 bags and broken hands. In Lebanon I had my car and life seemed so much easier there. But I kept going, and soon became more independent.

I believe that engaging in conversation with people from different backgrounds feeds your soul. I was lucky to be enrolled in an international university and end up with friends from every corner of the world – Italians, Polish, Colombians, French, Tunisians, Germans, Senegalese. I learned so much by hanging out with them – whether it was for a simple group project for university or at a bar in the Grands Boulevards.


I became more open-minded; accepting the differences between us, willing to learn the source of these differences and sharing my point of view on coming from a Middle Eastern environment. I realised that learning from each other’s cultures, values, traditions and languages is so stimulating.

My new found independence and confidence was truly put to the test when I discovered how easy and practical it is to go from one city / country to another. I’ve visited 13 cities in the last 2 years. I enjoy every step of the journey, from the bookings to researching the city trademarks and food specialties to the actual trip itself. One of the best feelings? Landing in a new city knowing you have few days to get to know it.

“Andrea! You’ve changed!” Oh how many times I heard that while on vacation back home in Lebanon. When I ask how I changed, it all came down to independence. Living abroad and being exposed to unfamiliar cultures changes you. You grow, and you glow.

Travelling enriches your mind and soul. Even 5 days out of your comfort zone can affect your personality in some way, and add so many memories to your life! Paris has taught me to be open-minded, and learn how others live. Embrace any form of worldwide beauty and appreciate the differences.


Have you recently moved country and stepped out of your comfort zone? Share your stories with us here and you could see your work published on six-two…