Print Posted By Lost in France on 10 Apr 2010 in Real France - Expat Interviews

Living the "Good Life" in the Dordogne

Kevin and Kate retired to France in 2007 swapping the rat race for 5 acres of the "Good Life" in rural Dordogne.

DordogneWhat made you move to France and how long have you lived here?
We both took early retirement and fled the rat race to live something approaching the "good life" in 5 acres of France. We arrived in May 2007. We now have 13 chickens, a 40 square metre poly tunnel, a large veg patch and a smaller one with soft fruit beds and about 10 fruit trees all planted and cultivated by us.

Which part of France do you live in, and what's it like to live there?
A small commune called Tous Vents which is near the market town of Piegut Pluviers in the Dordogne close to the borders of the Charante and Haute Vienne. Its a lovely place to live, we are on a road junction which does carry some traffic so is not the tranquil setting some people seek. However we have met new people because of the location and friends can drop by on their way to or from elsewhere. The French neighbours are very friendly and readily accepted our being here.

Open quote. Interviewee gives their moving to France tips Do as much research as possible, speak to as many people as possible and remove the rose coloured glasses Close quote

What is your age?
53 and 51.

Where were you born?
West Yorkshire near Huddersfield and Holmfirth.

Do you work, if so what do you do and how difficult was it to find work or start a business in France?
No we are retired although in the growing season it doesn't always seem that way!!!

What was the worst mistake you made when buying in France?
Not taking the free financial advise we were given to bring all our capital over into Euros and not making a long term currency transfer arrangement, both to our cost.

Your best tip or advice to other people considering moving to France?
Do as much research as possible, speak to as many people as possible and remove the rose coloured glasses, life here is superb but it doesn't suit everyone and its a big step to take.Learn to speak as much French as possible before you come don't wait until you get here.

Did you find it hard to integrate or adjust to your new life in France and do you have any tips to help others?
Not at all although my French is not as good as I hoped it would be. Kate's is a lot better. Integrating has not been a problem as most French people are very friendly and a polite request of "lentement" if they speak to quickly, works wonders. Always be polite and never ignore people, the French tend to be very polite.

What's the best thing about living in France?
Quality of life, pace of life, the weather usually, the people.

And the worst?
Some ex pats who believe the French people and various administrative departments and shops should all speak English for their benefit and can be extremely rude when that is not the case.

What do you think?

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