How Moving To France Changed Me

by - October 08, 2017

First day in Paris

September 29th marked the anniversary of one of the scariest, life-changing and possibly the most incredible things I've done in my life thus far: move to France. As I write this post, partly in lamentation having moved back home but also super excited about the possibilities that lie ahead, I wanted to share a few sentiments with you.

I had a severe case of writers block trying to put this post together. My first thought was to share all my favourite places and adventures with you, inserting a few lessons here and there but then I realised my block came from not being aligned with what I knew I needed to share with you, the biggest take-away from this experience; Trusting Your Intuition.

Most times when I share my story I find that persons are fascinated and reference my "bravery" for moving thousands of miles away from home to a place unfamiliar in every sense. I want to tell you now: brave is the last word I would ever use to describe myself or what I did. It was simply a matter of paying attention to synchronicities and being intuitive. What I mean by that is, I knew Paris was where I was supposed to go at that particular time and I knew at the end of the journey, turning the page meant going back home.

When I found out about the program something within told me to apply. I was not qualified by any means to even be considered for it. Even more so, the documents I needed to do it seemed impossible to put together at the time, but everything just came together by the grace of the divine. I had A LOT of second guessing and turmoil but then things like a random email with the subject line: 'WHY PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA" or seeing advice on my timeline at the exact moment I needed it like: "If its terrifying and amazing, do it." These little instances felt like more than simple coincidences to me. If I think back on it though I think the most instrumental thrust of all came while staying late after work to finish some stuff and feeling severely tired and unhappy and everything became so overwhelming I began crying uncontrollably. A coworker had forgotten something at the office and ended up coming back to find me, unable to speak (if you know me well you know this NEVER happens) only producing streams of tears and occasional head nods. When I got home that night, feeling exhausted and defeated, as soon as I stepped through my door I got an email notification with the subject line: CONGRATULATIONS. The program I was unqualified for chose me. I immediately packed my shit.

Final Day in Paris

Paris was amazing. It wasn't always easy as I shared in this blog post but I would move back in a heart beat. I had some truly intense moments that I'll hold dear to me forever and will always think of that city as my second home.

At the start of the 2017 I knew I had to begin thinking about the next step. I toyed around with the idea of staying a second year and seeing what else Paris had in store for me but soon I realized it was time to go home. Just like with going to Paris, all the "signs", so to speak, were leading me back to Jamaica. I tried so hard to ignored them but with constant disappointment and relentless roadblocks to every alternative to going home, I gave in. I didn't understand why and felt there was so much more to do and learn in Paris. That and, while I had an incredible experience and felt proud of myself for taking the leap,  coming home almost felt a bit like I had failed. For one, I came home in so much debt and also none of my "goals" were achieved even though if I am being fair, they were more of desires than goals since I was never intentional about making them real. Going back to uncertainty and no job and questioning why I even "wasted" a year in Europe almost consumed me in the first few weeks. I was physically sick almost everyday for one whole month after returning home.

As time went by I realised I only felt that way because none of my wins were tangible, and because my idea of a "win" was elaborate and borrowed. Then it dawned on me that all the true lessons I was supposed to gain from it could only come by uprooting and heading home where I would be able to see the contrast of who I had become; the growth, the drive, the gratitude, the purpose. I simply could not have had that level of clarity or appreciation had I stayed in Paris.

All of this to say that, sometimes in life we get clear signs whether its about a place, person, project or anything in particular and we overanalyse or try to find logic in the situation instead of simply trusting our gut. I know it is easier said than done, but its a feeling that when its there YOU KNOW IT. It is something that is only meaningful TO YOU. Understanding and knowing that when you do something or walk away from something because, in that moment your intuition told you to, is the only truth that exists. I learned that, following intuition doesn't mean you'll be lead into the magical world of perfection or smooth sailing but what it does is give you what YOU NEED to mature and prepare you for all the things that are coming, sometimes for the better or even for the worst. Regardless, your intuition is a gift. Going to Paris opened my eyes to that and there is no describing what this has done for me.

I am home now and it feels like I am starting from scratch. I'm slowly getting back on my feet financially, slowly coming into my own as a woman,  slowly figuring out my career and slowly navigating life as best as I CAN. I stress I CAN because I've learned from connecting more with my intuitive frequency that there is no shame in doing things on your own terms, even if it means that you're behind or in conflict with superficial standards. In closing, fxck external validation and look inward.

until next time......
Do Good, Dress Well

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  1. What a beautiful and powerful message you're sharing here. I agree 100% with your point on following your own gut feeling. If I had read this post maybe 2 years ago it wouldn't strike such a chord in me but after experiencing this deep intuition that you're speaking about, I can't deny that sometimes the universe really points you in a very clear direction. About two years ago I met my current boyfriend and choosing him and trusting him was never as obvious/clear to me as it was then. Like you said, it really was a deep down gut feeling telling me he was the right choice. My dating him further lead me to a decision that was so spontaneous, moving to Switzerland after only knowing him for a few months. I know the rest of the world would think I was absolutely crazy but my intuition spoke so loudly and clearly to me that I HAD to listen to it. So far I've not regretted it. By no means is it easy; it certainly comes with its challenges but I see where I'm growing and I'm happy about that. I think the uncertainty about knowing what the future brings in terms of career is something many of us at our age face and I certainly relate to what you're going through now. I too feel like I'm starting from scratch living here in Switzerland but hey, lifebisnt wothout its ups and downs. All the best in your endeavors!


    1. ABSOLUTELY! But doesn't it feel good!? Your adventures in Switzerland look amazing so far and from the outside looking in it seems like exactly where you need to be! Continue to follow your heart Tonz <3

  2. I understand the signs.. maybe thats why I am finding myself back in Jamaica again and again :) Everybody is wondering... but my point is.. its your life and only you know whats good for you. even when you figure it out later on.. It was very well written Tiki! :)

    1. Yes! Precisely so. I agree cause I love seeing you lol In fact I think you are due a visit!
      Thanks for always reading my blog and constantly supporting my work! You are the best Jane!

  3. Going through an identical situation at the moment and I remember reading your blog I while back, so had to retrieve it to reaffirm some of my own thoughts. I’ve learnt that things won’t always go as planned, but there are lessons to be learnt from every experience that will undoubtedly propel you if you give them the chance to. I’m already hearing the doomsday tales from relatives re returning home, (even some jeers from people who are the closest to me) but all the signs are pushing me towards that- with all the uncertainties and issues that come with going back to a developing country after living in the “developed world”. Personally, I see it as a sign of renewal; a chance to implement all the lessons I learnt and maximize on the strengths I gained.