• kimberlydulac

What just happened?

It was January of 2020 and my husband and I were in France celebrating the New Year and visiting his family and friends. There was a whisper of a virus that was spreading in the Eastern countries. When I arrived home, I went about my daily business--living the true American Dream. I had a great job doing what I love for a large corporation, owned a remodeled home in central Florida built in the 1940s (it was a hipster's dream), married with a most wonderful french bulldog, traveling the World, meeting with executives about future aspirations, etc......

But then everything changed.

My last performance as Maji in Festival of the Lion King at Walt Disney World was on Sunday March 15, 2020. We were informed that the world renowned theme park would be closing its' doors for two weeks and we were to follow the closing instructions as we would for a hurricane. A couple weeks before, we had heard from some friends in Paris that the city was likely going into lockdown for an extended length of time and they were stocking up on essentials. I was somewhat prepared for the news of the shutdown thanks to in part our friends in Paris, but as we all know and have experienced, the shutdown was one of much greater length than two weeks.

I was glad to have a bit of time to work on finishing my degree, as my last day of classes was May 4, 2020. Hurray! I had been in school for a bit longer than the normal 4 years as I was working full time and thanks to technology, was able to complete all but one semester online. By the summer, our cast was told we were coming back to work with the re-opening of Disney, but a battle was ensuing between our union, Actors' Equity Association, and Disney, and caused a recall on our return. My husband and I began to think about our options and what we really wanted to do.......

I was getting laid-off. My dream job came to a very early finish and we decided to make a move across the Atlantic. My husband and I had long been talking about relocating to France (his home country) so moving sooner rather than later seemed like a good idea. Besides, what were we going to do in Orlando while the world was in chaos? Eat at Fridays? I'll pass. We were moving to the gastro-capital of France!

Moving across the ocean takes work and commitment. It was a full time job! Selling our home, researching shipping companies, applying for visas, finding travel accommodation, researching how to move a dog, job hunting, change of address forms, and actually doing it is a lot. But we made it! I was living another dream, moving to Europe and living in a romantic city surrounded by art and culture. Or so I thought.

EVERYTHING was closed and France had a much harsher lockdown compared to that of Florida. It wasn't terrible, but it made a transition stressful. With a curfew, bars and restaurants closed, no entertainment, and winter, it was difficult to make friends, explore the city, and dive into the culture I had been dreaming of being part of. I'm fortunate to be here today, back in France, in a beautiful city, with a fresh outlook and mind. It was a long journey to get here and I had my share of ups and downs and there will be more, but the world has changed and so have I.

In my blog, I plan to share experiences I've had throughout the pandemic, places I've seen and been, things I've ate, a bit of arts and entertainment, and more about me and my journey in hopes that it may help others in need as well as provide information and reviews! xx

#france #francelife #frenchlife #food #art #usatofrance #dancer #yoga #artist #create #life

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