Wow, how time flies. August 2nd was the three year anniversary of our family leaving Canada to pursue happiness in the intoxicating dream continent of Europe.
I know, people still think we are a little crazy. I assure you, however, if we are crazy, we are very happy in this state of mind.
Moving away from family and friends is not for the faint of heart, but if people took more time to focus on their dreams, I still believe that everyone can work towards their own fulfilling life.
I may inspire someone to move to Europe as well, but be forewarned that this amount of change will be difficult for any family dynamic, and will put pressure on your children and yourself to adapt to change.
Culture and traditions are very different throughout Europe, which is also the appeal of Europe. I love how a short flight can take you to such amazing places that you only read about in books. Europe being our playground has been a dream of mine my entire life. Having the ability to work and live here is a blessing that I am ever so grateful for.
We tried out many business ideas before one came to fruition. Patience, and believing in your abilities makes all the difference. We knew we could offer something that not everyone could do. It was because of our ability to adapt, and tolerate many different personalities was the factor in establishing our newest and most successful business venture.
What do I miss about Canada? My friends and family, Island Farms cottage cheese, good Chinese and Japanese food, buying clothes from Plum and Winners, customer service, being able to do everything I need to without hesitation or thinking ‘hmm How do I say that again?’, having deep conversations with my girlfriends, diversity in opinions and lastly the smell of rain.
What don’t I miss? Living to work, traffic, low quality food, high cost food, high cost living, the pressure to keep up with the Jones, the necessity of a good hairdresser (here it is optional as is new clothes) and lastly the rain.
What do I love about France? Our deep rooted community, one culture makes things easy even if I will always be a foreigner, good food is the standard and the French do not tolerate low quality food especially meat, cheese and vegetables (here the 100 mile-diet applies; where you eat only the items produced within 100 miles from your residents), open air markets, free music festivals, free education and health care, children are taken care of and treasured in our community and are always welcome to every event. The French love their children and raise them well. They are respectful, intelligent and cherished in our world. No babysitter required!
The hardest thing about moving to France?
Our biggest challenge, by far, is the language. At my age it becomes increasingly hard to learn. Not for the lack of trying, I am constantly reading, and listening and trying to understand the world we live in. If there was an experimental brain download to install the French language directly into my thoughts, I would give any amount of money for it!
Only one, that I didn’t dream bigger when I was younger. So many of us are scared to make mistakes, to take risks or chances in fear of failure. I would have reached happiness far sooner if I started the pursuit before 35.