Estelea's Blog

French Mum, humanitarian, restless explorer and doer on sabbatical in Cebu (Philippines): one Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “toddlers safe” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.

On the move again, guess where ..

The suspense is finally over! We know where we’ll unpack our luggages ..


Europe ?..

I was totally into moving back to the old continent, first of all to be closer to the family. Second to dwell into the seasons I’ve been missing so much for the last decade. And eventually because I am craving for French food. My body can not deal with an additional grain of rice, and my addictions to the IG feeds of @julien.delhome , @cedric grolet or @Yann Menguy can only be cured with times in Paris!

But not this time. London did not call and packing for Paris without a job would be too expensive. At least we are heading there in 10 little weekends, and this time almost for 2 months. Icing on the cake, we are getting married nearby my hometown !

2. Canada?

Was a serious option for a while. The Swiss hubby was fantasizing about the everlasting winters .. But it seemed the only way to migrate to Montreal was to apply for student visa. Add to the visa fees the cost of an appartment, and enough money to secure a few months (at least) without working. I’d rather be jobless in a country close to home ! Feels a bit more reassuring to me. Still we love all we heard about Canada, so we’ll go there .. on vacations!

3. and the winner is …


Scooters … Motorbikes … Flip flop .. and (again!) rice. Same continent but “only” 14h from Paris this time. Bordering China, Lao PDR and Cambodia ?..

Vietnam! totally unexpected. The hubby had made 1 application outside Europe and that was the one that worked out. After hours of interviews, a 20h trip to Switzerland to meet with his employeurs, we now know where the “next” is. Hanoi, here we come!

Am I happy about it? to be really honest, it took me a while to digest the news. It is so far from my wishes. And from all the information I have gathered, it is almost impossible to get a job there without speaking Vietnamese. And yes, I know, this is NOT Ho Chi Minh. Far more quiet. Far more polluted. Far hotter in summer.

Again yoga came to the rescue: I practiced more heart openers to open to new possibilies and more inversions to change my perspectives. And the moment I switched to “Hanoi is great, will make it happen there!”, I sticked to Ashtanga to discipline and focus my mind.

Before leaving the country, I’ll participate to a Kids Yoga Teacher Training. My suitcase will be packed with yoga sequences and business ideas. Stay tuned and fasten your seat belt my friends !




38 comments on “On the move again, guess where ..

  1. justbluedutch
    April 6, 2017

    The moment I saw this I felt so excited for you.
    I was hoping you will be closer to ours here in Germany but then I know…there must be something there for you.
    Vietnam, Canada or Paris, I know you’ll going to be a tough, empowered woman.
    I guess you have been “trained”enough of the life in Ph that life in Vietnam will be another adventure as well.
    Congrats to your hubby for the new job, and goodluck with the move!
    But first…taantan tadaaannn, tantan tadaannn….:-)))

    • estelea
      April 6, 2017

      Salamat a lot my friend for your very kind words!
      I am looking forward to my training in Yoga for kids to be able to teach in Hanoi, and maybe come more often to France to teach there too 🙂
      I should write a post about what I ve learnt during those 3 years + in the Philippines.. One thing for sure, I wont replicate the same mistakes and I have already started networking in Hanoi. What would we do without FB ? 😉
      Anyways, one thing at a time. First my kids graduation day next week. Then our wedding ….🎉
      Have a lovely day and again kuddos for your incredible paintings!

      • justbluedutch
        April 6, 2017

        Oh yes, enjoy each moment..every milestone is important.
        Cheers to new beginnings and more Zen to life!

      • estelea
        April 7, 2017

        Cheers to that all with more fun too 😉 always!

  2. GreenGlobalTrek
    April 6, 2017

    Fantastic! Viet Nam is wonderful, especially for food ~ tons of fresh greens and more noodles than rice but oh so much variety and o h so very yummy. Just beware tge MSG.

    Hanoi quiet? Definitely not 🙂 Polluted? Yes. However, you can go North to Sapa and South to Ninh Binh for fresh air and tons of green landscapes. There is also the huge central lake where everyone goes early morning hours to exercise.

    Wonderful yoga studio in center of Hanoi, with healthy cafe attached. We hung out there quite a lot after classes ~ “Zenith”.

