Moving to France

Looking for a place to move

Tired of living in Spain, three years ago we decided to sell our house, all furniture included and move. The problem was... we did not know where to move!

Before we sold the house we went to the Dominican Republic. My husband was set for moving there. It was a lovely place where we spend a while exploring the country. But having two young children (6 months and 3 years old) I didn't like it enough to bring up a family, so we came back to Europe.

Scotland: Inverness Castle In Winter
Scotland: Inverness Castle In Winter
France.  By the river Creuse
France. By the river Creuse

Scotland, Italy or France?

We also tried Scotland. We had lived there before and the house prices were favourable but it was too cold and our daughter was depressed with the lack of daylight. So we started to look on the internet, the choice was between Italy and France. Both still Mediterranean countries with relatively good weather and good priced country houses. Our only problem was that neither of us spoke Italian or French. By this time, my husband was set for living in the countryside, an idyllic piece of land with farm animals and our own vegetable patch.

Being a city girl myself, I was not sure about country living but once we landed in France I could not pull myself away from it. We arrived in Lyon and travelled around looking for our ‘love nest' around the Alps area. The place was magnificent, we loved it immediately but unfortunately, closeness to the Alps and skiing facilities meant high house prices. We had to look down a bit, so we decided to move our search to Central France where prices were still affordable.

We arrived in the Centre department in the first days of January and rented a ‘gite rural', in a place called Saint Plantaire. It was cold and snowy but the scenery was breath-taking. We loved lighting the log fire in the living room to heat us up.

By this time our little boy was almost one year old and he loved toddling about the snow, while our girl enacted all her fairy tale stories from little red riding hood -we had a forest at our door step- to Rapunzel every time we were near a Castle.

This time we were settled on France. This was my first time in the countryside. The nearest town was 10 km. away and the nearest city was 50km away. Near our rented gite there was a big farm, but the owners were not very friendly and in six months we hardly saw them. I could say that our nearest friendly neighbours were a herd of sheep!

My ghosts !
My ghosts !

A haunted house?

To get to our house we had to cross the local cemetery which for me was a terrifying experience and I hated going out after dark. At night time I would close all the shutters and locked them afraid from I am not sure what.

The first few days I could hear the wind blowing, the owls howling and strange noises on our bedroom wall. I could even hear people screaming and my imagination made me believe that the house was haunted, until I discovered that the strange noises, screams and laments at night time came from our neighbours: the herd of sheep and their young lambs! Our bedroom wall was also their "bedroom" wall.

Buying a house

Living in the countryside was soon to reveal itself too much. The constant long drives to get anywhere, the lack of human contact and the solitude soon made us change our mind and instead of buying a hotel in the countryside as we had planned, we started to look for a house in the town.

We were lucky to find a hotel for sale in a nearby town. It was a small six bedroom hotel. The rooms were awfully decorated and the place was inhabited by a couple with numerous dogs and plenty of mice as we discovered later! But in our search for an ideal home, the hotel in the town seemed ideal for us. It was a good deal, a big house with a garden that we could easily convert into a B&B.

Now almost three years later we are settled into our new lives. Our children are trilingual and although we speak English or Spanish at home when they speak to each other they do so in French. For the children French has become their first language. Moving to France proved to be a good choice despite all the trouble that we encountered on the way. We love it!

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Comments 12 comments

Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago

And how good is your French, now? ;)


oberbreckling 8 years ago

Hi again sometimes you go through alot to get where your going that's why you know that this is right because what you went through to get here as far as the city when i was younger I met an older girl from the city and she taught me alot but Im country we moved too the country and she said the same thing as you did lol I hate the traffic but the convenience of everything is great I bet there's some great pictures a person could get from you neighborhood thanks for sharing with me pricessa~cool~cya


Jondolar 8 years ago

Very interesting article. I admire the woman willing to venture forth and move around from country to country while raising children. The experience for them must be fabulous, not to mention your own.

How far from Rennes le Chateau, or Carcassone are you living? I've read a lot about that area, the priest and the Albegensian Crusades.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Glad to know you have found a home in this big wide world :)


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

Isabella: my French is not as good as it should be... but it is getting better :)

Oberbreckling: Glad you liked it :) It is good to see new places and experience different things from the ones you are used to.

Jondolar: Thank you. It is certainly a great experience for us as a family. We all have learnt a lot, not only about languages but also about different cultures, geography, history and friendship!

Carcassone is about 5 hours from where we are. We have been twice, it is a wonderful place. Stories about the Crusades are plentyfull around here, and me too, I love them.

Ripplemaker: Thanks... but I think this is our home ONLY for the meantime... I would not be surprised if we move countries again... we are already thinking about Italy!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Oh that sounds cool and interesting. I can't imagine myself though moving from one country to the other. I'd be homesick. LOL Or maybe I just think I am.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

Ripplemaker: It is very exciting moving countries. I get so excited about it that soon I forget about being homesick. The first time is the most difficult one... after that it is just like a big long extended holiday :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Princessa! What an amazing thing to do. How cool for your children to know so much about the world. Being multi-lingual which will come to them with ease is already giving them a chance at finding carriers. (I know it seems a long time from now, but watch you'll wake up tomorrow and they're grown)Having Gypsy feet, I used to love moving around...the farther the better. Now being a Grandma....I guess my moving days are over.

Great hub regards Zsuzsy


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

Zsuzsy: Being multimingual is certainly a bonus. Without even noticing the children can speak, read and write in three languages! There is also the awareness that travelling brings. Even though they are very young, they know already about different cultures, languages, foods, and places. It is amazing how much one can learn just travelling.

Regarding yourself... I wouldn't say that your travelling days are over. When you have Gypsy feet, you cannot stop them wandering around. My granny is 80 and she just arrived to visit as in France (from America) for a month. Before coming to France she was in Spain and after France she might go to Italy... when you like travelling, not even age can stop you.

Thanks for your comment :)


evemurphy profile image

evemurphy 8 years ago from Ottawa

Merci beaucoup! Belle hub! ;)


funride profile image

funride 8 years ago from Portugal

I loved to read this hub and I´m wondering why it only has a hubscore of 66...

Princessa, whenever you decide to move to Portugal please let me know. Our weather it´s even better :D


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

evemurphy: Merci a vous. Vous parlez bien le français.

funride: I am glad you enjoyed this. That is for me a better comppliment than a hub score :-) . Portugal? I would like to visit there, and who knows, if we like it we migth decide to spend a couple of years over there. Muito obrigado.

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