The Journey Begins! Falling in love with France

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’ve been about thinking about writing a blog about mine and my husband’s adventures in France for years and I have finally got around to it. I’m so excited that you are here reading this and really hope you enjoy it.

I have wanted to live and work abroad for most of my life and four years ago I finally applied for a job which would allow me to do exactly that.  I can hardly believe it now, but at the time I was disappointed that I had been placed in France and not Italy or Spain, as I had hoped. Imagine being disappointed that you were going to be working in France! I’d been to France a few times before, and even though I’d also been to Italy and Spain, they somehow seemed more exciting. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

The work was difficult; I worked incredibly hard during the day, but my days off more than made up for it and I spent all my time off exploring this delightful and diverse country. Within the first six month I had worked in the Vendée, the Loire Valley and Charente Maritime. I had an amazing time. I went to the beach as often as I could, visited the most grandiose Châteaux you can imagine, tasted the most incredible cheeses, wines and pastries, watched fishermen drag their hauls off small boats ready for fortunate restaurant diners that evening, worked my way through countless baguettes and started to remember and use the language I had studied many years ago at school. In just a short amount of time I had fallen hook, line and sinker in love with France.

And then I met Chris.  Chris and I were both from small towns in the North West of England, just 15 miles apart, but we met in the Loire Valley. I love the story of how we met, but I’ll save that for another time. Anyway, cut to the end of my first season in France. I had intended to do just one season and then go back home and settle down. Except that didn’t happen. What did happen was I fell in love with France first and then Chris.  Chris and I got married (more on that later) and here I am 4 years later, about to start my fifth year working in France.

Chris and I worked together in the Loire Valley for 3 years and it is an area that will always have a place in both our hearts. We had our first date, got engaged and had an unofficial wedding ceremony at different Châteaux of the Loire, so it’s very special to us. However, this year we will both be working in the Côte d’Azur and, after some initial reservations, I am beyond excited. There are so many places I want to visit, things to see, foods to eat, wines to taste. It is a place of polar opposites. In parts it is glamourous, chic, expensive and stylish, with many A listers owning properties here. It is also an area of outstanding natural beauty with 25 miles of beautiful beaches where the sea glimmers with every shade of blue you can imagine and charming hilltop villages that boast mile after mile of vineyards. I can’t wait to start exploring and share my adventures with you.

A little bit about me.  I am interested in French culture, history, learning the language, drinking wine, eating delicious food, tourism, yoga, running, walking and reading and will probably write about most of these things at some point. My blog will be a mix of places we’ve visited, my language learning journey and updates on our life in general as we try to adapt to living on the coast.

Thank you for reading this far. Please share your stories about France, comment on my posts and let me know if there is anything you want me to explore in the Côte d’Azur. I can’t wait to connect with you!
A bientôt,

Catherine xx

15 thoughts on “The Journey Begins! Falling in love with France

  1. Hi Catherine lovely reading your blog. Good luck with your next chapter. You will achieve what you want which ever country you are in. You take care. Fiona xxx

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    1. Hello, thank you so much! I love it in this area, it’s so beautiful. Twelve years is a long time! That’s lovely that it felt like home from the beginning. Look forward to reading more of your posts soon,

      Catherine x

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  2. Hi and thanks for following my blog. I fell in love with France at the age of 16! It has been an enduring love affair and led to me studying French at uni and becoming a French teacher. Now I have fulfilled my dream and have a home in SW France (the other South of France! 😂). I’m looking forward to reading more about your life in France.

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    1. Hello, Thank you so much. I am really enjoying reading yours and all the other French lifestyle blogs on here. I learnt French at school, but wish I’d stuck with it like you did, as I am finding it difficult now! I have never been to the South West of France, but I’d like to. There are so many places to visit in this beautiful country!

      Catherine x

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      1. #AllAboutFrance is a brilliant way to get to know other blogs, n’est-ce pas?! I was lucky enough to have a French, French teacher (!) at school which gave me a great start to my language learning. Yes, there are so many places to visit and never enough time!

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  3. Bonjour Catherine. Thanks for alerting us to your blog. I am a Francophile and really enjoy reading about the experiences of others who are lucky enough to go and live in France. We visit as often as we can but we live in New Zealand so it is quite a journey. I look forward to your posts!

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    1. Hello,

      Thank you so much for reading my blog!

      I know I’m lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to work in France. France to New Zealand is quite a journey, but from you blog, it looks as though you’ve managed to travel to quite a few places in France.

      I’d love to visit New Zealand one day.

      Catherine

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  4. Bonjour Catherine,
    You have a great life ! I have had a thing about France since I was young. I traveled all round it on holidays. I have discovered that I have French ancestors so that probably explains it

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