In episode 321, Megan chats with Molly Madigan Pisula, founder of Vanilla Bean Cuisine, about how food blogging gives you the opportunity to live a mobile life. Have a successful career anywhere in the world, while being in control of your time, so that you can spend more of it with the people you love.
We cover information about how living in another country broadens your knowledge about new foods and cooking techniques, live in a lifestyle that will help you appreciate being creative and staying inspired creatively, why you’ll love the freedom to prioritize loved ones and friends and how to make a conscious decision to prioritize your life’s priorities so you become willing to change things up from how it’s always been.
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Bio Molly started her career in high-tech marketing at Apple, but quit to become a personal chef when her first daughter was born. After 12 years, Molly has made the transition into food blogging. Her focus is on healthy, seasonal recipes—both savory and sweet.
- Living abroad and exposing yourself to a different way of life is valuable.
- Living abroad exposes you to a different kind of ingredients and a different way of cooking. The in season foods are different around the world.
- Be conscious about making priorities for your family and for your business.
- Recharge your brain cells by taking time away from work and taking those vacations.
- The American pace is so different from around the world and really prioritizing relationships. It gets lost in the US.
- As bloggers, you’ve already said no to the 9-5 grind and have to make the mindset that you’re going to make time for what’s important to you outside work.
- Work hard when you work and take time for family, friends, hobbies, time opens up. A balance becomes possible.
- You don’t have to move to another country to experience a change in pace of life or culture. You can move from suburb to city, live in a RV for awhile or do any number of things to broaden your world, appreciate what you have and inspire yourself and your family.
Book recommendation: A Better Life for Half the Price
Click for full script.
Molly Pisula: Hi, this is Molly Madigan, fast from Vanilla Bean Cuisine and you are listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast.
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Megan Porta: Hey food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast for food bloggers, looking for the value and the confidence that will move the needle forward in their businesses. This episode is sponsored by RankIQ. I am your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode number 321. Today I have Molly Madigan Pisula with me from Vanilla Bean Cuisine and she’s going to talk to us about how food blogging can give you the opportunity to live a mobile life. Molly started her career in high tech marketing at Apple, but quit to become a personal chef when her first daughter was born. After 12 years, Molly has made the transition into food blogging and her focus is on healthy, seasonal recipes, both savory and sweet.
Molly, how are you doing today? It’s so great to have you here.
Molly Pisula: I am great, Megan. I am happy to be here. I’m happy to be here.
Megan Porta: Yay. Okay. We wanna hear your fun fact before we dig into this awesome topic.
Molly Pisula: Okay. So my fun fact is, as you noted in my bio, I was a personal chef for a long time, and that was a really fun life. I had a bunch of clients that were interesting and fun. One of them, I got contacted one day by this woman who was the head of the local chapter of a society called the Nero Wolf literary society. If you don’t know what Nero Wolf is, he’s a fictional detective. These novels go back. They were written from like the 1930s to the 1970s. There are like 40, no 70 books in this Nero Wolf series. There are people who are just huge fans of this detective. He is famously in the books a gourmand and always there’s a food component in a lot of the books. So this woman called and said she wanted to do a five course meal for their club for this chapter. But they wanted the menu to be from a particular book in this series. So the book was from 1938 and it had recipes in the back of it. The recipes were for partridge and some weird things that we don’t really eat anymore. So I had to go through these recipes and come up with a five course menu using these recipes, but with today’s ingredients and then serve it to them for their annual meeting of their society. It was so much fun. I thought it was a really unique thing to have done and I was happy to do it.
Megan Porta: 1938. I cannot even believe how old that is. Was it well received? Was all the food really well received?
Molly Pisula: Yeah. Yeah. i have to say it was delicious. The recipes were still really good, even though I had to play around a little bit with the ingredients.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I bet you are a magician. I bet it came out fantastically, but that is so cool. I’ve never heard anything like that before, and I’ve never heard of that book series either.
Molly Pisula: Yeah, no, I hadn’t before this woman contacted me, but it is apparently quite popular in some circles.
