Hi Hope nobody minds me posting this on here. Its just to see if anybody can think of anything I haven't considered. I'm seriously thinking of moving to France. My brother lives in Lyon, and my parents have holiday homes in Creuse, Limousin. I seem to spend too much time here in Scotland stressing about lack of money and time (I'm a Learning Disabilities Nurse). I only manage to ride my lovely teenage cobs about once a week. Something has to change! I'm 36 so nows the time. I've seen suitable properties on the 'Net and would be mortgage free, possibly with a few acres of grazing, in the Limousin. I would love to teach English, which is what my brother does. The thing is, everyone I've ever heard of moving is attached/retired. I'm single, and would need other English speakers or I'd go mad! How do you cope with the move? Has anyone on here done it alone? How do you think my 17 year old mildly arthritic boy would cope? Many thanks , Kirsten
I can't think that the climate change would be much of a problem for your horse .
As far as English speakers are concerned , it might be worth your putting a message on www.angloinfo.com and seeing what response you get from people who live in the region .
I think I would do a full check on the Limousin weather before committing to the region . It can be very wet , and cold in Winter . You mention the Creuse . We were considering it at one time but were put of by the sheer number of vipers that we saw .
We are in a very horsey area in the South of the Charente . Could be worth your while considering being further South than you have been .
Also I'm not sure just how much of a market you would have for teaching English .
Besides educating our two daughters , overseeing the rebuilding/conversion of our farmhouse , and helping to look after our horses donkeys and the land , we run an educational centre for people wishing to take international GCSE's and A levels rather than enter the French system .
Who would you teach English to? Presumably non-English speakers?
I think the main thing is being really honest about what kind of income/lifestyle you need and want and then doing lots and lots of research into whether you can get a viable income to support the lifestyle you want, especially if you're not moving over with a job offer. Also, think about what you DO have now that is important to you e.g. close friends near by, various cultural activities. For example, one of the things I didn't realise I liked so much before we moved to rural France was being able to go to the cinema regularly. Now my nearest cinema that screens original version films is over an hour's drive away and I MISS being able to go and watch films. Next time we move within France, I'm going to make sure we're much closer to a more cosmopolitan area! But the point is you just need to have a think about the things you already have that you love and enjoy and decide how much you would miss them and if there's any way of still having them when you move.
Do you speak French? I think everyone I know who has made a success of a move to France has managed to master the language to an extent. Maybe not totally bilingual or fluent, but having a good working command seems to be very important.
Then I would have a think about all the personal strengths and skills you bring to the table. Are you good at networking and making friends? Are you persistent? Are you very self sufficient? What about all the other jobs that you have done? what skills did they give you and can you use these in your 'new life' ?
Just one thing about France - be aware that there are some illnesses and diseases here that horses can get that you don't really have in the UK, Pyroplasmosis being one of them. Foreign born horses don't have as much immunity to them so you have to be very careful to make sure they don't contract these things, mostly by managing the ticks. If you have an older horse I would definitely make sure you were in a very horsey area that has a vet school or some other well developed equine hospital close by. Good vet services aren't as well spread through the countryside in France as they are in the UK; they tend to be concentrated in certain areas.
Finally, bear in mind if you're on your own that it's good to have neighbours relatively close by. Some of these rural properties are absolutely lost in the middle of nowhere and it's not romantic when you've got no one around to help you cut, bail and stack your hay, catch your horses after they escape just after you've gone to the shops (I know so many people who this kind of thing has happened to!) and when you have no way of taking more than half a day away from your property because you've no one to house sit.
Thanks. Have considered all, but its good to hear what others think. Am decent in French, and wouldn't want to be too remote. Am going to put my house on the market, either at the tail end of this year or early next, as it feels right. I've been in touch with an estate agent who is selling a property with 5 acres - I would have no mortgage! A dream come true! Am going to investigate the realism of renting this, and my other house in the Creuse, out whilst I consider options. Perhaps it will be several years before I can move there full-time. One option is to work one week per month for a private homecare agency in London, which I used to do as a student. It can be very well paid, and I met some cool people. It would mean however putting the dogs and horses in someone's care.
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