    We spent about 8 months in Viet Nam and loved it. Aside from the food we both loved the people and their humor. We lived on an organic farm in Hoi An for 3 months. Hoi An is just a short plane ride away and is another world! ( And one of our most favorite places in the world.)

    Exciting!!! Lucky you!! What an adventure it will be.


    • estelea
      April 7, 2017

      Thanks so much Peta for those super shiny words! You make me look forward to it, finally 😉 It seems that there are quite lots good options to recharge .. out of town. But if there is yoga then I should be fine!
      Can’t wait to visit this organic farm, and Hoi An really seems beautiful and out of time. Definitely getting ready for new adventures 🙂 X

  3. lexklein
    April 6, 2017

    First reaction: you are such a wonderful open-minded soul, and even though you were craving Europe, you are going to at least have more of a city life there (which you also seemed to miss a little). And there are certainly lots of French influences in Vietnam that might be able to keep you a little bit consoled!

    Second reaction: YAY for me! I have never been to Vietnam, so this is another good reason for me to come and meet you! (Haha – I’m sure that factored heavily in your decision!) 🙂

    Congratulations to you both on your new job (and idea for job) – I can’t wait to hear more about this and your 2-month stay in France, including wedding!

    • estelea
      April 7, 2017

      Thanks a lot my dear! Yes, yes , yes, we ll be waiting for you! Which makes me think I need to rename the blog ..
      And as you say, I have been hoping on MUCH more city life but at least there is an International airport and Taipei is hardly 3 away ..Paris 13h direct flight (it’s always better than the 21 Paris/Cebu. It’s all relative).
      Now that I have figured out the exits it should be easier to settle down 😉 Wedding first though, did I tell you I found the dress in a tiny shop by our appartment in Taipei?
      All of a sudden it made the whole thing much more real!

      • lexklein
        April 7, 2017

        I do remember seeing that you found THE dress! I’m so excited for you – the wedding and the move (I do think once you have a certain date and place, it’s easier to look forward and be at peace), and your new life in both ways.

      • estelea
        April 7, 2017

        ❤️ !!!

  4. Ann GrubbsnCritters
    April 6, 2017

    Woohoooooo! wow!wow!wow!wow! What wonderful news to get on the road again, in a different country and focusing on your business ideas! It’s only the beginning. You have found your calling. 😀
    Can’t wait to see you back here in this part of the world. xoxoxo.

    • estelea
      April 7, 2017

      Same here naka! Now that we are heading to VN, I need to work more on this Trailblazer thingy 😉
      We’ll spend a few days in Hanoi before coming back to France so I ll have someting of an idea of the place.. and the schools. So I can already figure how my business idea will fit it. More in 4 D in Europe this summer, can’t wait !!! XXX

  5. Snapshotsincursive
    April 6, 2017

    Wowza, Estelea! You are living the dream, that’s for sure! 🌟✨💫

    • estelea
      April 7, 2017

      I should get much more ingredients to be able to cook your awesome recipes! Yihha 🙂

  6. The Snow Melts Somewhere
    April 6, 2017

    Good luck! And congrats!

    • estelea
      April 7, 2017

      Thank you ! Cheers to new adventures 🙂

  7. equinoxio21
    April 6, 2017

    C’était donc bien Hanoï… (Mais tu m’avais beaucoup aidé)
    Félicitations! Au moins pour le climat. 🙂 Pour le reste, je crois que toi et ta famille ont suffisamment de “ressources” pour s’adapter sans (trop de) peine. Tu verras, ça se passera bien. Bz.

    • estelea
      April 7, 2017

      Merci pour tes encouragements 🙂 On va s’adapter et faire au mieux. Au moins il y a plus de choix alimentaires, soyons positifs! X et un tres bon WE a toi (a l’abri des microbes!)

      • equinoxio21
        April 7, 2017

        Merci. On a un mariage à Cuernavaca, à une heure de Mexico, au chaud. Ça me changera les idées. Biz

      • estelea
        April 9, 2017

        Have fun !X

      • equinoxio21
        April 10, 2017

        We did. Thank you. Bonne semaine.

