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Having a wobble about staying France.

(8 Posts)
Thisissomething Tue 09-Jun-15 12:46:25

I have been in France for more thean 7 years. ( moved here with DHs job). I was happy in the UK, had a good job, nice house etc but it was always a dream to live in France so was more than happy to move with my husbands job.

I was a bit concerned about giving up my job and being bored but for the most part that did not happen and I have been very happy here for all that time. Had some friends, learning the language ( ongoing process) hiking etc.

Recently though a few things changed. All but one of my friends have left and the opportunity for meeting new ones is more limited now ( met all my friends taking my children to school). One of my closest friends who I see every day has just left and this has had a huge affect on me and I really miss her.

I love the street where I live and have good neighbours but now most of them are also leaving shortly.
I started some new activiites to counteract all this but finally admitted to myself that I was not enjoying them at all and they were making me feel more depressed ( not really fitting in, fed up with people saying after many, many weeks " sorry what's your name" and taking over the activity).
Perimenopausal and emotions all over the place as well.

My DH is not so happy so at work at the moment ( up to this point he was very happy with work) but this may change at any time. He is generally very happy here and would like to stay ( but only if I am happy).

Overall I love where I am. Lovely area, great weather when I wake up I love where I am, the peace, the walks the views, my house and feel I may regret moving back to UK and not sure if it's the right thing to do.

Anyone else had/has this? Not really sure what I am asking but just wanted to see what others people have done.

vitaminC Tue 09-Jun-15 12:53:44

I'm not sure it's specific to France - the same could happen back in the UK if you were in an area you had no family or ties with.

How old are your children? Can you create a new social life based on a sports club they're involved in or your village's Comité des Fêtes?

Which part of France are you in? Do you speak French fluently? If not, maybe it's time to learn and get involved more with what's going on in your area.

Thisissomething Tue 09-Jun-15 13:00:27

I know what you mean about this could happen anywhere however the frequency of people leaving here is very high. I had some stability with my neighbours but now they are leaving as well.Children left home so no activities with them and most of the friends I made were through them.I have never stopped learning the language and probably never will. I have two sessions a week on improving my language skills already so adding more would not really interest me.

vitaminC Tue 09-Jun-15 13:06:15

Can you move to an area with more permanent residents and fewer expats? That would allow you to make longer term friendships without worrying about them leaving.

Is your french good enough to get a job? What did you do before moving? Could you go back to that field in France? Or possibly retrain?

It sounds like you are bored and vrry dependent on your friends for entertainment. Working (or volunteering) would help fill the void.

juneau Tue 09-Jun-15 13:11:46

Having been an expat myself I think the situation you find yourself in is very common and its something I got very disillusioned with - namely that if you are an expat and you make friends with other expats, they leave. Or you leave. Either way, those friendships are doomed to be short-term and sooner or later the nice life and friendships you've made for yourself come to an end. And if you're the one left behind it can be really shitty and lonely when those people have gone. So the question is, are you prepared to start all over again making new friends? And if you do and they're all expats again, how long do you think it will be before they leave too? How much appetite do you have to keep repeating this cycle?

It seems to me that you have a choice: either you accept that this is the way life is abroad (unless you're prepared to get your French fluent and really make some good French friends), or you leave too and move somewhere in the UK where you'll be happy and where you can put down roots and really invest in being in that place for the rest of your lives.

For me, moving back to the UK was one of the best decisions I've ever made and having been away for six years at that point we had a free choice of where we moved to, so we chose a place that met all our 'ideal' criteria and its been great. I can recommend it. And we've made friends since moving here who have no intention of ever leaving!

BriocheBriocheBrioche Tue 09-Jun-15 13:13:12

Its hard when people keep leaving. Im also in France in a very international area and for the first couple of years I felt as though every time I got comfortable in a group of friends they'd all start to leave.

I have since, luckily found a group of international and french friends who are here for good and so I feel a lot more settled now.

Could you try volunteering to meet new people? Are you part of any local facebook activity/meet up groups?

Where abouts are you?

Thisissomething Tue 09-Jun-15 14:38:50

Thanks for you input everyone. I was and am very conscious about making a variety of friends when I arrived here and still have a few French friends, however it seemed there was almost a " perfect storm" of departures. Yes I expected my expat friends to leave however not all my French neighbours (they were friends) to leave all at once at the same time. I am sure I will make friends with the new arrivals but they have yet to arrive and I think I am still mourning the loss of my old friends.

I have a few new things planned ( French activities) and will look at voluntary work again.

For those who asked about work And where I am. I do work from time to time but it is not fulfilling me for numerous reasons.
I am in Provence.

It almost feels like so much has happened in a short space of time but it feels very unsettling.

Laptopwieldingharpy Wed 10-Jun-15 09:28:14

Would you consider something drastically different? Can your DH find a contract is an "exotic" location for a few years?
Lots if friends with kids who flew the nest found this solution a great refresher for their relationship as well as their own persinal path. A few years somewhere before settling for good? Distance gives perspective.

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