Wander, Wonder, Write

The Beginning of Freedom

Our Nomad Life—an Origin Story

I was on the lookout when change came and found me.

After twenty years in Paris, after eighteen years of writing, working, and living in the same lovely-crappy atelier, I felt stuck. My life within the city walls had stopped flowing. I wanted to get away from Paris and transform myself. Yet how?

My American husband, Daniel, worked in the French music and film industry and couldn’t relocate so easily. But even when his work changed and became more like mine, unbound by place, we made no plans to leave. He didn’t want to give up a home that had given him so much inspiration. Besides, where else should we go? Living in Paris had been our dream.

The truth was: We dreaded moving. We dreaded wasting creative time on practical matters. We feared that we would open a door only to find trouble on the other side. That we would end up somewhere worse than where we were now. 

Then a stroke of bad luck—or was it a blessing in disguise?

In November 2018, our landlady told us she was going to sell our home. We immediately knew we wouldn’t be able to buy it. Banks do not give mortgages to writers like us, living outside the borders of our home countries. We were miffed that we couldn’t buy the house we’d always considered ours, but I refused to feel defeated. I wanted to embrace our loss as an opportunity instead. We were not on the edge of losing everything. We were on the verge of taking our life elsewhere. 

Neither of us, though, knew where we wanted to live. But as we downsized our belongings, a new idea arose: Could we live nowhere for a while and travel the world? Could we go… everywhere? 

Well, we’re on our way to find out, the train tracks sliding beneath us as I write. First destination Zürich, Switzerland. 

Who’s coming with us?


I wrote this travel blog from 2019 to 2023 and have since taken it to Substack. Please subscribe to my newsletter to follow me on my journeys. 

From Paris to Nowhere

Want to read a longer version of how we became permanent travelers?

Please read my article for The Smart Set: From Paris to Nowhere, on how downsizing my belongings turned me into a nomad—a case for owning less. 

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These are the boots I bought as a teenager and wore when I left our Parisian home. Yes, it’s a tribute to Cheryl Strayed’s wonderful travel memoir Wild