  8. Britta
    April 7, 2017

    I can’t imagine you living anywhere other than the Phillippines. But I suppose change needs to happen sometime.

    I wish you the best of luck as you transition into life in VIETNAM (this definitey is a suprise, but life seem so to always work out if we allow it to). I’ve never been there, but hearing about Southeast Asia always makes me miss Southeast Asia. Looking forward to following along for the next leg of your journey!

    Namaste. ❤

    • estelea
      April 7, 2017

      I have imagined myself living in so many other places, you have no idea 😉 If your next journey happens to be in SE Asia, you know where to find us, can you believe we ve been “pen pals” for years now?
      THanks for your very kind words and see you here or there my friend
      Namaste ❤️

      • Britta
        April 7, 2017

        I’ve imagined mysellf living in many different places, too. So many place, so little time! I’m staying in DC for the time being, though.

        Time flies! I can’t believe how long we’ve internet known each other.

        Best of luck with your move. 🙂

      • estelea
        April 9, 2017

        It is more than obvious that if we don’t make the time, we ll never have it. I am currently reading “Thanks for being late” from Friedman, and it makes me dizzy sometimes to realise how fast everything is going now. Making time is the only way to be able to breath and reflect..

  9. Gary Davies
    April 7, 2017

    Well Stephanie that’s a bit of a surprise! I was certain it would be Europe or Canada next but hey, you’re such a strong person so you’ll survive and just think what experiences the mini Atillas will have to tell their kids later in life. See you Tuesday. xx

    • estelea
      April 7, 2017

      Tell me about it!I had already bought my winter jacket and high heels .. bah at least the jacket will be used there, I heard their winters were actually really cold. As for the high heels, I can’t really see myself venturing in the midst of the traffic holding the Attilas hands and screaming at the scooters in those shoes .. Or I could set a trend 😉
      More on Tuesday my dear! XXX

  10. Andrew Seal
    April 7, 2017

    Wishing you and your family all the best in your move to Hanoi Estelea. Looking forward to reading all about your new adventures. With warmest wishes as always…Andrew

    • estelea
      April 7, 2017

      Thanks a lot dear Andrew 🙂 I know that whenever the pollution will be too high, I ll just need to wander through your blog to recharche my O2 level !

      • Andrew Seal
        April 10, 2017

        Thanks Estelea for such a lovely comment 😊

  11. Photography Journal Blog
    April 7, 2017

    It’s been a long time since I have been, so any practical advice is outdated, I loved it there though and I hope you do too.

    • estelea
      April 7, 2017

      We’ll make the best of it 🙂 You are always welcome to come and update your advices dear ! Have a lovely week end ahead

  12. Jo Manzi-Crean
    April 11, 2017

    Tis so nice to see someone in a similar situation. I’m British, in South Africa, wanting to move home to the UK. Luckily my hubbie is a real home bod and will not consider living anywhere other than Cape Town, his mother city, or the UK, where we met.
    Here’s hoping I’ll be able to make a similar post to you in the next few months. Hope all is going well your end and that Vietnam is being kind. I visited it quite a few years ago, loved the picturesque villages, the history, the colours and smells. I did absolutely hate the begging though! Good luck.

    • estelea
      April 13, 2017

      Thanks 🙂 Wish you will soon post about the move you re dreaming of ! We are moving to VN in August, first holidays in Europe. I’ve been missing France too much! All the very very best X

  13. equinoxio21
    April 27, 2017

    Tout va bien? Les préparatifs avancent? 🙂

  14. e
    May 12, 2017

    Wow Estela! Its been forever since I’ve caught up and the kids are getting so big.Congrats on the Vietnam move though it wasn’t was you had in mind.

    Really fascinating..take care!.e

    • estelea
      May 15, 2017

      Thanks so much dear 🙂 yes we came in with toddlers and will leave with pre-teens (almost! although Ms Attila is quite one already!).
      We’ll have a sneak of Hanoi early June, for 4 busy days .. just enough to find a school and a house ! Gotta be optimistic 🙂
      Have you been to Vietnam yet? All the very very best always

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This entry was posted on April 6, 2017 by in expatriation, Family, yoga and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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