Megan Porta: Now we know. Awesome. Okay, Molly, you’re here to talk about living a mobile life and how this can give food bloggers freedom. I wanna hear your story because you guys moved internationally, you moved abroad. So just tell us why you decided to do that.
Molly Pisula: Yeah. So my husband and I had always talked about moving abroad someday. Personally, I had always wanted to live internationally. I didn’t do it when I was in college and always regretted that. A few years ago we were talking and we were just Okay we need to make that happen or it’s just never going to happen. My husband works for Apple and he’s an engineer and they have an engineering office in Paris and we were okay If a job comes up and there’s something that we can do internationally, let’s think about it. I’m really mobile. If he could move too, that would be great. So he ended up getting a job offer in the Paris office and we thought, okay, this is it. This is the opportunity. We decided we would go for two years and it was just a desire to break out of the routine to see the world, to be inspired with new foods and also to give our family an experience that we just wouldn’t have if we never left home.
Megan Porta: Where are you at in the two year stretch?
Molly Pisula: So we’re home now. We’ve done our stretch. We came back. So now we’re back in the states and readjusting to life back on this side of the pond.
Megan Porta: Yeah. What would you say now having experienced it, looking back, what did you like about living in Europe? How did it benefit your family and also you as a food blogger?
Molly Pisula: I loved it. I think the biggest thing that I got from the experience is just being exposed to a different culture and a different sort of way of life. This is probably true of most places that you would go outside of the US, but certainly in France where we were, there’s such a different importance placed on enjoyment, on appreciating life, on eating well, on taking time, taking vacation time, taking time to be with your family, taking long meals. I felt like when we were back here we lived outside in the suburbs of Washington DC, and it’s a very constant place to live in the world. It’s very busy. People are constantly doing things and there’s a lot of stress to it. I found that going to a different place where there was a different value placed on enjoying life while we’re here, we don’t know how much time we have left. I just really loved Walking outside my door and seeing people sitting in the French cafe for three hours taking a long lunch with a bottle of wine and then going back to work. It wasn’t even people on vacation like this, this was just part of the lifestyle. Doing Sunday family dinners with all of their relatives. From a family perspective I really liked that, because I just thought people really put a focus on family and really put a focus on taking some time to yourself to relax and enjoy life. I think as a food blogger, there’s so many advantages as a food blogger because I was just completely exposed to a different type of cooking, a different set of ingredients. As a seasonal food blogger, it was fascinating to me because suddenly I was in a different part of the world, where there were different things in the market at different times. Being able to explore those and talk to the vendors about oh, okay I’ve never seen this ingredient before. How would you cook it? Or what do you do with this? I got so much creative inspiration from that that I just absolutely loved it.
Megan Porta: Sign me up, please. That sounds amazing. Your description of somebody just taking a long lunch and enjoying wine, that does not happen over here.
Molly Pisula: That does not happen, no.
Megan Porta: It makes me sad to think that, like, why is that? We’re just in this race and it’s so hard to set ourselves apart and be different because we’re in it.
Molly Pisula: Yeah. I thought the same thing. So when my husband started working, in France, they actually had a rule that you can’t work, I think you can’t work more than 35 hours a week. So at Apple where it was, it’s actually more than a 40 hours a week job, technically it’s a 40 hours a week job cause it’s an American company. So he would get five hours a week of vacation time that was then added to his vacation time, which in the French system is huge. So much more than we get in the US and people there use it. People go on vacation all the time. I feel like there’s such a culture in the states of all these people who don’t even use their vacation time or, it’s just go all the time. Oh, I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time to plan a vacation. I don’t have time to take time off. It’s really interesting to see a different type of lifestyle where people are like, no, yeah I’m gonna be gone for the next two weeks. What are you doing?
Megan Porta: I have personally never understood that whole thing. Like I don’t have time for vacation because I’m such a vacation person. I thrive on taking vacations and getting away and experiencing life and enjoying my family in different settings. I love it. So I just do not, I don’t get it. I just don’t understand it.
