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The Departure Letter

posted at 12:01 pm
on Aug. 11, 1998

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Hello, World!

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Arrival in Paris

It’s Travis and Susie here, with another e-mail to let you know what we’ve been up to.

We’ve got some news.  It’s big news.  Are you sitting down?  (Probably, because not very many people read e-mail standing up.)

Susie and I are moving to Paris to travel and study French and take time off.  Our last day of work at the Los Angeles Times is Sept. 4, and we leave L.A. on Sept. 7.

It’s pretty exciting.  We’re going to be in Paris for about a year.  We’ve got Eurorail passes and will be traveling around Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Czech, Hungary, Austria and Switzerland (where I have relatives) before we enter France proper.  From then, we will have to find a place to live, an apartment hopefully in the 14th Arrondissement (on the south side of the city) with a room or soft bit of floor where guests can stay.

And we definitely do hope to have guests, so make your European adventure plans now, and make sure they include a stop in Paris.

We don’t have jobs lined up in Paris, but we will be looking for occasional freelance web work.  We don’t plan to spend all our time working, however.  We’re going to live humbly and eat French bread, crepes, cheese, wine, and the occasional snail.  They call them escargot.  You don’t have to eat them, but they’re quite popular in some circles.

Please take the time to send us your most current address.  Even if you think we already have it, we’re terribly disorganized, and you won’t get a postcard if we don’t know where to send it.  Also, please tell us when your birthday is.  We’d appreciate it.


Some common questions answered: I speak French, Susie has studied it some, and will be teaching herself from French game shows and movie posters.  We’ve been thinking about living in Paris for years, but we didn’t take ourselves seriously until recently, when we got out a calculator and a calendar and said, hey, yeah, we could do this!  Our families have been really supportive, and we’ll be missing them.

Our boss at work was also really good about it, once she got over the initial shock.  We talked to her last week, gave notice, and we’ll be pretty busy over the next month getting our projects wrapped up, our replacements hired, and a complete brain scan copy of the inside of our heads completed.

We’ve also got to figure out what we’re going to take and what we’re going to keep.  I’ve got a partial list of items for sale at:

It includes a lot of furniture and two cars, a 95 Jeep and a 95 Miata. 

We’ll be posting updates and news at our web sites.  If you’d like to be kept appraised of our trip, let me know and I’ll set up a mailing list, and probably have a web site as well.  We’ll be taking our computers along to Paris, but not on our travels, so we may have to write __GASP__ real letters.  As for getting in touch with us, we’ve got two permanent addresses, and we’ll be asking Susie’s wonderful parents to provide mail forwarding for us.  The Gardners are:

Phil and Jan Gardner
Alexandria, VA

My parents are:

Bill and Pat Smith
Calgary, AB

Susie and I would love to see you before we leave, if it’s geographically and temporally possible.  So be sure to call or come over in August.  We’re going to miss all the people we know here in Los Angeles, and I know it’s going to be more difficult to keep in touch from overseas.  But with this wondrous invention of e-mail, it won’t be nearly as hard as it was for me just 5 years ago, when I studied in Paris for 6 months.

Anyway, it’s big news.  If you have any advice or assistance you want to let us know about, just pick up the phone.  We’re especially interested in hearing from anyone who has contacts in Paris (especially for housing) or surrounding countries, tips on where to go and stay and what to eat.  Visitors will be very welcome chez Smith/Gardner, and advance notice will be richly rewarded.

As they say, Bon voyage!



Previous entry:
Hello, World!

Next entry:
Arrival in Paris


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