Talk to Strangers - Kind Expats and Vineyards
In my first three weeks in France, I had 200 boxes to unpack. As I worked on putting the house together, I had many trips to the garbage can. One day a woman stared at me as she was walking past my house. I had noticed her daily, so I smiled and said, "Bonjour!" She said, "You're American right?" At that moment a beautiful friendship started. Elizabeth was also American and married to a French man. I invited this stranger in for a coffee, and she accepted. After a few weeks, Elizabeth invited our entire family to her country home for an Easter lunch. She had mentioned she lived outside the city.
As we turned onto the drive of that country home, I thought we must be mistaken. The drive was a tree lined alley taking us to a beautiful, large vineyard home. I was not mistaken and spent a lovely lunch with my wonderful hostess and her husband.
When abroad don't be shy because if you are you might miss out on wonderful experiences that surprise and enchant you. Not only will other expats surprise you but so will locals. Reach out, share and be kind to other expats. I have been spoiled many times with surprises, and I hope that I will always be able to give back what I have received.
—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife