Among the never-ending chaos that is 2020, I found the perfect antidote last week: Netflix’s new series Emily in Paris. The Sex and the City successor (it was also created by Darren Star) follows Emily, a fresh-faced, 20-something American junior marketing executive who moves across the globe to Paris for a dream job.
If you haven’t binged it already, it’s lighthearted television, easy to watch while also scrolling Insta, and bordering on cheesy at times - basically it’s everything our brains need right now. Straight from your lounge room you’re transported to the magical streets of Paris (remember international travel)?
It’s enough to make anyone wonder what it would be like to pack up and jet to a country where you don’t speak the language.
Well, 15 years ago, I was Emily.
Watch the trailer for Emily in Paris. Post continues below.
Two years after graduating uni, I was working in Melbourne as the assistant brand manager for Vegemite. I thought I had it made, scoring such an incredible job straight out of uni. But then an opportunity came to move to Paris, and work in brand management for global stationery brand BIC. So I dropped my life like a hot potato and booked a one-way ticket to France.
It’s easy to dream about how glamorous it all sounds - particularly at the moment when international borders remain firmly shut. And I admit, there were plenty of pinch-me moments, and I spent the first year wandering around all starry-eyed not quite believing my life.
But just like anything, reality isn’t quite as shiny as the dream. I lived there for 2.5 years, and from my experience, here’s what the show gets right, and what’s more from the basket of TV fiction.
These shoes were (not) made for walking
First, let’s talk about the high heels. Emily (Lily Collins) has a seemingly endless supply of gorgeous stilettos.
I cannot stress this enough: one does not traipse through Paris in heels. It's just not possible.