London to Languedoc


Originally born in Johannesburg, Michael Bowditch moved to the Languedoc region of France after spending 15 years living in London.

The Moulin de Cugarel near Castelnaudary in AudeWhat made you move to France and how long have you lived here?
The draw to move to France came from falling out of love with London after 15 years! I had bought a holiday home already, so when the love affair ended - in more than one sense - I upped sticks from a population of 8 million and settled in with 800.

The first snow for 15 years greeted me, no electricity, a home not liveable and no food or booze!! Why oh why did I do it??

5 years later, the romance is blooming and I cannot think of a better place to live in...Voila!!

Which part of France do you live in, and what's it like to live there?
 I live in the Aude, Languedoc. In Estate agent speak (happen to be one!) a much sought after micro climated area with, normally, a huge amount of sunshine and very temperate climate.

Can be very laid back, Spanish influenced, but all is good at the slow speed.

Do you have children?
No kids - just a pooch

Open quote. Interviewee gives their moving to France tips Be willing to integrate with new cultures, foods, habits. Try loads of new things - you may like them! Close quote

What is your age?
I'm 49.

Where were you born?
Johannesburg, South Africa.

Do you work, if so what do you do and how difficult was it to find work or start a business in France?
For the first time, I became self employed. Need a good grasp of French to deal with organisations to get the status. Tried many things - some stuck, others fell off the wall.
 
Taught myself web design - thanks to Mac - and have done many B&B sites amongst others. I got into the property business 4 years ago, and am loving it - dealing 90% with French clients.

What was the worst mistake you made when buying in France?
Not negotiating hard enough on the purchase price.

Your best tip or advice to other people considering moving to France?
Learn French - be willing to integrate with new cultures, foods, habits. Try loads of new things - you may like them!

Did you find it hard to integrate or adjust to your new life in France and do you have any tips to help others?
As I spoke good French, it was easier. I immersed myself into a nearly pure French village - very few Brits-joined into events and activities, invited people to my home. Easier to immerse in a small village that has working people in it- often they come from outside the village/region, so you all are foreigners together.

What's the best thing about living in France?
The weather, the lack of PC'ness, all professionals are treated as equals and no obvious class system.

And the worst?
Unexpected closing times, rising costs.

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London to Languedoc
Originally born in Johannesburg, Michael Bowditch moved to the Languedoc region of France after spending 15 years living in London. What made you move to France and how long...

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