US Expat In Nice - Expat Interview With Katie

Published: 29 Oct at 11 AM
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Filed: Interviews,France
Katie Beck is a journalist, blogger and travel writer who moved from Washington, DC to Nice, France a little over a year ago. After nearly 8 years as a TV news producer in Washington, she decided enough was enough and climbed on board a flight to the south of France. She was inspired to move in order to pursue a career in travel writing, and to finally start working towards a long time goal of learning a second language. She writes for BBC Travel and other publications and Katie has an expat blog called "Stumbling Into Paradise" (see listing here).

Stumbling Into Paradise

Here's the interview with Katie...

Where are you originally from?
I grew up in Hawaii and Northern California and then moved to Washington, DC after college where I lived until moving to France last year.

In which country and city are you living now?
I live in Nice in the south of France

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
I moved here a little over a year ago in August of 2011. I plan on staying here at least through the end of the year, and possibly longer.

Why did you move and what do you do?
I basically felt I had spent too much time in Washington, and I was fed up with the city. I moved here for an adventure and to try my hand at travel writing and to learn French.

Did you bring family with you?
No, I am here on my own.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
I have come to like Nice more and more the longer I stay and the better my French gets. It's a bit lonely at times, but I like the French lifestyle.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
To be honest I haven't actually met very many people, local or expats. I travel quite a bit which makes it difficult. I have met a few lovely Nicoise and I am starting to make some expat friends in my French class now too which is great.

Stumbling Into ParadiseWhat are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Nice has a lot to offer. Some great hikes and bike rides. The beaches are great. I love the fruit and vegetable markets, and flea markets in the fall. It takes some looking, but I have found some excellent restaurants.

What do you enjoy most about living here?
I love the architecture here and the way of life in the south. The French definitely have a joie de vivre and I like learning about a different culture and the challenge of trying to learn a new language.

How does the cost of living compare to home?
The Euro is strong against the dollar so that's not easy, but there are ways to live cheaply here with a bit of creativity.

What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
I have found it a bit difficult to meet very many people so far, but this has been a wonderful experiences in so many ways.

Stumbling Into ParadiseIf you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Take your time getting to know the city. Nice is obviously a tourist hot spot, but there are lots of interesting neighborhoods and parts to the city away from the tourist areas.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Being on my own. I would like to meet more people and have more of a social community here.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I go back to visit the US quite often, so I don't think it would be too drastic of a change. But I have become accustomed to the way things work in France.

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
- I say go for it! I think people should do what they really want to do and adventures are good for us. its now or never!
- You won't regret an experience like this.
- Have an open mind and be patient it takes time to learn about a new place and find your stride.
- Get out there. The more people you meet and things you do the richer your experience will be.
- Don't worry about looking silly, just force yourself to speak the language anyway.

Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
My blog is a sort of memoir of my journey from Washington, DC to Nice and I write about my life here and my travels around the world. I also include lots of travel tips from all over the world.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
You can comment on my blog, follow me on twitter (see below) and we can go from there if you want to email me directly. Also leave a comment below!

Katie runs her expat blog called Stumbling Into Paradise which is very worthy of a visit. Katie can be found on Twitter @katieb, on her Facebook profile and she has an listing here which would appreciate a nice review if you can spare a quick moment! If you liked this interview with Katie, please also add a quick comment below.
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