April 10, 2011

Should You Move to France?

Boulangerie

Every spring I get dozens of emails from France lovers around the world who are looking for an answer to the question, "Should I move to France?".

Although I have reservations about making life changing decisions for complete strangers, if I was forced to answer that question then I would have to say that the answer is a resounding yes!

But hold on a second...before you get too excited, please keep reading.

Yes, you should move to France, if...

You are looking for a new life adventure...
You like small appliances, houses, apartments, cars, etc.,...
You appreciate beauty... 
You have a good brownie, cake or cookie recipe and have no qualms about bribing the powers that be with treats...
You consider waiting in line an enjoyable experience...
You love using a photocopier...
You like trying new and interesting food...
You enjoy a more relaxed pace of life...
You don't mind closed schools and post offices and no planes or trains due to frequent strikes...
You are relaxed about raw food handling practices at the boucherie, charcuterie and poissonnerie...
You don't get fidgety during 3+ hour long meals...
You have an intimate sense of personal space...
You enjoy paperwork and bureaucracy...
You consider Catch-22 type situations a challenge rather than a frustration...
You appreciate music, art and fabulous food...
You are tenacious and resourceful...
You aren't trying to run away from something in your current life that will inevitably follow you to your new life...

Marché

Still not sure? Why not take David Lebovitz's quiz.


Related Posts:
Ten Reasons I Love Living in France
Notes to Self
Moving to France
How I Got My 10 Year Carte de Résident
Brownie Points
Life in France Moving Planner (Americans in France) Pin It

27 comments:

Katie said...

And I really enjoy carrying all my paperwork with me whereever I go.... Gives me such a sense of security!

Nadege said...

After reading David's gourmet adventures in Switzerland, I would think that moving to France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria... is a good move.
Seriously, life is much easier in the US. Less headaches to deal with when it comes to cell phones, cable... Europe is more charming but also much more expensive and in France, people more unruly than the US. In any move, you gain some, you lose some. We each have to find our ray of sunshine wherever we are.

The Beaver said...

Bonjour Loulou,

Pourquoi "You love using a photocopier..." ?

Enquiring mind wants to know :-)

Chez Loulou said...

Katie
Oh, I forgot that one!
We have so many files and dossiers now, sometimes I wish we had a separate room just to store all the paperwork.

Nadege
Yes, life is easier in the US. So much easier.
You are right about finding one's "ray of sunshine." France is mine!

Beaver
We are constantly having to provide copies of proof of residency (EDF or France Telecom bill), carte de résident, passport, this that and the other thing, for various offices...
Our printer/photocopier was one of the best investments we made when we moved here!

MilkJam said...

"and in France, people more unruly than the US"

Seriously???

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I would have no hesitation in saying yes. I love where we are in the Charente, the people, and to me the friendliness of everyone around here. I have lived in the UK, Zimbabwe, and South Africa and to me, in my late 60's, now France is my home and I love it. Diane

Sailor said...

Very interesting. I never thought of moving to France before. Me and my wife live in my country and sometimes we think of moving to a neutral country -where neither of us has any roots.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Great information. I get the same questions for people who want to move to the islands. This gave me some new ideas on how to answer their questions without sounding discouraging.

We would jump at the chance to move to France if we were younger. Instead when we were younger, we chose a tropical island in the Bahamas and never looked back. Too bad you can't magically be younger again.
Sam

Chez Loulou said...

MilkJam
Nadege is French and has her own opinions about the two countries and their differences. :)

Diane
It's nice to hear that you are so happy with your choice to live in France (even if it isn't full time - yet!)
I can't imagine living anywhere else.

Sam
Moving to the Bahamas must be a dream for many people!
We went there once and I loved it. The colors, the people, the lifestyle...it was so amazing.

Chez Loulou said...

Sailor
It is a wonderful place to live, but not for the faint of heart!

Veronica said...

Great list, but you forgot: you love the challenge of learning a new language well enough to dream in it :)

Betty C. said...

Great post! I was just thinking today about how much volume our paperwork is taking up after 20+ years of marital life in France and two kids! I agree that a room would be helpful. And of course my husband's work revolves around it, you can only imagine how many papers he has stocked away, marked "ARCHIVES!"

Chez Loulou said...

Veronica
I completely forgot to mention the language! Yes, that is definitely one of the things that will make or break your experience in France!

Betty
You probably need not just one, but two rooms to store all those papers. :)
(I often joke that an office to store paperwork should be a requirement of every French house/apartment)

Jean said...

It's great to see someone so positive about moving to France. It is also our dream but some bloggers are very negative about it and in fact have packed up and gone back to whence they came, which is a little unsettling.

I can relate to most of the items on your tick list, so that's a good start.

Tidycam said...

How about moving to france with children?

Chez Loulou said...

Jean
Well, I don't think living in France is for everyone. Sometimes people think they'll love it here and find that they don't, so it is better that they go and live where they are happy. I've seen a few blogs/websites of ex-expats who claim that living here was a complete nightmare. To each his own.

Tidycam
I really can't offer advice on that subject since I don't have children. :)
I'm sure there are blogs out there that offer advice about moving with kids.

Dedene said...

Very cute, and oh so true.

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

I love my life in France. But it's not for everyone...

Chez Loulou said...

Dedene
Thanks!

Samantha
No, it definitely is not! :) That's one of the reasons I wrote this post.
I just hope everyone understands that it is partially tongue in cheek...and partially not.

Emm said...

Your last point may be the most important. Don't move to anywhere else in an effort to run away -- it's best to move toward something. I tried it once and learned the hard way.

Grace said...

It truly is amazing how much paperwork is required to move to Europe (especially France!). I'm just studying abroad in Italy next semester, and the amount of paperwork required to get my student visa is pretty mind boggling. I'd love to move to France someday (and was able to check off most of your list!) but maybe I should wait until I develop a little more patience...

MilkJam said...

yeah I know she is I've just never heard any kind of comment like that - caught me by surprise that's for sure!

Chez Loulou said...

Emm
We've met a lot of people who have done that as well, and it never works out.

Grace,
Yes, patience is a must! Enjoy your time in Italy.

MilkJam
I know.
:)

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Love this, but I really, really love that photo :)

Chez Loulou said...

Michelle
I'm sure many of these apply to Italy as well? :)

Sandra loves France said...

I definitely fall into YES category. I have been an expat for over 15 years and France is at the top of my move to list. Thanks for your great posts.

Chez Loulou said...

Sandra
Great decision!