Lessons Learned in France : Priceless

I have been dreading writing this post. I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to say for the past 8 days and I’m still no closer to knowing how to put my thoughts into words. So I’m just going to come out and say it: Nate and I have decided to move back to San Diego.

There have been several things leading up to this decision but the two main reasons are things we never could have foreseen before moving to France. The first is the absolute nightmare of getting internet access. It took us six weeks of research online, talking with internet/phone companies, banks and everyone we could find that spoke English and it was always the same answer… Impossible! I know it sounds crazy especially when in the States you can get anything and everything you want if you just flash shiny plastic but it definitely does not work that way in Europe. In those six weeks of failing to get a connection, Nate lost all of his contracts so we had no way to fund the traveling that we wanted to do. Traveling was basically the whole point of us wanting to live in France; we’d be closer to everything and be able to spend extended lengths of time in different areas in Europe.

The other main reason that we decided to move back was our community in the States; friends and family. To be totally honest with you, I didn’t think this would bother me that much. I have such an adventuresome spirit and I love, love, love to travel and explore different cultures. I’ve lived abroad before this trip and I think I’ve been to 16 different countries before I met Nate. So I honestly didn’t think I would miss my little community of friends and family during the 6-12 months we planned on being there. But I did. So did Nate. And we came to the conclusion that we missed having a place to belong to. A place where people knew us and cared about us. We need encouragement and inspiration and love more than we ever thought.

Our time in France has been absolutely wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s been exciting and scary and frustrating but we’ve met wonderful people and have so many memories now. In part I feel like we failed in out attempt to live abroad because we’re coming back so soon. However, the lessons we learned about ourselves and the path for our future is priceless. We know what we want now and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.


We are now currently in San Diego. We don’t have a cell phone yet but please email or comment on this blog. We’d love to hang out with each of you because all of you are so important in our lives.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider to leave a comment or subscribe to the feed and get future articles delivered to your feed reader.


Home is where the heart (and intertubes) are, but seriously, welcome back :).


Welcome back you two. Sorry it didn’t work out.

I’ve been fascinated on how this would pan out ever since I first heard about it from Nate.

I hope to do the same by traveling, playing and working at the same time, but Europe sucks for (free or cheap) Internet access.

Your lessons learned are the same for me.

Hey, just work on those passive incomes so you don’t have to rely on client work. Switch that supplemental income to sustainable income!

Thomas and I have been following your adventures and cheering you on. We agree you should be proud that you pursued your goals and accomplished getting out of the country. So many people talk and never act. So what if you had a setback? You’ve gone further than most folks.

“Adventure is disaster recalled from safety.”

Scott, thanks and yes, home is where the intertubes are. :)

Phelan, thanks. We’re working on those passive incomes, that’s for sure. Almost found a big one the other day. Still working on it though. Trial and error + persistence.

Amber, we can’t wait to follow your adventures (again). We’re big fans of photos from sandy beaches and bright blue skies. And yea, we agree that our trip was a success. Not many people get (read “choose”) to do what we did for 2 months. It was fun and we plan on going back some time in the future, but probably not to live there. Just for vacation.

It’s impossible to fail when you forgive yourself for being human.

Welcome back. We were cheering you on the whole time. When you get settled we’d love to meet up with you.

My husband Jeff and I are in SD too. We love to travel.

Evidently the French have waved the white flag at trying to get relatively cheap internet access to the masses. Sorry to hear that they foiled your plans, I’m sure it must have been very frustrating.
You guys had some pretty sweet adventures over there and if anything it was an extended vacation right!
Glad you are back and looking forward to catching up soon.

Nate and Tilly:
I am bummed that it didn’t pan out just like you hoped. But i am proud of your for doing it. I was shocked when i heard you picking up and going and honestly, that is a huge part of the adventure, right? Just picking up and making it happen?
I think i remember internet being somewhat of a problem there… so i am not surprised.
I think susan and I can probably understand your reasons for coming home as well as anyone. There are many times when we have wanted to come home. It’s hard to be away from friends and family. We don’t have the choice though, so we’re stuck… :)
Anyway, no shame in that. God bless you two.
Now get your butts back up to seattle where you belong.

I found your blog! 6 wks after the fact…anyway, I can’t wait to see you and spend lots of quality time with you. It’s good to have you “home”. :)

I’m bummed! just when I started reading your website too…

Well, it’s good you had a good time in france. Everything there is impossible. So much red tape.

But it least it taught you what you wanted and that is pricelss!

Sorry…but so very proud of you as well! (and selfishly excited to have you state side again…cause have a 10% chance of ending up in SanDiego, but like a -43% chance of ending up in France…so this works well for me:)

and big DITTO to steve’s last line :)

Love you guys!


Ryan, thanks that means a lot.

Melanie, outstanding! We’re living in PB, so let us know whenever you’d like to chat. I just added you as a contact in LinkedIn and I’ll send you an email too.

Aaron, thanks bro. We appreciate the sentiment. And yea, the adventures were definitely fun and worth it.

Stevo, thanks man. Yea, we were surprised at you and Susan hitching a flight to Japan. I’d love to come and visit sometime, but I’m not sure how long you’re going to be there and we need to make up some lost ground on the ol bank account. But, yea, it was fun. Seattle will have to do without us as we’ve acclimated to the wonderful weather in San Diego. Of course we’ll come visit though.

Christina, we’re glad to be back. We’ll get together for dinner soon.

Nomadic Matt, don’t worry, we’re definitely not done traveling. So keep this blog on your radar and we’ll be posting more in the future. :) Thanks for reading and commenting, BTW. Your blog is awesome to watch as well.

Elke, I laughed so hard at that comment. Thanks for the stomach workout. I hope that 10% comes sooner than later. We have some chatting to do for sure. See ya soon!

[…] we came back from France, we moved to downtown San Diego and of course the first thing I did was get internet. It’s my […]

Leave a comment