July In Paris

For much of the last decade, Amy and I have spent the month of July at our house in Homer, Alaska. Amy grew up in Alaska and I have a great love of the place. We’ve built one month away each year in a different location into our annual rhythm which we’ve come to treasure as a key part of our lives.

We are trying something different this year. Instead of going to Homer, we’ve rented an apartment in Paris for the month of July. We are in the 8th Arrondissement near the Arc de Triomphe on the top floor of a wonderful building.

We’ve spent a month together in Paris twice in our life – once in the 6th and once in the 7th. We had an amazing time on each trip. I’ve concluded that in another life Amy thinks she is Parisian – she dresses like French woman, she speaks French wonderfully, and she loves French food. I, on the other hand, play the role of the ugly American in jeans and running shoes, but I always overpay for things and smile a lot so it works out.

Every year when we head to Alaska, many people who don’t know us that well say “have a great vacation.” Our closer friends and work colleagues know that, while the tempo of our life changes, we are both working as much as we usually do. We just have zero travel, 24 hours a day together, and a very different approach to scheduling stuff (e.g. much less schedule; much more fluidity). Our plan this month for Paris is the same.

I’ve found that my time in July is a combination of refresh / renewal – as I’m often tired from the intensity of the first half of the year – combined with extra focus on a specific project. Last year it was finishing up Do More Faster. While David Cohen and I had been working on the book since the beginning of the year, we really pushed to get it done in July last year. This year Amy and I are starting a new project which I’ll be blogging about in the next day or two.

As Amy continues to sleep off the travel, I’m enjoying an early morning cup of coffee and a beautiful view as I ponder whether to get an Orange or SFR SIM card.

  • It may not be vacation, but that change of pace sounds delightful. My wife and I are struggling to steal a week together like that. We’ll continue to be busy, but won’t be chained to a computer screen and bio lab.

    • Anonymous

      It will be wonderful. I just got back from 2 weeks staying in an apartment in the 1st. Prepaid sims/microsims can be obtained easily from an SFR store (take ID) and topped up via an English text terminal in each store. You can get the entry level prepay for about 13.95 and top up for unlimited data. The only challenge is activating each recharge via phone which is fast French voice (1, 1 then coupon #).

      Enjoy! I’d love to do the same.

  • It may not be vacation, but that change of pace sounds delightful. My wife and I are struggling to steal a week together like that. We’ll continue to be busy, but won’t be chained to a computer screen and bio lab.

    • Go for it – it’s awesome.

  • Rui Delgado

    SFR is my favorite one. You should take some time to meet-up with venture companies in Europe. And do let me know if you want to hahaha. Enjoy Paris!!

  • Martygt52

    I’ve been here for awhile now I’m studying abroad, its required for my major in college. Enjoy the trip as best you can

  • Enjoy…

    After NYC, Paris is my favorite city, full of life and neighborhoods and where the city itself is part of the character of the day.

    Two things I love about Paris…Veleb and the ability to explore by bike without carrying a bike lock and it is a center for the natural wine movement (my particular passion point).

    Have a great time. I’ll be following your tweets with interest this month.

  • Neil

    Brad, how did you find the apartment?

    • I literally just search around on the web!

  • There is no reall  to find the appartments in paris but if some one interesting i could find apartments in some *** or **** apartments !Whose interests link on my name!

  • I buy you a quick coffee at Café de Flore if you want to discuss startups or Paris restaurants?

    • I’ll reach out to you separately via email.

  • I am sure Amy would love for both of you to get lost in the streets of Paris, discover hidden city parks enjoy good French baguette and a well brewed coffee!

    I am jealous!

    Enjoy Paris

  • Brad,

    Love this post, as my wife and I are just returning from 5 weeks in Lyon, France where we did essentially the same thing. We rented an apartment, she worked on her dissertation and I “telecommuted.” Like you, it was hard to convince others that it wasn’t a “vacation”, but rather working from a different place. We’re coming back now having been very productive, and both very refreshed after over a month away from the daily schedule.

    Anyway, enjoy your time, I look forward to hearing more about it!

  • @danbec

    Chances you and I are in the same city are rare. Do you want to meet up for coffee and discuss this statement I’ve received recently: “your startup would be funded in a day in Silicon Valley, but you’re in Paris”.

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