Molly Pisula: I know. Funny, I don’t get it either.
Megan Porta: But how do we incorporate that way of life into our thinking and maybe set ourselves apart by being a little different? It’s so hard, but do you have thoughts about that?
Molly Pisula: Yeah, I know it is really hard. I think that having a conscious decision with yourself, making the conscious decision that, Hey, I see this going on around me and that is not what my priority is and what my priority is, I wanna spend time with my family. I wanna see the world, I want to take vacation and recharge my creative brain cells. When you can say to yourself okay these are the things that are important to me. These are my priorities and now here’s how I’m gonna make them happen. Whether you’re thinking about that once a year or a couple times a year, I think that’s the way to do it. Because it’s so easy to just keep going in your every day and like never pick your head up and say wait a minute. What am I doing? If I just keep doing this, I’m never going to stop. You have to tell yourself Hey these are some things that I wanna do and then find a way to make time for them and plan them out. Because if you don’t, it just doesn’t happen. Yes.
Megan Porta: I absolutely love that. This applies to so many things in our culture in America, where I feel like people, like the herd, do certain things and we just go along with it. It’s that herd mentality. I’ve always been the type of person to almost rebel against the herd. I don’t know why . I think that’s just in my DNA. Sometimes that serves me and sometimes it doesn’t. I always look at things. Why is everyone doing this? I’m not going to follow them just because they’re doing it. Sometimes there’s a good reason to be doing that and sometimes there’s not. So I think there are two perspectives on that. I really need to evaluate why I’m not following the herd, if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. But this, I feel, is one way that I can be different and take a step back and look at the way society is doing things. I guess it’s like this. Why aren’t we taking vacations? Why are we so busy? Why are we fast paced? Like you were talking about Washington DC and the way everyone’s always busy and doing something. I think we need to do that more often. Just step back and look at that.
Molly Pisula: Yeah, I agree. The other thing that I noticed in France in comparison to being here is that, in the US, it’s really hard even to invite a friend over for dinner. You gotta have your calendars out and this friend can’t do it this day and this friend can’t do it this day.
Megan Porta: That’s so true.
Molly Pisula: It is so hard to plan anything that I find that I have friends who live six blocks from me that I never see because it’s always ah, I’m so busy. Yeah. We should totally catch up and we don’t. I noticed that in France, it just seemed like the people, part of their priority was like, okay, let’s meet for a drink after work and just, spend an hour together and just hang out, like no pressure, no big commitment, but they really did a better job of making time for the people they care about. I think that’s another thing that just gets lost if you don’t say you’re gonna carve out time to do it. Because we just all get stuck in this, what we’re doing and it and there’s never time. It’s not like somebody walks over to your house and says, “Hey, you wanna, sit on the porch and have a drink of coffee? That never happens here and I really wish it would. Because it’s those kind of small moments that actually could be really great, but I feel like it just doesn’t happen for whatever reason.
Megan Porta: That makes me sad. I literally just felt like I could get teary right now because that’s how life should be, prioritizing relationships and people. What we do instead is we say exactly what you were just saying. I don’t have time to do that. I can’t meet you for a glass of wine or a coffee. That is so sad. It’s heartbreaking.
Molly Pisula: But not to bring us down. But here’s the good thing. This is what I think, when you were saying that you feel like you’ve been a kind of against the grain kind of person. I feel like a lot of food bloggers are in that category. Don’t you?
Megan Porta: Oh, interesting. I’ve never given that thought before.
Molly Pisula: I think so. I think we’ve chosen a path that really is pretty different from a lot of normal jobs out there. So if that says something about the personality, you have to be a food blogger. I don’t know, but I will certainly say that food blogging gives you a lot of flexibility. It does give you a lot of ability to do some of those things that, if you were working a nine to six job every day, or you’re working some 60 hour consulting gig, there’s no flexibility. There’s no time in there. But when you have a job that’s a little more flexible, you can carve out those spots. You can say okay, I’m gonna work like hell for this month and I’m gonna get ahead in a couple of my blog posts, and then I’m gonna take two weeks off and I’m gonna just relax and enjoy. You have more flexibility than a lot of people out there. We should use it.
