Beginning in Paris

 

We met up in Paris for the weekend. We were five women blown in from four cities in Europe, none of them the cities of our birth, and all of us former Seattleites. There were two newly minted Londoners by way of Seattle and Phoenix. There was someone newly living in Lausanne but meeting us in Paris direct from Tokyo. Yet another was living in Berlin with her husband and child. And myself, a Canadian living in Dublin.  

We talked about the challenges and excitement of building lives and livelihoods in new countries. We talked about the stuff no one tells you, the quirks of being a foreigner and figuring out things like banking or taxes or which phone plan to choose. I listened, and heard some of the same confusion and hearsay I’d also heard from clients throughout my career. There’s a lot of outdated, confusing, and incomplete information out there. And much of it relates to areas of life that busy, successful professionals might not have the bandwidth to focus on, but that have the potential to simplify and improve their lives if done correctly.


  

I believe that people, especially women, especially single women, can benefit hugely from understanding their finances, and there’s a dearth of good information out there on how to do that, especially when you don’t plan on living in the country of your birth for the rest of your life. But this won’t just be about the exciting world of taxes and personal finance. As globally mobile individuals, we have the unique privilege to create our own path in all areas of life. The best way to do that is to question everything, and to learn the rules so you can break them.

A sunny spring weekend in Paris with some seriously impressive women sparked an idea to share what’s working for me as I figure it out along the way. What areas of the globally mobile lifestyle are most confusing to you? Or if you’re considering making a move, what’s the most daunting item on your to-do list? I’d love to hear all about it.

About me

I’m a Canadian 3-time expat (well, maybe two and a half, unintentional references to terrible sitcoms aside). I also work in expat tax, primarily US but I’m giving Irish tax a whirl. Having worked in this field, and lived this life, for a decade, I realised I might have some things to share. 

This is a place to explore the middle ground between full digital nomad (which is a lifestyle that absolutely appeals but isn’t always practical for everyone), and traditional expat life, where a person might be wholly supported by (ahem, reliant on) their employer. I looked around and saw that my friends and I fit neither of those descriptions, but shared elements of both. We might work for companies, large or small, for parts of our lives, but there tends to be an independent, entrepreneurial streak in all of us. We don’t want to be shackled to any one place, be it a geographical location, or a desk.

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula, but that’s the fun. Let’s get out there and create lives that are free, productive, and creative. Let’s figure out how to tackle the practical (ok, ok: boring) stuff that no one likes dealing with, with a bit of verve. Let’s live like grownups and have some damn fun. 

My own journey has taken me from Vancouver, to Seattle, to Johannesburg, to Dublin, and it’s not over yet. Where will your journey lead?