“That’s crazy!” was the response from some friends and family when we told them we were moving to France. We heard “amazing” and “brave” too. One year later (today in fact) I have to agree…that what we have done is really amazing, we’ve had to be brave, AND there are days when it all feels a bit crazy!
Last summer over the period of a few months we left our jobs in the UK (initiated by me receiving voluntary redundancy), packed up or sold our stuff, said our sad goodbyes, and followed our dream to live in the South of France, with our then nearly three year old son.
I’ve moved countries before, but not to a place where I don’t speak the language – going from Sydney to London was a walk in the park compared! We knew that becoming a part of the French system would be complicated and there would be a lot of bureaucracy to deal with, but in all honesty nothing could have prepared us for how stressful some things have been. Fortunately (and one of the main reasons we chose the Cote d’Azur) there is a large expat community living here, so we’ve received great advice and support from others.
We couldn’t have done the move without the help of my parents who packed and stored boxes for us, and joined us for the first few months while we found our feet. We have supported each other through the ups and downs, and have fun exploring the beautiful area and discovering the French way of life together.
My hubby and I both spent many childhood holidays in France and as a couple, which is probably why we are Francophiles now! These led to our dream to one day live here – we just needed the right opportunity to do it. But, how long were we willing to wait for that? In the end we decided to take a leap of faith, without jobs to go to and only a temporary holiday-let for the winter! It turns out the risk was worth taking.
Crazy, amazing, brave things we have achieved in a year:
- My hubby got a permanent job teaching in a French school’s Anglophone department.
- I have set myself up as a freelancer for the first time and have Auto-Entrepreneur status.
- Found a wonderful bilingual Montessori preschool for our Petit Garçon where he is happy.
- Setting ourselves up as residents and improving our French…gradually.
- Met some lovely new friends, and caught up with dear family and friends from the UK.
We have achieved so much and I feel very blessed to now be living where we loved to go on holiday, to have endless sunny days and the outdoor lifestyle that comes with it!
I had hoped to launch my blog a year ago, however day-to-day life took over. Now we are more settled and it’s our 1st Anniversary as expats it’s time I took the plunge! Tonight we’ll crack open a bottle of Rosé and toast our Bonne Anniversaire. Santé!
A big thank you to my brother for helping me set up the blog design!
Thanks for reading,