'I've Spread My Wings And Moved From A Country I Called Home For 51-Years'
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Patricia Brooks

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Patricia Brooks

'I've Spread My Wings And Moved From A Country I Called Home For 51-Years'

black expat , Paris , France
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Apr 1, 2021

When Patricia Brooks’ parents died within three years of each other, she realized that life was too short to not live it fully. Her biggest concern was regretting some of her life decisions if she didn’t make a move.

“I knew that if I continued on the path I was going down, I would have regrets at the end of my life and I didn’t want that,” she told Travel Noire. “I started to solo travel to broaden my horizons.  I took a few trips to Quebec City, Canada. Somehow the seed of a dream to live in a French-speaking country took root and stirred in me the desire to live abroad.”

Photo courtesy of Patricia Brooks

Moving abroad, let alone France, was something she’d never considered before. The trip to Quebec City changed everything.

“The old-world European charm of Quebec felt good to me too. I actually considered moving to Quebec City, but the winters would be too cold.”

She visited France for the first time in 2015 and in 2016, she discovered the Pyrenees Oriental region of France where she fell in love with the breathtaking landscape and mountains next to the sea. Brooks decided to make the move in 2018.

Photo courtesy of Patricia Brooks

“There are so many good things about living abroad. But I think the best thing for me is the personal growth and development that I have experienced,” she stated. “I had always been a homebody never wanting to stray far from home. Now, look at me!  I’ve spread my wings and moved out of a country I called home for 51 years.”

Brooks added that she would be a different person if she didn’t move abroad.

“In moving to France I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I believed myself to be.”

Photo courtesy of Patricia Brooks

For people cconsidering a move abroad, she has some advice:

“The idea of moving abroad can seem exotic, fun and exciting, and it can be all of those things if you set yourself up for success and build a strong internal foundation. So, if you are considering a move abroad I recommend asking yourself, ‘Why is it so important for me to make this move?’ and  ‘What will life abroad allow me to experience, have, do, or become that remaining in my home country won’t?'”

Related: Ta-Nehisi Coates: Living In Paris, I Learned To Not Make Racism Comparisons