|Families enjoying a sunny afternoon along the Quais|
Greetings from Sunny Bordeaux!!
You don't know how long I have waited to say that! If you remember from one of my previous posts (about Carnival in Bordeaux) - it was really cloudy and threatening rain during that parade. Well - that's been the story of this whole winter - lots of rain, lots of clouds....and then more rain, more clouds.
|A different view of Bordeaux - looking toward the Pont Chabon-Delmas and a river cruise heading out.|
I am just so happy now that we are into March, we are seeing some sun! I love how the sun makes me feel - livens the mood, lifts the spirits and returns our energy!
I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed the past few days outside, walking around in the the sunshine!
|The town square in Libourne|
I have a little confession to make - you may have noticed that I haven't been posting on my blog as frequently as I had in the past - well it's not that I haven't wanted to blog - I have lots of ideas - lots of posts started - but I have just been running out of time.
I have decided to go back to work - return to the workforce and I'm trying my hand at something new - something different. What is it you ask? It's funny, I look back even 5 years ago and I would have said I was going to be a school guidance counselor for life. I never really saw myself, at that point, doing something else. I had a great job in the States, loved my students and colleagues. I knew the statistics that people changed not only jobs, but careers and it really was rare for someone to stay in one career their whole life - but that's where I was...then - boom - we moved to France!
I knew when we moved here that under my carte de sejour (long-term stay visa) that I would be able to work - but I also knew that I would not be able to be a school counselor here. The certifications are not reciprocal, let alone this type of job really doesn't exist in the same way here. Yes, there might be a private international school that might look at my credentials, but there is only one school like that here in Bordeaux. Truthfully, I was also intimidated early on by the French language itself. Yes, I do speak French, yes, I read it fluently but I still felt like a fish out of water. My confidence was my biggest limitation.
I was happy to be home more for the girls, and happy to settle into our new life in France. But late last year, I began to feel like I missed working, missed being part of something bigger than our family - missed contributing to society in some way. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I also knew that I really only wanted to work part-time. Ideally, it would be something that would work around the girl's school hours and also had some flexibility.
Well - amazingly enough, before I formally started looking - an ad for a job literally landed in my inbox - shared with me to pass on to my international expat club...It was one of those moments where I read the description and I knew this was my answer - a job that amazingly fit all my criteria and additionally allowed me to share my love for this great city and region!
|The Cloisters in Saint Emilion|
So what am I doing? - I'm going to be a freelance tour guide. I will be guiding groups around my beautiful city of Bordeaux, the Saint Emilion area and also Arcachon - out on the Ocean. I can name the days I'm available and take off days that I'm unable to work. The best part of this job is that I get to lead these tours in English!!
So - for the past few months - I have been researching (feeling like I went back to college to study French history, architecture, wine, geography etc..). It's been lots of fun, but tons of work. - I really do feel like I'm a student again. Crash courses in the history of Bordeaux, history of nearby towns - history dating back to the Roman times through modern times. Lots of reading about the wine industry, all the different types of wines in this area, the different chateaux, people - you name it - I think we had to study it. I feel like an encyclopedia bursting at the seams! But I have always loved history and learning - so truthfully, it's been interesting and fun at the same time.
During the past couple of weeks we have had the luxury of being shown the routes, the areas and going over exactly what we have time to cover on the tours. But knowing we have knowledge to answer questions. So I'm nervous - but excited at the same time.
|Another view of the Cloisters|
So with the sun shining here in Bordeaux - it's been nice to be outside enjoying this area as I enter into the next phase of my life. I truly feel lucky to not only be able to enjoy this area, but also to share it with others! As a friend of mine said when I shared a photo of the Sauternes wine vineyards - Pretty nice view from your "office"! I definitely can't complain - I get to enjoy all of this each day I work!
Don't worry - I still love blogging and sharing our adventures....and I will probably have more adventures to share as I show off this great region. So wish me luck and think of me in the coming weeks as the countdown begins for my first tour!
|Looking down a narrow street in Saint Emilion|
|Town Square - Saint Emilion|
|Looking up toward bell tower and church - Saint Emilion|
*All photos taken by me with Cymera on my cell phone.