In July this year we will have lived here, in Bournazel for 10 years, the time has come perhaps to reflect on what we “left behind”.
The most important change has of course been the distance that we have put between ourselves and our families, obviously the most negative part of our “big move”, but that is maybe better left for another day. What I have been thinking about a lot recently is the change in our style of living.
When I left the UK, I was in charge of a department in a very large further education college, I am now a classroom assistant and dinner lady, that’s quite a change! We of course made a conscious decision to change our priorities, and thought long and hard about this massive change in our lives (although arriving without jobs, no savings and still with a couple of unpaid of credit cards, not to mention a 4 year old in tow it might not have appeared that way!) but I don’t think you can ever be completely ready for the culture shock of living in a new country and maybe that’s a good thing!
There are a lot of people that arrive from the UK to start a new life in France, but there are also a lot who don’t stay. There are a lot of reasons for that: people underestimate the cultural differences, international travel is more difficult than from the UK, French is a hard language to learn (I know it’s not Chinese, but it’s still hard!), many people move from an urban environment to the countryside, nobody ever says your name right, no crackling on your pork and many more!