Goodbye America...Hello France

ExpatMatt's picture

Thanks to everyone for their kind welcome! I'll try to write on here more often but most likely I'll be posting on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays when I have more free time.

As promised this time around I'm going to write about how I came to live in France. It's not a happy story.

My father was working for an international company in Florida when he met my mother, who was a doing a summer job as a waitress before starting college. From what I've always heard it was love at first sight, and ten months later I surprised them. My mother didn't even know she was pregnant. They quickly got married in front of a judge.

Her parents didn't exactly approve of my father, and I know there was always tension there. Even now their relationship is tense, but at least they try to get along. My mother's sisters are amazing people and we're very close to them, so it could be worse.

I was a healthy baby until my parents started me on solid food and they found out that I have severe allergies. Wheat, corn, rye, soy...can't eat any of those. I was put on a diet similar to the Atkins low carbohydrate plan and I was fine. Actually I was probably healthier than the other kids my age. Now you know why I take my lunch to school. Only bad part is living in a country with amazing bread and not being able to eat any of it.

I think it was hard for my mother to cope with her friends being in college and having fun while she was stuck with me all day while my father worked, and when I was five or so she would leave as soon as my father got home from work to "have her time" as she called it. There were lots of fights between my parents, and my father usually slept on the couch in the living room.

When I was six my mother left one night and didn't return. A few days passed without her, and it's one of the few times I've seen my father cry. I was there when the police came and told him the news. She'd been found dead in an apartment and there were drugs involved. Her death was ruled accidental but my father has always said there had to be more to it than that.

I wish I could remember her funeral but I can't. What stuck with me was the constant fighting between my father and my grandparents, and they said some really bad things to each other.

After school was out for the summer my father showed me a world map, and he pointed to Florida where we lived then pointed to France and the place that been my home since. We're moving there buddy, he told me. I now know he had a large amount of life insurance than made the move possible.

It was hard leaving the only family I knew, and it was scary. I had been bilingual my whole life so that was the easy part, but being in a strange place surrounded by people I didn't know was hard.

My father grew up near where we now live so there's a history for him here, and my grandparents, my aunt and her children live within a few kilometers of us so we're surrounded by family. In France family is very important.

Next time I'll write about my friends, how me met and some funny encounters we had.

Thank you for reading!



radiosilence95's picture


I'm very sorry to hear about your mother. What a life you have!

MaddieJoy's picture

It's horrible you lost your mom that way

but it's cool that you got to move to such a wonderful place! My parents went there once and they talk about it all the time now.

The ducks will get you!

elph's picture

I hope you "survive" France! :)

My sympathies for your very unfortunate food allergies. Is there a safe means of periodically checking to verify that the allergy remains present?

It's not uncommon for allergies to just disappear as one grows older... One can only hope!

btw: I wonder if you're affected in anyway by this demonstration today in Paris.


ExpatMatt's picture

I'm saddened by the whole

I'm saddened by the whole thing but gays here are much more accepted than in the United States, and homosexuality is a part of sex education here. I'm going to do a journal about this soon but I want to write about other things first.


France is my home but America is in my heart.

Sam2000's picture

That just totally sucks

That just totally sucks about your mother, I'm so sorry to hear that.

I've been on the Atkins diet for a few moths now, I've lost a lot of weight and feel better for it. I don't have the allergies you do but I was prediabetic and that has been reversed.


jeff's picture


So, you have celiac, or separate food allergies?

Sorry about your Mom...

"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

ExpatMatt's picture

I don't have celiac disease

I don't have celiac disease but I do have severe food allergies. I don't think I have a gluten problem but nothing I eat has gluten in it.


France is my home but America is in my heart.