I’m a reluctant blogger and a bit of a technophobe. I started and maintained this site for about 5 months in 2013 to share my preparation and my experiences during a 3-month sabbatical. You can go back to the beginning if you’re interested. I was amazed and grateful that people not in my immediate family found and read what I wrote.

I moved to Amsterdam in January 2015 to start a new job and a new adventure. Living abroad was a dream for a long time, and my sabbatical experience pushed me to act to make the dream a reality. I’m pretty damn proud of myself (and my husband) for making this move. The blog became a way to explain expat life to our readers, and often to ourselves. It was also a great way to share and remember our travels, and we did a LOT of traveling.

In early 2019, we returned to Boston. That’s where we are now, still trying to figure things out and still plotting our next adventure. How long this blog will survive remains to be seen.

Anyway, here are few things it may help to know about me:

I’m married, no kids. I grew up on Long Island, NY, a place I don’t feel very connected to now.  I come from a great family, many of whom are still on Long Island. I lived in Boston for over 20 years, which sounds crazy. I lived in Amsterdam for four years, from 2015 to early 2019. That sounds pretty crazy, too.

I was raised Catholic, and although I don’t identify as such now, I am grateful for the grounding in tradition, faith, and service that I was given.  Due in large part to my Catholic education, my professional life has been spent working to bring health care and first-world medicine to the world’s poor. My job in Europe did not involve direct service provision, but I still see my vocation as expanding access to care. It is work that is deeply rewarding.  It has exposed me to new ways of thinking, new places, and experiences I couldn’t have dreamed of when I was young and on Long Island.

I have a terrible sense of direction (hence the title of this blog), which sometimes gets me in trouble.  But sometimes it helps me find something unexpected, and wonderful.

I love to travel, and I love languages. I have been intentionally studying French for the last five years. I need books and I am always reading something. I had two bikes in Amsterdam and cycling to and from work was the best part of my day. I love to fly, although I wonder if I am smart or gutsy enough to be a pilot. I love Springsteen to the point of embarrassment. I don’t like to cook, but I do it anyway. I am afraid of birds (with the permanent exception of Dexter).

2 thoughts on “About

  1. I am eligible for a sabbatical next year and came upon your blog when I searched for “French Language sabbatical.” My husband and I just returned from a trip to the south of France where I visited both the Institut in Villefranche and several schools in Montpellier. I’ve been trying hard to choose – really liked the town of Montpellier but also liked the idea of immersion. I did wonder if 8 hours per day would be too much but your articles have been really helpful.
    I see that you work for Partners in Health- I just took a course at Harvard Extension school this past spring on Haiti and the French language. It was excellent – the prof is teaching a course on Gastronomy and the French language this fall semester so if you are interested in continuing your French studies I’d highly recommend it.
    I am a physician working for HVMA but also love languages -keep up yor blog! If you have more to share about how you chose Villefranche I’d be interested in hearing it.
    Patricia Montaperto

  2. Thanks so much for your note, Patricia! I’m glad that my blog has been helpful, and I’d be happy to talk more about my experience at the Institut in Villefranche. I’ll be in touch with you via email and we can arrange a time to talk further. Thanks too for the suggestion about the Harvard course – I’ll look into it!

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