Since I began the French escape series here on the blog, I’ve had a wonderful response from fellow escapees (is that even a word?) asking to take part. Which is why I’ve decided to continue the series and feature a monthly guest post from a broad range of people who’ve crossed the channel to follow their dreams.
First to say hi is Shelley, a lady whom I first met a few months ago. It was a strange meeting on my part, because before we’d even conversed I was convinced we already knew each other. For the life of me I couldn’t think where from, although being a friend of fellow author Milly Johnson, Shelley wondered if that could the connection I was thinking of. Maybe I’d seen photos of her and Milly on social media? It’s a possibility, but I still don’t think it’s that and unless my imagination is playing tricks, it’s a niggle I shall have to live with.
Anyway, here’s Shelley to tell you all about her French escape…
What does France mean to me? In short… everything. I fell in love with France on a school trip when I was 11 years old. We did a 5-day trip to the Normandy and I was sold. The place that really stole my heart was Le Mont saint Michel, and to this day it still holds my heart. My children would even tell you that I am obsessed with the place, but I think they exaggerate. Well, maybe.
After a lifetime love affair with the country I decided to buy a holiday home here in 2015. The only criteria I had was that it had to be habitable and not too far from the Mont. This gave us a search area of; Normandy, Brittany and the very top of the Pays de la Loire. We settled on Brittany, and what a beautiful place it is.
We (my two girls and I) loved our holidays here so much, we would be so excited to catch the ferry here, but absolutely dread catching the return even after six weeks here in the summer, probably more so by then. So, in 2017 we decided to make the permanent move and did so this year.
And what is life like now that it is not a holiday I hear you ask? The answer… Even better than I could have hoped. My two daughters have settled wonderfully into their new schools, which is the single biggest relief as that was my main concern, but they are both happy and integrating well.
This also means that they are picking up the language wonderfully. We also have a fantastic support network here of wonderful friends, who are all simply marvellous. The only issue we have run into is my finding work. It is hard to get work here unless you are completely fluent in the language, which I am not yet. I think that is why most British people I know here are self-employed in one form or another, be it gîte owners, builders, plumbers etc… just bear this in mind if you are thinking of making the move. Having said that I am so glad that we came and have no regrets at all, only maybe we should have done it sooner.
I start my days with a coffee in one of several beautiful spots near us after dropping the girls off at school. I sit and look at the amazing scenery and think about just how lucky I am that this is my home. It is so peaceful and tranquil, it sure beats the morning rush hour back in England. My school run takes me through rolling countryside, and it is a very busy day if we pass more than 15 cars on the 10-minute journey. We do however occasionally get held up by the odd herd of cows crossing from one field to the other, but I suppose there is a down side to everything (joke).
Hope this maybe inspires you to take that leap of faith and give your dream a go, whatever it is. You only get one life, live it!