Island Girl In Paris

Let's talk about the girl who left the island of sunshine, white sand beaches, basically life in paradise to study fashion in the city of love, Paris. So first let me take you on a little trip from beaches to metros as much as I love Paris it will never come close to my island home, Saint Lucia. 

Let's talk about moving to a new city, in my case from the West Indies to Europe, two completely different ways of life, from everything being chilled and really laid back with sunny skies year-round, warm weather 24/7, white sand beaches, to life in a place, were you travel underground, everyone is always in a rush the weather is quite bipolar, rain, snow, hail I mean you never know what to expect from Paris weather. As my friend would say, " You're not in the Caribbean anymore you have to go! go! go!"

But one must take some time and find the beauty in this new city you're going to call home for the moment, So I had to take some time to really see the city of love and although there may not be anything like St Lucia, I can't ignore that Paris, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with the most famous features, The Tour Eiffel, the tastiest french cheese, the wide collection of museums my favourite being The Louvre Museum and many more. There is always something to see and any day and at any time. You can never see all of Paris each day is an opportunity to discover another part of this city. 

So what are some things that can help you with settling into your new city? 

1. Making friends is tough 

Let's not forget that we have a language barrier that we must acknowledge and although everyone may say immerse yourself in the language, I just want to say it is easier said than done, and not everyone has the hyperpolyglot abilities, so don't pressure yourself about it you will pick up the language eventually. 

We want to find someone we can share our adventure with even though we don't have the slightest idea where to even find them, keep in mind there are expats out there just like you, I found this app called Bumble, if you have an idea of how Tinder works then you can use Bumble, only difference is you can choose between networking with professionals, dating and making friends. Once you find that friend everything changes.  
2. Find your favourite Café

For me, a café is a great spot to really relax and get your mind together,  in my case to get as much work done as possible as it is tremendously hard to work at home, I also have to admit that having that once café to head to really gives me a reason to leave my apartment for some fresh and good food. 

I came across this café last summer called Passager, the weather was good but the chemicals in my head were off balanced, I needed to get out of the house, I did a quick search and came across a few options, I did another check via Instagram, I really liked what I saw, so I got dressed grabbed my computer and was off, I can say that Parisians aren't always the most welcoming people, but the staff were extremely welcoming they face lit up every time someone worked in they were very helpful in suggesting options the food was good the sitting arrangement was also cool. 

I found myself observing my surroundings and just watching how people there behaved, I also noticed that my French was kicking in as I could pick up on a few things that they were speaking about, how they pronounced words etc. So for me having that one place you can go alone or with a friend is a great way to find some form of peace and comfort in your new city, really worth having. Plus you can take really instagramable photos there. So if you're ever in Paris or if you are in Paris right now check out Passager. 

photos from:
3. Accepting that you will feel homesick

It very normal to feel homesick after moving to a new country, being in a new place with a language and cultural barriers can instantly make you feel isolated and loneliness can really take over your mind. I have had that feeling many times and what I can say is do not spend your time dwelling on it, instead get out and do something new meet up with your new pals or just take a walk you'd be amazed also starting something new like taking a language class or dance class or something can give you a chance to get your mind off feeling homesick. 

For what I make me feel really good after feeling homesick is cooking a meal that reminds me of home it creates this comfort within me that always seems to do the trick. It always good to find foods the foods you would find back home and every now and then prepare a familiar meal that you love, being black and from the Caribbean, the best bet for me was heading to the area of Chateau Rouge, it is a lively district during the day, characterised by the presence of a large immigrant population of African origin. Many markets, grocery stores and African hairdressers, which I can find the same farm produce crops that I am able to get back home and prepare myself some comfort food. 

4. Setting goals can be a good idea

Think of all the things you want to achieve while you're there, no matter how small it may be, learning the language, making friends, becoming a cheese expert or taking up an oenology glass whatever it is then taking the necessary action to achieve it.  

It also a great way to learn something completely out of what you aren't used to something may have never been able to do back home, so I think this is a great way to grow as an individual. So do some research while you're chilling at that coffee shop.  who knows you might be your next best friend or husband there, life is so full of surprises and in the future, you can entertain them at your pad with your knowledge of wine you can select the right type of wine to set a great mood. 

Formation Oenologie à distance CFV Certificat Fondamentaux du Vin

5. Create a Comfort Space

Take the necessary steps to make your new place feel a little more like home, adding your own personal touch, display photos of your family and friends, create a playlist that of music that gives that homier feeling, stock your fridge or pantry with some familiar staples. No matter your location your space should feel like your sanctuary of peace comfort and belonging.

Also for me being so used to having  vegetation surrounding me at home, purchasing a few plants to place in my place was a great option, not only does it looks aesthetically good it also helps with boosting your mood, reduce stress, maintain indoor humidity levels, making the air in your place breathable and gentle on the nostrils by filtering the air in your space. 

Moving to a new city can be scary and lonesome but it is also a great opportunity to discover a different version of you, you meet new people with so many different cultural backgrounds which I think is a great thing. Use this new moment to learn and grow and open your mind to how fantastic the world can be and opening your mind to different ways of living. It may not be a simple process but it is worth it. And don't be afraid to pick up the phone and call someone special back home. Live and see the world don't live a life of comfort go out and seek more of the world. You'll do great!!

Name: Mona Obomeghie

Age: 25

Home: Abuja, Nigeria

Why are you here in Paris?

I came to Paris for a Masters in Fashion Business, and to make something of myself without my parent's help.

Describe life in  Nigeria with 4 words

Fun, Inspirational, Evolving and Future 

What was the biggest challenge, when you first moved to Paris?

Not knowing a soul here and the language barrier

Tell me something new you discovered about yourself since moving to Paris?

I actually really love my own company way more than I thought!

Give me 4 words to describe your life in Paris?

Transformative, Interesting, Stressful, Fancy!

What's your favourite colour (s)?

Black & Red

Favourite place/cafe/park in Paris


What advice would you give to young women, who want to move about 

Just do it!

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