August 8, 2014

The Point Of No Return

Trois Fromages

A fellow expat friend and I were talking over drinks and nibbles the other night and out of the blue she asked me if I ever thought about moving back to the States.
I sat there for a minute, like a deer caught in the headlights, trying to come up with a response.

Of course, I think about it.
But would I ever really consider it?

We've worked hard over the years to live here and there are many things I love and take for granted in France.
  • fabulous, inexpensive healthcare and doctors and nurses who make house calls 
  • 600 + kinds of cheese!
  • unpasteurized, hand churned salt butter
  • amazing AOC wine from more regions than I can count
  • efficient train travel (unless there's a strike...)
  • numerous European countries at our doorstep
  • inexpensive monthly internet and phone packages
  • weekly outdoor markets with fresh, local produce 

  • the café culture
  • long Sunday lunches
  • diverse regional cuisine
  • flaky, buttery croissants
  • a more relaxed pace of life
  • the history, art and architecture

  • Normandy

    On the other hand, there are many things I do miss!

  • family and friends, of course
  • stores open on a Sunday afternoon in case I need a last minute ingredient for dinner
  • hot sauce. So many kinds of hot sauce.
  • cheap fuel
  • not having to worry about having exact change
  • Dairy Queen (yes, I love Peanut Buster Parfaits - don't judge)
  • no foreign language mix-ups
  • long, wide stretches of empty beach
  • drive through banking
  • Trader Joe's (and its amazing selection of salsas)

  • Trader Joe's

    A Day on the Beach in California

  • a life free of endless paperwork
  • drivers who respect others (of course this is debatable, depending on where you live
  • not having to mentally and emotionally prepare myself every time I need to return something
  • having my groceries bagged up for me
  • good bagels
  • Mexican food

  • Three of my favorite things: chips, salsa and a margarita

    After thinking about her question some more on the train home to Normandy the next day, I realized that after 11½ years, a quarter of my life, I think we've reached the point of no return. We chose to change our lives and move to France and have managed to make it work despite the bureaucratic challenges and other headaches. We've learned to be more patient, flexible and very determined.
    There has also been a huge emotional investment. We have put down roots here.
    France is home.

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