Life in Lyon after 5 months

It has been almost 5 months since I moved to Lyon. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and have a new beginning in Lyon. It wasn’t easy. And it’s still not. Rollercoaster is the word that describes perfectly my experience here until now. Ups and downs, with really intense feelings of not being appreciated, feeling unwanted, isolated, lonely, without value or utility. But also I had many beautiful moments while visiting Lyon and the surroundings, taking photos of sunsets, drinking good coffee from Slake.

My first big breakdown

Two weeks ago I had a breakdown. I was on the edge of going back to Bucharest. I had the feeling that I don’t belong here, that I can’t fit in, integrate or adapt between french people. Also, my working contract was canceled after 3 months. Nothing was how I wanted to be.

I used a bottle of wine to clear my thoughts and I realised that the main problem, the biggest obstacle that I encountered from the moment I set foot on French ground was not speaking French. Or more clearly, not understanding French. By the way, I am not saying that alcohol will solve your problems. But it can help you to relax a bit, take a break, deconnect.

Alors, j’ai commencé à apprendre le français

Yes. It was time. I realised that I don’t have any other choice if I want to develop myself here, continue my passion for portrait photography, making friends, find a good job. Speaking French is the key that opens all the doors which now are closed. Well, not closed, but hard to open.

And, to make it fun, because I have more time now, I started to take long walks on the streets of Lyon, while listening to French lessons. And also I found a lot of places where I can sit down, near Rhone or Saone, in the sunlight, studying French. It’s so beautiful!

Life in Lyon. Learning French between French

I am always trying to not walk on the same street twice or, at least, go in places that I’ve never been before. This is how I randomly discover amazing places that can not be discovered otherwise.

Lyon is full of narrow streets and hundreds of stairs which will take you above the city. There are many places in Lyon from you can see the whole city. You have Fourviere hill, which is really easy to find by guiding yourself using the Basilique Notre-Dame, visible from almost everywhere.

Then search for Jardin des curiosites, one of my favourite places in Lyon. Or
Jardin des Chartreux or Fort de Montessuy.

Also, there are so many beautiful views if you “climb” the Croix-Rousse hill. Go to Hotel de Ville with the subway, then search for Montee de la Grand Cote. You can feel free to explore any part of this hill, because you can always find something new, interesting, by just exploring without any plan (you can use Google Maps if you feel that you are lost).

In the end, I will show you some photos from my long walks. But I also invite you to see my daily activity on Instagram, by checking @francois_en_france account. “Francois” is from my name. If you translate “Francisc” in French, it will become “Francois”.

I would love to hear your stories. Write me on Instagram if you want to chat.