I'm a writer, Youtuber, photographer. and old-fashioned romantic in love with celebrating the simple joys of daily life. I appreciate timelessness, the natural world, and a slow life lived with simplicity and intention. When I'm not photographing families or  slowly traveling the world and writing about it in a little notebook, I'm happily grounding myself in nature and cozying up with my sweet husband.

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The time has come! The time is here! My partner and I are gearing up for a possibly permanent, with no end in sight move around the globe! This past August we decided we weren’t ready to settle and we wanted to experience living in other countries, surrounded by other cultures, people, food, beliefs and a lifestyle far different from the American way. I realized how young we were and how strange it was that our youthful minds and bodies thought it might be a good idea to stay and settle in one little town – I mean, I’m 23 for pete’s sake! So after a camping trip through Iceland, we made the decision: we were going to live in other countries – and we were going to do it together. 

After a long autumn and winter filling out job applications, tense discussions surrounding the ideas of “what ifs” and a risky but exciting backup plan to obtain holiday work visas in New Zealand (which we will still be doing in the coming years!), we have chosen our first home base. And we are so thrilled with our soon-to-be home! Alright, here we go –

We are moving to…….

Strasbourg, France!

Also known as the most charming fairytale of a town, where I imagine Belle from Beauty and the Beast once lived.

This photo is not my own! Credit goes to Adam Allegro Photography

Strasbourg is the 6th largest city in France and the French city with the 2nd best public transportation (right after Paris)!  It’s a biking city, with plenty of French cafes, shops, and cinemas, as well as cobblestoned streets, beautiful bridges, cathedrals and canals. A simple french town with a slow pace of life and a bit of German influence, as you can see in the architecture above as it is so close to the German border! It is also the official seat of the European Parliament, which I found super neat. It is a 90 minute train ride away from Paris (those scheduled morning trains to Paris are like the Metro North from NYC to Connecticut! CRAZY.) and super close to the Mont Blanc mountains, Switzerland, and you can walk to Germany in minutes! I also love that Germany’s Black Forest and Rhine River are close by for a nature fix. It truly could not be more perfect.

Not only was this our second choice, after Alex did not officially get placed with the English Language Fellow, but this was our dream location to move to someday and it has the best highest-paying salary of all the jobs Alex has applied for!! We have been totally lucky and the Universe has just allowed this to unfold and align so naturally and ease-fully. I had a gut feeling France was where we would end up moving, but it truly could have been anywhere, so the fact that we are moving to this incredible city in freaking France and with such a low cost of living at that ( literally our apartment will be between 400-500 a month.) is just….it’s magical beyond words.

What will we be doing there?

Celebrating Christmas everyday! Drinking Glühwein (mulled wine) at all hours! Just kidding….but really! Strasbourg has the oldest French Christmas Market and you can believe that I will be visiting tons of Christmas markets in Europe.

No, but really – Alex will be working as a “maitre de langue” or Master of Language at the University of Strasbourg. I am ecstatic to say that this teaching job is financially stable which has been so different from the instability of working as an adjunct professor here in the United States. It is a year contract with vacation time, health insurance and pays the amount of a full-time professor (but in France that is considered to be 8 hours a week) so we will have nothing but time to enjoy all that Europe has to offer.

I will be working freelance jobs from my laptop…but mostly traveling around Europe. I’m grateful that my two years building up online skills in Photoshop, graphic design, and website building will serve me while living place to place. I’m also looking into some side virtual assistant work and monetizing this here blog. But my focus will be on building this here blog and photography portfolio full-time while I’m seeing, breathing and living like a European. These past few years of working a full-time day job while cranking out my dream career into the early hours of the morning has been a beautiful struggle, and I’m now grateful to have a partner who is willing to support me while I dedicate my days to building a hopefully badass online empire someday in the future. Baby steps, you know…creating work I feel passionate about little by little everyday…

How long will we be in France?

One full year, and a possible 2nd year depending on how we are feeling.

University of Strasbourg (an image I found from Google – not my own)

What can you expect to find here going forward?

You can plan to see a ton of European travel guides, tips, and stories from our time living in France. I’m also getting more and more into video and I’ll continue my vlogging on the channel!

It will be our first year as a newlywed couple, and we intend to fill it with as many French Alp hiking expeditions and road trips through Italy and France as we can fill into our schedule when we are not making early morning bakery runs to get some warm baguettes or having mid-afternoon naps after eating loads of cheese, wine, and fruit (that vegan/no-drinking rule I have for myself may be going out the window while in France…). I’m also making a beeline to a few bucket list places nearby in Europe once we arrive, so stay tuned and I’ll see you around on the web!

Until then, we’ll be getting married and living in Egypt until September. And the journey will all be posted here – on my little online travel diary…

au revoir mon ami

 

 

 

We are Moving to France!

June 2, 2018

  1. Oh my goodness what a delightful post! I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU BOTH !! You are a powerful manifester this seems like the perfect place for you both! I wish you the best in all your future endeavors !

  2. Jennifer Trujillo says:

    I am SO JEALOUS! What a GREAT place to have an extended honeymoon. They stars have most certainly aligned! Many congratulations!

    • helenawoods says:

      thank you so much Jennifer!! We are beyond excited 🙂 They aligned – totally last minute but it unfolded so beautifully! Congrats to you as well!

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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical, emotionally honest family and children's portraiture. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I photograph families across the world. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.

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