Print Posted By Lost in France on 28 Jun 2010 in Real France - Expat Interviews

Life in Lot et Garonne

Megan has been living in Lot et Garonne in the Aquitaine region for 8 years but would like to move back to the UK.

Lot et GaronneWhat made you move to France and how long have you lived here?
I enjoyed visiting over many years and was coming up towards retirement, I liked the idea of better weather and quieter living. Also at that time I thought that my pension would go further.
I have been here for 8 years but I would like to return to UK...other half wants to stay here...a bit of a dilemma.

Which part of France do you live in, and what's it like to live there?
Lot et Garonne. Very quiet as expected. Quite dull in the winter and weather not as good as expected. Friendly people and quite a few Brits, Dutch and lot of people from Belgium. There is little traffic and reasonable variety of shops. Near to both Bordeaux and Bergerac airports so easy for visitors to travel here and me to fly to UK.

A bit like living in Scotland, without the bad weather and the warmth and hospitality of the Scots.

Do you have children, if so how easy was it for them to adjust to a French school?
Children grown up and left in UK....One son would like to come here but no chance of employment although he is a solar heating engineer.

Open quote. Interviewee gives their moving to France tips Buy a new or newish house. Don't be sucked into the dream of owning a lovely stone built house Close quote

What is your age?

Where were you born?
Glasgow, Scotland.

Do you work, if so what do you do and how difficult was it to find work or start a business in France?
Could not work here even if I wanted to as I was a psychologist in UK.

What was the worst mistake you made when buying in France?
Actually buying a house and an old one at that. If I had to do again knowing what I know now, I would unquestionably buy a new or newish property. Old houses are money pits!

Your best tip or advice to other people considering moving to France?
Buy a new or newish house. Don't be sucked into the dream of owning a lovely stone built house.
Take out legal insurance!

Did you find it hard to integrate or adjust to your new life in France and do you have any tips to help others?
Very difficult as I worked up until the day that I left. Integrating is not easy either even if you have some French. I spoke a bit of French and am disappointed that I have not improved a great deal. Have good French neighbours but they have absolutely no English so conversation can be difficult. I expected French people to be a bit like the door policy but they are (in this part anyway) more like southern English where it is necessary to make an appointment before visiting.

What's the best thing about living in France?
Traffic free roads and longer warmer summers.

And the worst?
Cost of living...I believe it is more expensive here than in UK. Certainly for food and electrical goods and clothing.
Poor French workmen trying to rip you off if you are foreign.
Family and friends missed a great deal.
Lack of choices in supermarkets.

What do you think?

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