adventures of an american housewife in the south of france


You all know what FOMO is, right?  I like to think my friends and I made up the term, but I'm not really sure.  Regardless, I've had a bad case of the FOMOs lately. The whole purpose of the blog is to document our time here, both the good and the bad, so I feel like I need you all to know that while we are loving our experience here, it's not all amazing vacations and delicious food.  Sometimes I get homesick.  Real homesick.  Michael and I are both incredibly social people, so watching our tight knit social circle shrink exponentially since moving has been, at times, very hard on us.  Yes, we have met some truly awesome people here and formed some great friendships that we really value.  But sometimes you just want to go over to your homegirl's house in your pajamas and read magazines and talk about Teen Mom 2.  Or call up your best friends and say, "forget whatever plans you had for today, we're going to the park to drink beer and play bocce ball.  All day long."  It's been a long time since we've been able to do something like that. Facebook is a great way for us to keep up with our friends - to see what they're up to and for them to see what we're up to and feel like a part of each others' lives.  But this past weekend I looked at pictures of my dear, dear friend's 30th birthday celebration at Tomales Bay and just cried, and cried, and cried.  A lot of my favorite people, all in the same place on a gorgeous and sunny Northern California day, and I just wanted so badly to be there too.  Sometimes I feel guilty or selfish for feeling that way when moving here is something we wanted and worked towards for so long, but then I remind myself that it's ok to be homesick.  I know that living here is a wonderful and life changing experience and I am so glad we are doing it and so grateful to have the opportunity, even if I'm not enjoying it every single second of every single day. A week from today I'll be heading back to Ohio to visit with my family, and I'm equal parts excited and nervous.  Excited for all the obvious reasons:   I finally get to meet my new nephew (!), I get to help my sister plan her wedding, I'll be seeing some of my friends, and spending lots of time with my family.  The nervous part is a little harder to explain.  Since we've moved here, we've gone back to the U.S. twice for weddings, and both times I had a hard time coming back to Montpellier.  I remember sitting at the bar with my friend Abby while we were on the East Coast Love Tour and just tearing up at the thought that I didn't know when I was going to see her again.  Going back is almost like doing a mini-transition to life in a foreign country all over again.  It's hard to be back in a world where you have trouble communicating and your best friends are far away.  5,893.25 miles away to be exact.  But it's also a world where I get to push myself out of my comfort zone and experience new challenges every day.  It's a world where we get to travel, and see new places, and meet new people.  It's a world that we wanted to live in, and we do love the life we have created here. I do know one thing for sure.  I am really lucky that Michael is first, my best friend and second, my husband.  If  I didn't have him, some days I don't know what I would do.  We started off as friends, but quickly fell in love, so the friendship part of our marriage has really had a chance to grow since we moved here, and for that I'm grateful.  As many people know, he's a great friend to have. But FOMO is inevitable and it's days like these when I just have to pick myself up by the bootstraps and say, "Buck up kid!  You live in the south of France!"  And then I step outside to 55° and a cloudless sky in the middle of winter, get myself a freshly baked croissant, and all is right in the world. But I still wish I could have been here.

happy birthday, kate!

14 Responses to “FOMO”

  1. 1. i had no idea what FOMO was.

    2. i think you are experiencing something 100% normal. you’re right, you’re ALLOWED to be homesick. nothing you’re doing is taking for granted your time in France because you are l-i-v-i-n-g it up in europe. life is full of good and bad days and anyone who says it isn’t is an idiot.

    3. if you’d like to come over to my house in your pajamas while you’re visiting ohio to watch teen mom 2 you’re more than welcome to i’m a short drive up 77N. and while i’ve never actually watched teen mom 2 but i’m sure i’ll be able to catch up.

    4. chin up!

    • Natalie says:

      thank you, darling! I just may take you up on that. Here’s the TM2 recap: they’re all crazy! Now you’re caught up.

  2. Diana says:

    I feel you 100%. I felt this way when I studied abroad in Paris during college. My dream was to live along the Seine, but there were days when all I wanted to do was sit by my laptop in case a friend Skyped. You *will* look back on this time and relish that you took a chance, and let yourself feel all the emotions that came with it.

  3. Jillian says:

    love you and miss you too!! xoxox

  4. Sam says:

    You can come over here and sit in your pj’s whenever you want!! We have about 4 eps of 90210 waiting!!! Mex is in paris every week xx

  5. nate says:

    hey Natalie —

    I totally, TOTALLY get it. This may or may not make you feel any better, as I occasionally got cases of FOMO when living abroad. But then I realized something. Not to speak badly of your or my friends, but basically it’s the same old, same old over here. You’re the one living the dream many of us wish we could, and many of us live vicariously through your posts. Sure, you miss out on bocce ball in Dolores park with PBRs, but Dolores park ain’t going anywhere. We’re all going to be here when you get back, and you’ll have been to twenty more awesome destinations and have had amazing experiences. We’ll just be hungover.

    We miss and love you guys!!!

    – n

  6. Sarah says:

    Natalie, you and Michael are always missed! xo

  7. Abby says:

    Oh wow wow wow wow! I am so thrilled to recieve honorable mention in this post. I too, miss the hell out of you, but I’m equal parts proud that you’re rising to meet all these challenges…traveling the world vicariously through your blog ain’t so bad either. ;) We just need to get cracking on an annual group vacation – change is inevitable but we’ll always have our mems…and with a little planning…the ability to make more! Love you!

  8. shawn says:

    You guys are definitely missed. I mean, I went though quite the football season this year and viber with Michael just didn’t cut it. It is essentially the same here in SF since you left. And you know what? Dolores is under construction. Probably will shut down completely soon. Just saying. People have it right when they say we’re often looking your way and saying “wow, that’s awesome – aren’t THEY living the life”.

    Anyway, I say, let’s party in France. Soon. How is the end of June looking?

  9. Shelby says:

    This post could not have come at a better time! I have not been on facebook for the past week because I’ve had such FOMO about missing a trip to Colorado with Justin and the Malmantines last weekend. So, thank you for the post and allowing me to realize that I’m not totally crazy!! Love and miss you, Nat!! xo

  10. Matt says:

    Miss you guys tons!!

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