Making US-A Home
As I’ve mentioned many times before, I originally created Hello_Francois as a way to share my personal experiences as I now navigate life in the U.S. I wanted my friends and family in France, and abroad, to learn about my new American way of life, and more specifically, life in Dallas. Especially since Texas is large enough to be its own country! However, soon after launching my blog, the content of posts began to evolve as I started collaborating with local businesses and brands, featuring their products and/or services. It didn’t take long before the sponsored posts started to surpass in quantity the personal ones. And the blog started looking more like an influencer platform, than a personal one.
And for that, I want to apologize.
Of course, I will continue posting about products and brands I like, and want to share with you. But I also want to make sure I keep the blog personal, staying true to my original vision and desire for having this blog.
I hope so.
To help stay true to this renewed format, I have decided to start a new series of blog posts called Making US-A Home. Every few months, I will share personal aspects of my life, from a French man’s perspective, but also from someone who has lived in multiple countries and continents. This series will allow me to open up- and for you guys to get to know me better as a person. Not just as an influencer.
Let’s get started!
I would like to start off by answering a common question many of you have asked, either here or on my Instagram. And that would be… why Dallas? Of all the questions I receive, hands down, the #1 question many of you want to know is how did a French man, like me, decides to settle in the Big D, and start a men's lifestyle blog?
To answer, I need to go back a few years.
After having already lived abroad in England, Greece and Japan, in April of 2014, I moved to Hong Kong, to work at the Trade Division of the French Consulate. It was an amazing professional opportunity that I was extremely excited about. Soon after moving to Hong Kong, I started following a handsome American expat, Ken, on Instagram, who had already been living in Hong Kong for 3 years at that point. Within a few weeks of following each other, we randomly bumped into each other at a bar, and I asked him "Are you the guy with the two yorkies on Instagram?" The next week we had dinner, started dating and within a few months, decided to move in together. I know what you’re thinking… but as people say, when you know, you know! It was love at first sight. Ken, originally from Dallas, is today my husband and certainly the main reason for me being here. Even though I had always had a desire to move to the U.S., specifically New York City (a city I‘ve always adored), I can safely say Dallas was never on my radar (even though I remember watching the TV show “Dallas” with my mom growing up). It just goes to show, if you’re open to it, life is pretty fascinating!
Do I like living in Dallas? YES!
I like living here. First, the weather is great! It's sunny, warm and dry (compared to Hong Kong) most of the year. Life in Dallas is also very easy and convenient. We have space. We can drive easily to places. There are a lot of nice restaurants, bars, hotels, shops and museums. People here are also very friendly, warm, welcoming and open-minded. And because of its location within the U.S., we can easily fly to other big cities including New York City and Los Angeles.
Overall, my life in Dallas is good. However, as a French person, I miss quite a few things.
First, I miss old buildings. Like really old buildings. The Adolphus Hotel is beautiful (one of the oldest buildings in the city) but it is not what I would personally consider old. I miss buildings, castles, monuments and churches that are hundreds of years old. If you’ve been to Europe, you will know what I'm talking about.
I also miss French markets and small family-owned businesses that sell only the best local products. They are in every city in France, even in Paris. Even though Paris is a big city, every neighborhood has its own life, with its own little cafes and grocery boutiques. The small stores sell brands you have never heard of, and I wish we had more of that here in Dallas.
I also miss the French language. I speak, read, write and listen to English all day, every day, and sometimes it just makes me very tired. I find communicating in a language that's not my mother tongue, an exercise that requires a lot more concentration. Sometimes, I'm so tired that I just find myself no longer paying attention to what’s happening around me.
I hope to go to France for a week or two this year, as I miss it very much.
Well, there you have it! The first Making US-A Home post. I hope you enjoyed this post. I certainly enjoyed sharing more about me, and look forward to sharing more very soon.
If you have any questions you would like to ask me, please do! Who knows, your question could be the next topic in this series.
Photo credit: Carlos Zúñiga
Hello_Francois | Dallas Men's Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger