Planning a trip to France?
Thinking about spending extended time in this cultural and architectural gem of a country?
High in desire?
Join me as I walk you through the steps to get you here without liquidating your account and totally smashing your budget.
I'm going to share tips on booking your flight to France, creating your checklist before you leave your home country, essential travel apps, the various departments (regions) of France, currency exchange recommendations, airport arrival, public transportation, suggested expense allocations for dining, hotel accommodations (the French star rating explained), cultural differences, basic French recommendations and social immersion.
But first...a little bit about me...
I fell in love with France over 28 years ago…
It has been an unrelenting love affair ever since.
Daydreaming about a field of lavender walked through near Avignon; savoring rich, vanilla, rum soaked canelé in Bordeaux; lingering in cafés by the Charente River.
Traveling to my destinations of choice, predictably, I purchased extra luggage, filling it with the usual suspects; French linens, luxurious soaps, coffee, art and antique treasures; with the sole intent of prolonging my experience.
Making the decision to spend my "semi-retirement" years in France, exquisitely blends to satisfy my hunger for a more full, balanced and simpler life.
I had been planning my escape for years. (smile)
Attempting to time the merger perfectly.
Having visited almost every corner of this life-changing country, it is here that I hoped to spend the remainder of my days.
I have found my sliver of joy in a small French village nestled between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea; surrounded by romantic, quaint villages wrapped in colorful homes and ever-present blue shutters.
The vineyards stretch as far as the eye can capture; around each and every corner leaves of cabernet, chardonnay, syrah and their regional cousins are elegantly draped in tranquil repose.
The small villages in the south offer a visual of true rural France. It is as if time visited, knocked, then decided not to stay.
The ancient French villages of Uzès, Pézenas, Saint-Guilhem-le- Désert, Saint-Didier, Roquebrun, Collioure, Apt, Lagrasse, Venasque, Mirepoix, Olargues, Ménerbes, Sommières, Pernes-les-Fontaines, Aigues Mortes....all hold a charm one can only imagine until witnessed with their own eyes.
The larger villages of Arles, Narbonne, Avignon, Tarascon, and Perpignan, heave with the weight of its lineage, countless universities and regional dining; all mere moments from the Mediterrean Sea.
Diverse landscape dot the scenery...hilltops, vineyards, rivers, mountains, valleys and the sea....always the wonderful scent of the sea languishing in the air.
The charm of French country life remains untouched in some villages and barely touched in others.
Off-the-beaten-path inns and chambres d’hotes, leaning beside rustic restaurants frequented by locals, seduce the fortunate traveller who stumbles across this swath of blissfulness. It is here in the south of France, each day is filled with peace, tranquility and calm: a soulful quality of life that I treasure.
On my first adventure to France my son was 6 and my daughter was 3. I crossed the Atlantic dozens and dozens of times...
Sometimes solo...sometimes with friends....and sometimes with my children in tow, utterly and completely smitten with the simplicity of life in the small hilltop and coastal French villages.
My son is now 35. My daughter is 32.
64. Semi-retired. Two decades plus in real estate. MBA/Finance. Global Mobility Specialist. 20+ years Relocating Spouse. Author. Educator. Instructor. Writer. Solo Traveler. Daughter. Wife. Mother. Empty-nester. French cafés. Cobblestone lanes. Morning walks through the vineyards.
A small village house near the coast.
Ok...there you have it...that was three (3) years ago that I made the leap to packing it all in, move to France and start living my sliver of a dream...
And I have never looked back...
As your instructor, however more importantly, as an ex-pat currently living in France I bring to you 40+ years experience in finance, real estate, corporate relocation and just plain "living a relaxed, comfortable, in-the-know life in France".....which is the most important criteria for creating this course.
During this course, you will receive clarity, encouragement, direction and support to assure you are on track with your plans for spending time in France.
As you progress through the course, you will have continuous access to me should you seek a bit more clarity, wish to share your thoughts or bounce ideas.
This course will most assuredly give you an understanding and birds eye view into considerations to take when planning your first or next solo travel adventure to this beautiful country.
Congratulations in advance of your journey...
Let's get started...
"The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil." - Marcus Tullius Cicero