Megan Porta: You’ve convinced me to move abroad. So my husband’s gonna be like, wait, who did you talk to today? So let’s talk about that. How hard was it to actually make the move?
Molly Pisula: Yeah so I will say that it was both harder and easier than I thought it would be. It was difficult, but it is doable. I remember talking to people before we left and, and I would say oh yeah, we’re getting ready for this international move. People would be like, oh, I just, I couldn’t do that. I could never do that. Or like I would love to, but I could never do that. I wanted to say but you can, it’s not easy, but it is possible. Once you start just taking a look at all the things that you have to do and there are a lot. What are you gonna do about your current house or apartment that you live in? What are you gonna do about if you have kids, what are you gonna do about their school? What are you gonna do about health insurance? What are you gonna do about getting a visa? All of these things are not, they’re not easy to do. They’re very time consuming. But they’re not impossible either. I will say France actually is not the easiest place to go as if you’re going in as a freelancer. If that’s the kind of visa that you’re looking for. We got very lucky because my husband had a job offer. So I was able to come on a spousal partner visa. But there are visas out there that are like, Business entrepreneur visa, self-employment visas, digital nomad visas. There are some countries, some in Europe and some in different parts of the world that really want expats. They want you to come in there and some of them, the visa requirements are just like, you have to show them that you make a certain amount of money every month or every year or whatever it is. You can get a visa to work there for a period of time. In some places they don’t want you to come in necessarily if you’re going to take a job from somebody who lives there from one of their citizens, but that’s where food blogging is great, because you can come in and be like, Hey, I’m not taking anybody’s job away. I have my own income. It’s already established. All I’m doing is coming to your country and spending money in your country. So there are some places that actually make that pretty easy for you, which is fantastic. That said, it is hard to do. Then once you’re there. I think for me, I expected the startup to be hard. I expected all of those logistics of just making it happen and, oh, we have a dog. So I had to get the dog to France. There’s a whole layer of bureaucracy on that too. Oh boy. Once I get there, the hard part is done and then I can just relax and enjoy being in France. That was not true. That I think was the part that was harder than I expected.
Megan Porta: How long did it take you to adjust, do you think?
Molly Pisula: I would say. We actually did. We did a trial run on this in 2015. We went over to France for seven months. We were gonna do it for a year and we had some problems with the visas. Anyway, we ended up only being there for seven months and that trip, I went and by the time we left after seven months, I was like, wait a minute. I’m just feeling comfortable here. What are you talking about? We have to move back. So this time I had it in my head, I know there’s a long ramp up to feeling comfortable. So I was more prepared for it. I do think that it is important to understand that you’re not gonna go in and a month later be like, oh yeah, I’m set up. Everything’s wonderful. There’s this thing called the expat curve which I just found hilarious. So my kids were put in the American school in Paris, which is fantastic. It was so easy. The other thing is if you have children, there are so many international schools out there and their population is constantly turning over because they’re all expats who are in the school. There was actually a big segment of French native French kids, but then the international kids are just constantly coming in and out. So it makes it easy for a kid to start a new class when most of their class is new anyway, or a lot of them are. So they don’t feel like the only new kid. They also have a built in community, a community of parents. They know how to get people in and feel comfortable. One of the first things they had is they had this. They invited all the new parents to come sit down. They had these presentations about how to get healthcare in France, how to navigate the grocery store in France, how to do all these things. This one person came on and they put the slide up on the screen and it was called the expat happiness curve. We were all like, what? It’s like a giant U. So you start at the top of the U and there’s the Honeymoon period where you’re like, oh my God, I can’t believe we’ve made it. This is fantastic. I am living the dream. I’m in France and I’m having cocktails and this is like the best thing ever. Then and that sadly only lasts like a couple of months maybe. Then there’s this big dip and the dip is when you realize oh God actually this is really hard to do. I don’t speak this language that well. I feel very lonely. Things are so hard. I liken it to when you have a baby and everything you do takes 10 times longer than it would if you didn’t have a baby. You go to the grocery store and suddenly like your 10 minute trip takes an hour and you’re constantly fighting with the baby and it’s just oh my God, how did I spend my whole day doing nothing? That is what it is to move to a foreign country. Just everything takes so much longer than you think. So you go to the grocery store and nothing’s in the same place as it is at home. So you don’t know where anything is. You have to find where it is and then they don’t have your regular products. So it’s okay, then you have to figure out like, all right, they don’t have any of my cereal. So what cereal am I gonna get? Then if you’re looking for something in particular, you often have to read the box to figure out what are the ingredients? Or how do I make this? Then you’re trying to do that in another language.
