3 years ago this coming week, I left my life in the UK and moved to rural France. It’s been an uphill struggle most of the time, and now I think I have been here long enough to be able to appreciate that it was quite a brave move for me to make.
At that time, I did everything in a mad rush, I visited in the August for a holiday and then decided to move over pretty much as soon as I got home. I then moved lock, stock and barrel in the October. I packed up, saw all my friends before I left, as well as starting my own business… all in about 6 weeks!!
One of the hardest things about living in France is learning the language. I’m not a child anymore when learning things is a lot easier, it’s taken me 3 years to feel confident that I can get by going into shops, making appointments and communicating reasonably well with my French friends. If I had known how frustrated I would feel about the French language, I may not have moved over here. If I was ever to move back to the UK, this would be the reason why, my failure at being able to communicate properly in French.
I am one of the lucky ones though, I run an English speaking business. All my clients are English, and the only French client I have uses me for my English. I don’t think I would be able to run a business where I needed to speak French on a daily basis – I would certainly be a very stressed out person if I did!
It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post about my life here in France, so I thought it would be an ideal time for an update.
I now live in a different village, I moved here back in December, in the middle of winter. It was a very stressful time, and to be perfectly honest, the worst decision I have made since I’ve been here. I pretty much jumped from the frying pan (my leaking apartment where I started) into the fire (a house with numerous problems one after the other). My main issue in this new place is the Internet, you may have read my post about not having Internet for days. Well the Internet is still not perfect, but it hasn’t gone off for that length of time again.
But, not dwelling on the doom and gloom of housing problems, my business has grown very well over the last 3 years and I now have a full complement of clients. I can’t say it’s been easy, I work at home all week alone and don’t really get to speak to anyone, but all the hard work I put in at the start has really paid off.
Joining the association Les Dames de FER was another high point in the last few years. It’s great to be able to socialise with other women in business, and mostly in English, which is a relief. As I’m the group coordinator for this area, I have been busy over the last few weeks organising events for 2015 – it’s not something I have ever done before, but I am really enjoying it.
I still get out once a day with Hatchi, my dog, who keeps me on my toes. If it wasn’t for him I would be sat at my desk 24/7 and not getting out in the French country air. My aim for next year is to spend a lot more time outside and doing all the things I planned to do when I moved here and also buying my first house (watch this space). Now my business is growing steadily I can afford to take some much needed time off.