Welcome to Miami




Have you ever dreamed of moving to a city and having some friends showing you the way?

We are an independent boutique relocation company aiming to provide you a unique experience, by guiding you from the moment you arrive to the moment you’re ready to call Miami home.

Imagine how nice it would be to arrive somewhere without having to stress about choosing the right neighborhood, the best coffee shop, or even where to take a morning run. If you have questions about the school system in Miami-Dade County, where to buy your groceries, or how to meet your daily lifestyle needs, we have the answers and will help you make the right decisions for your family. We can even go as far as helping you organize a weekend away to explore Miami and its surroundings. No matter where you are moving from or what your needs may be, we are here to make sure you have a smooth transition. As expatriates ourselves, we know what it takes to settle in and make Miami your home.

Once Upon a Town goes beyond a typical relocation service. Any questions you might have, we’re here to answer!


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We provide a wide range of personalized services, including pre-arrival assistance, and our team of experts is here to guide you through the relocation process. Our services are “a la carte” so we can tailor each package to fit your specific needs and budgets.





Miami-Dade County has a population of a little over 2.7Million residents, of which a large number are foreign-born, mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean. It comes to no surprise that it’s nicknamed “The Capital of Latin America”. With an appealing business tax structure and no state income tax on individual income, Miami’s cost of living is only slightly above the national average. Over the last several years, Miami has undergone a bold transformation, with businesses growing at one of the fastest rates of the country, attracting investors and companies from around the world. Revamped neighborhoods like Wynwood, the Miami Design District and Edgewater have added even more options to the already vibrant nightlife of Miami. As for the art and cultural scene, it is riding the wave with annual events such as Art Basel Week, the Art Deco Weekend or the Miami International Boat Show, placing the city on the international circuit while boosting the economy. Miami is a cosmopolitan metropolis that welcomes you with open arms. Get ready to do business where you vacation and to live on vacation year round!
No wonder they call it The Magic City.

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Emma Joachim

Tell us a little bit about you?

I was born in France and spent a big part of my childhood and adult life living in the United States and South America. While living in Brazil, I discovered the wonderful world of gemstones and became a gemologist years later when living in Los Angeles. I am fascinated by the process of learning a foreign language so different from mine, when sounds finally become words to my ear, and vow to be fluent in Chinese Mandarin one day.

Why did you want to join the team at Once Upon a town?

I first met Stephanie by answering her post on a French Mothers Group on Facebook, about one month after our arrival in San Francisco. We both had daughters the same age, were new in the city and happened to be living two streets away. We met for a stroller walk and from then on, we met daily, supporting each other through the ups and downs of being an expat.

A couple months later, I met Maria through mutual friends and we started organizing lunches and coffees with other expat moms.

After living one year in San Francisco, my family was relocated to Los Angeles. I left with a heavy heart but knowing our friendship would not be affected by the distance and grateful for these new friendships.

So when they asked me if I would be interested in opening a branch of Once Upon A Town in Miami, it felt like the most natural thing to do.

What do you like in assisting families relocating?

I am a people person and have always enjoyed working in the hospitality and service industries. After relocating so many times, having the opportunity to assist families in this process just comes as a natural step.

How would you describe Miami? What are your favourites areas? What do you like about the city?

Miami is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city where latin cultures welcome you with open arms. Neighborhoods like Wynwood and Brickell are my go-to places for unique shops and restaurants. Every time I go, I discover something new. For me, living in Miami is being able to do business while living constantly on vacation. After a hard days work, there is nothing more relaxing than a stroll on the beach as the sun sets.

If you had one recommendation to give to people relocating to a new city, what would it be?

Do not try to recreate the life you are leaving behind but embrace the differences of a new one.



Emma Joachim

Emmanuelle Joachim is a French expat and mother of two who has lived in eight cities and five countries and speaks four languages. Paris, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santiago, Buenos Aires, and Miami are all places she has called home, each unique culture enriching her life and representing chapters in her story. Emmanuelle considers herself a French citizen by birth, but a global citizen by heart.

Q: Where are you originally from?

A: France.

Q: Where are you currently living?

A: Miami, United States.

Q: When did you move here?

A: September 2016.

Q: Is this your first expat experience?

A: No, it’s my sixth.

Q: Did you move here alone or with a spouse/family?

A: I moved with my husband and our two daughters.

Q: Why did you move; what do you do?

A: Miami was always a city we imagined we could end up in, conveniently located mid-way between France and Brazil, our two home countries. After many years in the same corporation, my husband decided to start his own company and Miami just seemed like the right fit. I currently work for Once Upon A Town, a company offering personalized relocation services, where others can benefit from my previous experiences as an expat.

Living in Miami

Q: What do you enjoy most about Miami?  How would you rate the quality of life compared to your home country?

A: Living in Miami is being able to work while living on vacation, if that makes any sense. The quality of life here is very good compared to France.

Q: Any negative experiences? What do you miss most about France?

A: What I miss from home are the cultural events, the architecture and diversity of landscape. Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches but sometimes you just want to see a mountain.

Q: What are the biggest adjustments you had to make when settling into expat life in Miami? Did you experience any particular elements of culture shock?

A: I did not experience any culture shock as we had been vacationing here for years and I knew what to expect. Hispanics or Latinos make up 70 percent of the population of Miami, a reason why it is nicknamed ‘the capital of Latin America’. Having lived in South America for 12 years, I could relate to the specifics of this city.

Q: What’s the cost of living compared to home? Is there anything particularly expensive or particularly cheap in the USA?

A: The cost of living has become higher as housing has become more expensive and wages have staggered. As a French citizen, I find education and childcare to be particularly expensive as well as grocery shopping and healthcare. Nothing appears to be really cheap here, but I guess it all depends where you come from.

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