Megan Porta: Oh my God. Oh gosh, this is stressing me out.
Molly Pisula: I know. I don’t wanna bring you down. So those kinds of things are like, oh gosh, this is really hard. So that’s why there’s this dip in the happiness curve. But then I will say that, then you start to come out of that and you’re like, okay. Now I’ve got a handle on things. I know where my stuff is in the grocery store. I’ve found a doctor for my kids who speaks English. I’ve figured out some of the big pieces. You start to feel a little bit more comfortable and then it’s just the curve just keeps going up, like you’re adjusting, you’re feeling more comfortable there. I would say that it varies when you get to that sort of happier, more comfortable piece. But it does take a while. I don’t know, I would say six months to a year before you’re feeling like, Hey, okay, I’ve got this and I’m good. I’m able to do this and I’m happy for all the things I can do here.
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Megan Porta: It has to be a massive shock to the system. Everything you were describing about being in the grocery store alone, that’s not even to mention the other aspects of daily life. That’s hard. Everything’s different. Everything is in an odd place. You don’t even know what you’re reading. You don’t even know what you’re getting like. That’s a huge deal. That’s a big shock.
Molly Pisula: Yeah, it is. I think you just have to build in extra time, like when you have a baby, you just have to know, okay, I’m gonna, I’m not gonna try to rush through this. I am able to get things done so quickly in my regular life. You just have to know, okay. I can’t do that here. I had a friend who I met when we were there and we would trade stories about what had happened that week. We tried to take the Metro and there was a strike. We couldn’t get on the Metro or I tried to have a French conversation with somebody at the market and they responded to me in English and just all the like small insults that would happen. She would say to me, she’d go, Paris wins. Paris always wins. It was just like our way of saying yeah. Sometimes you’re just, you’re not gonna win that day and it’s okay. Things will get better.
Megan Porta: Yeah. That’s a great attitude to have. So you mentioned finding a friend there. How do you find good support when you’re completely new to a place?
Molly Pisula: Yeah, that is hard to do, but I would say that now, just with the world as it is, there are actually so many more ways to find people then 20 or 30 years ago, if you were to move to a foreign country. A lot of my network came from the school community. We were lucky enough that the American school there was just wonderful in terms of engaging its parents and planning things for parents to do, to get to know each other. That was where I found my main support network. But I would also say Facebook is really good for things like that. I was part of an expats in Paris Facebook group, English speaking Facebook group, and people would post things there all the time. How did you guys deal with this? Or I’m looking for this, have you seen this in Paris? That was so helpful because sometimes you just have some random question and somebody has had the same one, but you don’t know how to find them. So groups like that are great. I think language classes are really good. I met some friends through taking French lessons, because there again, you’re gonna find mostly English speakers who are trying to learn the language as you are. So that’s a good place to find people. There’s meetups for English speakers in different subject areas like yoga classes or hiking groups or whatever you happen to be interested in. I think it’s actually fairly easy to find like minded people who speak English in the place that you are, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Megan Porta: A great subtitle for this episode would be just prioritize relationships. That’s the theme of everything that you’re saying. When you prioritize relationships, things get easier. Things get better. They get happier. They’re just more enjoyable. So I love that theme coming out of this. That’s so cool. So you mentioned the kid thing and having great schools, access to great schools. What are some other pros and cons of bringing kids abroad?
