Keep in mind, Alfonz went to France with his best friend Adrian on a motorbike tour in 2000, long before he and I were together. When he returned from his adventures, he shared them with me, at the time he was my dear friend. I had never seen him so happy.
For the kids and I, of course it was a huge leap of faith and our decision was made solely on Alfonz’s suggestion; agreed to in less than a minute. Ready for a big change, his dream was now in motion to move to warmer climate, to be closer to his home in Hungary, and to live out a version of his dream life. Or life’s dream, which I like to say, because our lives have dreams, and we yearn for more. A dream life is more envy driven, like wanting to be rich like your favourite star on TV. A life’s dream is a place where you can become your authentic you.
Picking a region in France sight unseen was easy.
My thoughts were based on the Internet, Wikipedia, travel sites, Real Estate agents and Alfonz.
The Cote d’Azur was our first choice except the prices are outrageous and that is if properties are available. We wanted an area with a strong tourist drive, and in North America you often hear about this posh area.
The Aude area in the Languedoc-Roussillon region is still in financial reach as it is reasonably priced. The province runs along the Mediterranean Coastline, with small villages that have their own bakery, church and schools; which offer a tourism income in the picturesque setting of rolling hills covered in grapes; the typical scenery you would imagine of the French countryside.
Some of the best wines of France come from here, and they have more dense wineries side by side in Aude and Herault than anywhere else in the world. With the mountains and the valleys, good water sources and terrain, the Languedoc has the perfect climate and conditions for grapes. If it is good enough for grapes, it might be good enough for me.
Bike paths, rivers and lakes, beautiful open sky, and unobstructed views of the most beautiful landscape you could image; are all here.
Close enough to the Carcassonne Castle and the Mediterranean Sea to give our B&B visitors options, and our family the desired lifestyle. A life similar to the West Coast of British Columbia with abundant outdoor activities, could make southern France a good fit.
Imagine riding your bike, of course with a basket in front, to the market each day to gather fresh daily foods, trimming flavorful herbs from an plentiful green garden, or picking fruit off trees. As you walk towards your village centre you only pass familiar faces. You say hello and ask how their day is going. A simpler life is what we expect and a much slower pace.
We hope to slowly take in these kinds of moments and soak up our new life; one that is much quieter than our current stressful lifestyle here in the lower mainland of B.C. Canada.
We can almost taste the croissants, smell the pain de chocolat and hear the crunch of our fresh baguettes.
If what I dream of is only a fraction true, we will be happy in France.
Moreover, if Aude does not ring true, there are twenty-two other regions with ninety-five compartments to choose from. France has diversity.
In addition, our realtor located in France will not steer us wrong. Cross your fingers!
For those of you following our story, you know our family ended up in Capestang, Herault on the border of Aude.
It seems amazing, or lucky to me how accurately we dreamed up our future life in this post. If you can dream it, it can happen.