And so it begins. it’s hard to believe that only 36 hours ago, I was an executive with the largest enterprise software company in the world, effortlessly gliding through a career that spanned about 30 years, a career that afforded amazing opportunities that most only dream of in their lifetime. And now this morning, because of my lifelong insatiable need to know “what else is out there?,” I, along with my wife Susan, are staring in disbelief at the 5 suitcases, 2 carry-ons and one really heavy “box of stuff” that will represent the totality of our worldly possessions for at least the next year.

What do you pack for a year or more?

What do you pack when you’re moving to Paris for a year?

We’re leaving our beloved desert home and moving to Paris today. Paris is a place that we actually know very little about, a place where we hardly speak the language. But it’s also the place where we hope to “find out” what we need to “find out” as we enter a new phase of our lives.

vegas home

Home sweet home Las Vegas

Oh, and while we’re in Paris, I’m also going to attend school full time for the next year at the world famous “Le Cordon Bleu” culinary institute.

So with this journal I hope to share our experiences as a couple of “mature” expats living in Paris. And I also hope to illustrate the daily struggles and perhaps even the occasional triumph in the hallowed kitchens of Le Cordon Bleu Paris.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading this, even if it’s only half as much as i’ll enjoy creating it!

John Gawkowski, Las Vegas Nv.