Molly Pisula: Yeah, I thought it was just fantastic. Kids take in everything and being able to expose them to a different part of the world, I think is just so valuable. Because you know them, like us, they get into a routine and they look around their lives where they live most of the time. They think this is how everyone lives. Even though obviously there’s movies, there’s books. They know that not everybody lives exactly the way they do. But being plopped into a different country, then it’s like personal experience. Oh, wait a minute. Not everything is the way it was where I used to live. I think that kind of experience is just so valuable because it makes you more accepting of other people. It makes you less stuck in your own little bubble of what people should be like or what life should be like. So I think like giving kids that experience is just, it’s just so valuable because it also makes them question things that they might not agree with in their daily life. When they can look around and see oh, not everybody does it like this. So why do I have to do it like this? Or, why is my school so stressful and have such an emphasis on grades? That wasn’t the way in a different culture. So I think that kind of thing is just helping them to question things, which I think is just so valuable. That is a skill set I really want my kids to have.
Megan Porta: That speaks to me so much, because I mentioned earlier about just being a little bit of a rebel with the way things are and not necessarily going with the flow with a lot of things. One of those things has to do with my kids and social media and phones and constantly being on smartphones. It makes me scream because I refuse to give in. My boys are literally the only boys in their schools who do not have smartphones. They don’t have phones at all.
Molly Pisula: Good for you.
Megan Porta: I refuse to get them because, I don’t know, just that thing. Everyone has one. That’s not a good reason for me to buy a phone for them. I know where they’re at most of the time and when I don’t, they can figure out how to find a phone and call me. So I just, yeah, that type of culture really calls to me and it makes me really frustrated to be in a society where everyone just goes along with the flow, just because, and it’s stressful and everyone accepts that. So I feel like I need to move.
Molly Pisula: I will say kids were just as addicted to their phones in France as they’re here.
Megan Porta: See, I was gonna ask you that. That’s good to hear. Okay.
Molly Pisula: Yeah. Although, I will also say. Older kids, not even kids when I would go out in the afternoons and I would see kids after school and older high school type kids, a lot of them were at the little restaurants on the terraces, having a Coke with their friends.
Megan Porta: I love that.
Molly Pisula: Or wine in some cases, because the drinking age is less there. I just think they weren’t all staring on a screen. They were talking to each other. I think I’m not gonna say that’s completely different from the US, because everybody certainly did have a phone there, but I do think the same, that there was more, I saw more connection there than I see when I go out and see young people today.
Megan Porta: So even though they do have smartphones, there’s something in society that’s teaching them that connection is more important than technology and the quote relationships that they find online and through social media, there’s something there.
Molly Pisula: I think so. I certainly could be wrong, but just from my perceptions of what I saw. I think that’s true.
Megan Porta: I really hope nobody gets mad at me for being so mad about kids with cell phones, because I know that is the majority. I just wanna say, I get it. Your kids come home and they’re like, but everyone in school has a cell phone literally that’s true. I’m not saying that you’re a bad parent or anything like that. I 100% understand it. But for my kids, I just feel like. That is the way I wanna parent them. I do not understand why I need to buy you a phone. I just wanted to say I don’t wanna make anyone mad with that.
Molly Pisula: I think people understand. I honestly don’t think anybody would really argue with you, frankly.
Megan Porta: Yeah. I know it’s a hot topic, but , lights a fire under me. Okay. Let’s see. What else was I gonna ask you? Would you do it again?
