Bonjour! My name is Dana. As Told By Dana started as a TAPIF blog, but it’s quickly become my little slice of the Internet. This is the space where I like writing about my thoughts and sharing my daily musings– the experiences I’ve had, the places I’ve traveled to, the memories I cherish, and the things I struggle with.
I grew up just outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the land of cows, cheese, football, beer, and music festivals. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in December 2012, where I studied French and English as a Second Language, joined a sorority (ΣΣΣ), studied abroad in Normandy, interned in Japan, and waitressed during the summers.
After working as an ESL teacher in the US, I moved to the French Riviera as an English teaching assistant with the TAPIF program in September 2013. Afterwards, I landed a job as a lectrice d’anglais at an engineering school in northern France, where I worked from September 2014 – August 2016. I currently reside in Lille, France, where I teach middle and high school English to French students at an International School.
My life mantra includes laughter, reading for pleasure, staying in touch, and sending hand-written thank you/birthday cards. I find joy in deep, intellectual conversations, traveling on a local level, and long, sweaty exercise sessions. Some of my favorite things include blogging, politics, novels, feminism, fashion, yoga, running, hiking, sunsets, traveling, language learning, coffee, red wine, Sour Patch Kids, Red Vines, and USA McDonald’s Fountain Diet Coke. I also used to play flute in the marching band and was a state champion gymnast for almost fourteen years.
When I first decided to move to France, I thought expat life and continuous travel was the answer to all of my problems, and to my happiness. A few years older and wiser, I now realize that happiness is (mostly) a choice no matter where you are; family and close friends mean everything; and that although life’s struggles have not left me unscathed, scars do fade over time.
Thanks for reading and coming along for the ride.