Do I like living in France?

Written by Diane on. Posted in on life in France, posts

living-in-france Before I answer that, I want to start off by saying that life is what you make of it no matter where you live. Someone living in a bustling European capital may be miserable while someone in backwoods Alabama may be having the time of their life — and vice versa. Certainly external factors play into your overall happiness, but the biggest factor is your attitude. Said another way, you’re in control of your own happiness.

What do I mean by that and how does it relate to living in France?

Read on!

A matter of perspective

There are positives and negatives to everything in life and some people choose to see the glass half empty. Did you see how I said choose. It’s true. What’s the point of focusing on the negatives. It’s too easy, isn’t it? Use that energy on the positives and you may just shock yourself. I did. But I haven’t always been this way. Make a choice to focus on the good, the positives and the things that make you smile. Surely the negatives are there too, but no need to dwell on them.

Do you wish you lived somewhere else? Make it happen or don’t, but just remember, it’s in your control. No one said it’s easy to make a change. Just remember that somewhere else isn’t necessarily better. Don’t most people think the grass is always greener somewhere else? Maybe it really isn’t.

Do I like living in France?

So back to my original question. Do I like living in France? YES! Why wouldn’t I? If I didn’t, why would I be here? I’m finally living with my husband (no more long-distance relationship stress), I’m getting better and better at an awesome language and I’m exposing myself to a new culture and having the time of my life. Where else can you get fresh croissants and baguettes every morning?

Another perk is that France is a great hub for European travel. So many new places are just a short plane or train ride away, and to say I’ve taken advantage of that is an understatement. I’ve traveled all around France, to Belgium, England, Italy, Croatia and Morocco, to name a few. Why, you ask? Why not? I love to travel and I feel like it’s my duty to see the world and take advantage of everything France (and beyond) has to offer.

I’d also like to point out that it was my choice to move here. I did not come here for my job or to make Tom happy (though that was a result). I didn’t move to France for anyone except myself, on my terms, and I think that also plays in to my overall feeling of satisfaction here. This is something I wanted and I made it happen for myself. Some people say I’m so lucky. Luck has nothing to do with it. I chose to come here. Was it easy to leave the States behind? No way!

living-in-france-rainbow

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies

I do love living in France, but that’s not to say that life is all peachy all the time. I complain. A lot. Ask Tom. It’s actually easy to do so when you consider the cost of gas, the bureaucracy here and a bunch of other things. But I fit right in because French people complain a lot, I’ve noticed. They’re also extremely sympathetic to others’ issues. Are you tired? So are they. Life is so dur! Are you sick? The person you’re talking to understands — they had the gastro last week! So maybe my complaints are just my way of trying to fit in. Or maybe I like to complain. Regardless, life here in France presents the same obstacles you’d find anywhere else. We don’t live in Paris. We’re not rich. We don’t have a glamorous life. But we do have each other and Dagny. And at this point in my life, I think that’s all I need.

My point is to enjoy your life wherever you are, even if it’s far from your ideal life. If you’re not enjoying it, make a change. Life is too short to do anything else…

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Comments (8)

  • Debra H

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    I think many of us do not take the time to appreciate where we live even though any place has positives. How many times do you hear people talk about never visiting attractions in their own area? What I have learned most from my two Cavaliers is to take the time to enjoy the moment, including wherever you happen to be.

    Reply

  • Christine Snyder

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    Diane, you have a wonderful attitude about life! You’ll do well, no matter where you are. I think living in France would be a challenge until you know the language, then it’d be great. I’m happy to hear that you’re picking it up. I bet that France is beautiful. It must be, with their portion of the Alps, and the river valleys, etc. Enjoy it, and give Dagny a hug for me!

    Reply

  • JACKIE MAGER

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    DIANE, I have to be honest, I HATE it here with a passion. I live in a dreadful boring little town called Pithiviers just 80 ks outside of Paris…for a mans sake. Im Australian but have lived all over the world, San Diego, singapore, bangkok, Melbourne, Iran ,NY france before and Italy….perhaps ive lived in too many places and make comparisons all the time. But really pithiviers is dreadful. I have been here one year and have not made ONE friend. luckily in one year Ive been to bangkok three times and back home to australia once…id go bananas if I hadnt. Beside Pithiviers being a red neck town, everything seems to be backwards…like twenty years ago, the supermarkets are poor, the french are as arrogant as always apart from a few. In Australia we would invite the newby to our home immediately, here, no one cares about you or invites you for coffee…..i am so frustrated, so down as never ever have I lived such a mundane sad existence. sorry to throw this all at you but thats my feelings. Hopefully things will change but if they did Id have to meet a foreigner here to get me out and about….not that there is anywhere to go . so thats my say………Jackie

    Reply

    • Diane

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      Ah Jackie, sorry you’re having such a horrible time. I know what you mean about living in a small town and not having friends. I just try to make the best of it all but I get 100% where you’re coming from. Wish you lived closer to me. ;-(( Hang in there!

      Reply

  • Alexandria Drake

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    I love your Blogs! My Mom just recommended them to me, as she was searching for away to exchange Christmas presents from PA
    to France. I have been searching for a hobby to keep me busy and just started a blog of my own to tell my own love story. But compared to yours you can see I am a beginner. Keep writing, I am finding myself in some of the same circumstances that you have already experienced . It’s nice knowing I’m not the only one.

    Reply

    • Diane

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      Hi Alexandria, thanks for writing and so glad you enjoy my blog. I’m gonna check out yours later on. Stay in touch! xx

      Reply

  • rosy

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    Hi! I have just found your website, Diane. My husband, John, and I have lived in the Morvan for almost 10 years now. We have gone native. We also run a holiday cottage in aid of Combat Stress. See our website. I blog on Expat Focus.

    I should like to hear from other expats, especialy those living in rural areas.

    Reply

    • Diane

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      Hi Rosy, welcome! Thanks for checking out the blog. I just looked up Morvan on a map and yes it seems very rural. But you’re in the middle of a big park it seems, so that’s gotta be nice. Do you get a lot of foreign tourists at your cottage or mostly French people passing through? Very cool. 😉 Have a great weekend!

      Reply

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