Molly Pisula: I would. Oh, Yeah. In a heartbeat. I loved it. I loved it. I’m saying that having gotten through my sort of downward curve of the culture shock piece of the expat curve. Yeah. But no, I absolutely would do it again. I will say that I did a lot of thinking about what ages are best, if you do have kids who you’re gonna take with you. Because I think there’s pros and cons of different ages. I think it can be easier to take the kids when they’re really young because they’re not gonna argue with you about it and you can just take them and that’s great. Then when you have older kids, like teenagers and up, it gets really hard to take them because, I don’t know. Maybe some kids would be on board with it, but a lot of kids by that point, they’re really, they’re involved in sports at their high school. Or they’re very close with their friends and the thought of leaving their friends for two years just seems crazy. So I feel like there’s a sweet spot in like the, I don’t know, seven to 11 age range where you have kids that like they’re able to take care of themselves more than the babies. So you’re not lugging them around everywhere and they’re not throwing tantrums on your restaurant dinners anymore and they can read. So you can take them to a museum and they can get something out of that experience. They will remember when you leave and you’re not there anymore. They will remember their experience. The first time when we went in 2015, my youngest was five and she was just at the cusp. She doesn’t remember most of our time there. Every now and then I’ll say but don’t you remember, like when we did this or this person? She’ll be like, nope, nope.
Megan Porta: That’s crazy.
Molly Pisula: That’s hard to feel like you had this great experience and then they don’t even remember it. So I feel like having kids in that kind of, like older kid through preteen range before they get really cranky and teenagey is a really good time to do it. But honestly I would do it. I would do it again.
Megan Porta: I love hearing that having gone through the ups and downs and those periods where you’re like, what am I doing? You still would go back and do it again. So that’s really encouraging. So speaking to not just people who would consider a huge move like this, internationally, but maybe to a smaller move, whether that’s doing what my husband and I did and selling our home and buying an RV and traveling for a little bit. I know Eric from, he’s the food blogger at Eat Like No One. He and his family have been traveling in an RV for at least a year, maybe more. That’s all they do. They live out of their RV. They have children, he and his wife have a family and they just travel around the US. So something like that, or even moving to a new city. Just a big move to another place where you’ve never lived or even been. These are all really big things. The great thing about being a food blogger is that you can do this as long as you have a spouse who has the ability to be mobile as well, obviously. So speaking to all of those people, give them a little bit of encouragement to answer that question that you said earlier. Not the question, but the statement I would love to, but, and then there’s an excuse, right? So I want you to encourage people to get past that but.
Molly Pisula: Yeah. Yeah. I will say, and I think this is true. Whether you’re going to make a big international move or you’re gonna do something smaller scale, but still get out of your little area where you’re in at the moment. I feel like I felt so alive while we were there. Because you’re constantly being bombarded by new things, new foods, new people, new things to look at. That really energized me in a way that I hadn’t felt before. I love where we live right now and I love my life here. It’s very nice. I’m happy here. There’s a difference when you feel like just all of your senses are suddenly alive and you’re thinking in a way that you don’t have to think when you just go about your daily life and you go to your same grocery store and pick up your kids from the same sports practice and you’re doing the same things over and over again. When you get out of that and you’re in a different place and your brain has to like, has to be on. It has to be noticing new things, different things. I think that is just energizing to your spirit, to your business, to your job as a food blogger. It is something that, just that feeling of just feeling alive is worthwhile, doing whatever it takes to get that. I think you can get it. I don’t think you need to move internationally. I think you can get it, as you said, by renting an RV for the summer or deciding I’m gonna go and rent an Airbnb in a different city, and I’m gonna put my house on. Maybe turn your house into an Airbnb or put it on a home exchange or something. I’m gonna go for a month and live in this city, or I’m gonna go for a couple weeks and I’m gonna work during the day but I’m gonna explore this new town over holiday break, if you have kids or over the summer. I think that stuff is totally doable. But what it takes is you sitting down and saying, this is what I wanna do because it takes time to make it happen. You have to stop yourself and say, I wanna do this, so I’m gonna plan it and make it happen.
