Dawn, a twinkly expat partner from Singapore
Where were you before Paris? Where do you come from?
I’m from Singapore, a small city-state in Asia. It is a country that is vastly different from France in many aspects.
What was your job before?
I was a Visual Merchandising Manager in a multi-brand retail company,
responsible for the visual presentation of boutiques from several international brands.
Is it your first expatriation?
Were you happy to go abroad?
Well, instead of happy, I would say that I was looking forward to the expatriation.
I knew that it would not be easy. I was prepared to take up the challenges in adjusting
to a new way of life, leaving my comfort zone, and learning a new language.
On the other hand, I also knew that this would offer me experiences that I could not have otherwise.
At the end of the journey, I’m sure I would gain deeper insights
to the french culture & lifestyle, memories of travel adventure, and new skills!
How were your feelings when you’ve arrived in France?
Was it difficult? What was the most difficult for you?
Oh my.. I was home-sick starting from day one.
Like I’ve said, Singapore is very different from France.
There were so many things that I missed, family and food being on the top of the list.
When my spouse and child started on their regular weekday schedules,
I was suddenly left alone with lots of ‘me-time’ and nothing to do!
To save my sanity, I started establishing a regular pattern in my daily life and joining parent group activities.
In our first month, we encountered several problems setting up the banking and mobile SIM cards.
While we were used to getting things done with ease back home,
it was frustrating when everything didn’t go smoothly and the processes seemed to make things more complicated.
On top of that, everything is in French, gosh!
I remembered clearly how I had to use google translate whenever I was signing documents,
reading street signs, buying groceries, ordering food, etc. Google was my ‘best friend’ then!
And now? How do you feel in Paris?
Did you start a new project? A new job?
Right now, after a year in Paris, I am definitely much more assimilated into the lifestyle.
Looking back, it helped especially after I took up french lessons with Absolutely French,
and had a circle of friends who were my classmates.
The induction in french culture and language helped me built a new life here.
I’ve always been hoping to get back into the working environment again,
but due to family commitments, I couldn’t devote myself to a full-time job.
It was therefore an enjoyment when I became part of the Absolutely Talented team,
where I was responsible for the logistics coordination of the event.
I felt the energy returning in me as if I was working in the past.
On a personal note, I am now undertaking online studies
which hopefully will be an asset towards my next goal in life.
Do you think that this expatriation have brought you new skills?
If yes, do you think that these skills could be use in the professionnal world?
Yes, definitely! It is essential to adjust our mindset, behaviour and habits to the environment that we are in.
Being culturally-adaptable is a valuable soft skill that ultimately defines a person’s resilience and growth mindset.
How do you see your life after? What do you want?
Go back home? Go somewhere else?
Most probably, it will be home sweet home, especially after the extended separation due to COVID19.
Thereafter, I will definitely want to get back into the workforce again,
and contribute back to society either in professional or voluntary basis.
What is your favorite quote? Why?
« At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets. »
Well, simply because life is short and unpredictable.
Something to add?
Every choice we make has an impact on the outcome of our lives.
I’m glad that we had chosen to come to Paris, despite facing the initial challenges and the current COVID situation.
And I’m glad that I had chosen to take up french with Absolutely French,
which has led to many other good things that happened to me.
Absolutely French is the first French school ?? dedicated only to expat spouses.
Our main mission is to promote double career among expatriate couples.
With our fun, friendly and innovative French trainings, we guarantee you a better integration ❤️ !
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