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Richard Nahem, Paris

My name is Richard Nahem, and I am a private tour guide in Paris and write a popular Paris blog www.eyepreferparis.com.

I lived in New York City all my life till I moved here 6 years ago in 2005. I had always dreamed about living in Paris since I first visited in the late 1970s.

I planned the move very well for about a year, so it actually went quite smoothly. I was also lucky to find an apartment within just a few weeks of moving. The only thing that was difficult was setting up utilities & bank accounts not knowing the language that well but I had friends help me. Also at some of the places they spoke English.How did you find somewhere to live?

I went to a real estate agent that I stumbled upon and found my dream apartment within a few days after registering with them.

Are there many other expats in your area?

Yes, quite a few. Off the top of my head I can count 6 ex-pat friends within a few block radius.

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What is your relationship like with the locals?

After living here a few years I have finally gotten the psyche of the French and have adjusted, although not completely, to their sometimes quirky and unpredictable ways.

What do you like about life where you are?

I like the physical beauty of the city and more laid back quality of life which New York doesn’t have. It’s less hectic here but it’s still a big city which I am used to living in. The French are much more concerned with the quality of life rather than always being consumed with their careers like they are in the USA and especially New York.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

I miss certain small things about New York like the theater community and things like takeout food. Also, I still feel like an outsider to the French people even though I have lived here six years.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Plan very well ahead and try and gather as much information as you can before you move. Paris is a great place to retire or if you have a job already lined up before you move but it’s very hard for free-lancers or starting a career from scratch.It can be done but one must be patient and have enough savings or money to live before you become established. Don’t move with enough funds for only six months Do your homework, don’t move with just a romantic fantasy. Also try to establish friends or contacts before you move. Go to public meet-ups. One friend of mine approached bloggers she liked and ask to meet them. I was one of them and we became best friends.

What are your plans for the future?

I have built up my tour business to a good level and it’s still growing and my blog continues to rise in popularity so I am staying indefinitely. After all, Eye Prefer Paris!

Richard Nahem is an ex-New Yorker living in Paris since 2005. He writes a popular blog www.eyepreferparis.com, an insider's Paris guide to culture, food, art, shopping and Paris daily life. He also leads private tours of Paris www.eyepreferparistours.com based on places he writes about on his blog, showing clients the undiscovered Paris they never usually see on their own.

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