Megan Porta: First of all, you have to have that voice telling you that maybe this is something that would inspire you or inspire creativity or something in your life that you need or could thrive on. Then you need to decide, which is a keyword, you need to make the decision to do it. Then you need to have the courage to actually follow through. I loved your words earlier. I wrote them down here. Anything that you have in your mind to do this, is difficult. It might be difficult. But it’s so doable. I love all of this inspiration and I hope that people are inspired by it because that feeling that you’re talking about feeling alive and, oh my gosh. Totally challenging your system in ways like you’re talking about, does make you feel alive in so many different ways. So cool.
Molly Pisula: The other thing that occurred to me is, part of what I think we got out of our France experience was like not just a different country but a different type of living. We live currently, we live in the suburbs of a city and we have a house and we have a backyard and we have a very suburban neighborhood. We moved into a city where we were in an apartment and everything was smaller and we didn’t have a big backyard. We didn’t have a car. The difference between city life and suburban life is huge. You don’t need to go, you don’t need to travel to France for that. yeah. You could decide why don’t we go live in this city, like in a city itself and see what city life is like. Or maybe we’re gonna pick some super remote, we’re gonna go live on a farm for a little while. I think just those kinds of experiences can be really, they can really shake up your system and make you in some ways appreciate what you have that you didn’t realize you appreciated. In some ways I realize oh, wow, gosh, this, I didn’t realize this was a way to live. I like this part about being in this kind of place.
Megan Porta: Don’t you feel like too, it’s an opportunity to stay young, just shaking up your system and doing new things. It keeps you on your toes. It keeps you learning new things and growing. Can totally keep you young. I feel like there are some older people in my family who lived on the other extreme of that, like just really safe. Didn’t like change. Stayed in one spot. Did not like to be shaken up at all. Just lived that sort of life and now they’re paying the price for that. They’re deteriorating quickly. They’re not sharp anymore. Just things like that. Do you agree with that?
Molly Pisula: \Yeah, no, I totally do. I really do think you need to change things up and keep yourself engaged and motivated by new things or you do slow down. I think you’re totally right. You gotta push yourself to get out and keep those brain cells moving in some way.
Megan Porta: Pushing yourself. That is required because if you don’t push yourself, nobody’s gonna push you. Maybe you have a spouse or a friend who will, but I think that’s pretty rare. But you’ve got to push yourself. So if you have that inkling to do something different, like Molly’s talking about, do it, just do it. Find courage. Push yourself a little bit and make a change. Oh, I love this conversation so much. Thank you so much, Molly. This was so fun.
Molly Pisula: Yeah. Yeah, totally.
Megan Porta: You are inspiring. If you do move abroad again, please let me know. I wanna hear how that goes and sure.
Molly Pisula: I’d love to.
Megan Porta: Yeah. We just appreciate you sharing your story and encouraging all of us. So thanks so much for being here today.
Molly Pisula: Yeah, my pleasure.
Megan Porta: So before you go, do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with?
Molly Pisula: I do, yes. My quote is this; man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s so fitting.
Molly Pisula: I really like that. Yeah. This is by Andre Gide. He’s a French author, which is fitting too. But to me, that quote just means, you don’t even know what your full potential is if you don’t ever get out of your comfort zone. If you don’t ever push yourself past the daily grind and where you are comfortable right now, who knows what you could do, what you could be, what you could create, if you could just get yourself out of that. It’s hard. It’s really hard, that’s how you discover those new oceans. You cannot, you can’t stay close to shore.
Megan Porta: Gotta let go. Let go of your vision of the shoreline. You just need to let go of that and then good things will come. I love that. I love how my guests lately have been tying their quotes into the themes of our chats, which is so cool. I don’t ask you to do that, but it just naturally has started happening, which I love. So that was perfect. Yeah. We’ll put together a show notes page for you, Molly. So if you wanna go peek at those, you can go to eatblogtalk.com/vanillabeancuisine. Tell everyone where they can find you on your blog and on social media.
Molly Pisula: Yeah, so I’m pretty easy. I’m Vanilla Bean Cuisine everywhere. So on the web, Instagram, Pinterest, it’s all Vanilla Bean Cuisine.
Megan Porta: Thank you again so much for inspiring us today, Molly. It was such a pleasure and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
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