Thursday, June 28, 2012

Moving for Good

People move abroad for lots of reasons – work, love, necessity, choice.  I hadn’t really thought much about it before, but we fall into the last category.   It was Vicki at who highlighted this difference in a recent interview with me.  Vicki is from New Zealand and writes about her life as an Expat living in the UK.  She’s currently running a series of guest post/interviews from other Expats living in different countries giving their “Moving Stories” – here’s mine Moving Stories - 10 Moving for Good Have a look at the others – it’s interesting all the different reasons for moving and ways of coping as a result.  

We chose to move abroad in search of a better life for our growing family and the decision was not taken lightly.  It’s something we planned for many years and when we moved, we intended the move to be for good.  I wonder if the decision of “Moving for Good” has actually affected how well we have adapted and coped with the move.  Maybe it’s given us an advantage in that we didn’t have any feelings of resentment from the start (as you may have if you’ve moved for work, a partner or because you had to for some reason).  Have we tried harder to make it work?   Does choosing to live in France mean we are more likely to choose to live there forever?  

Over at Windmill Feilds on her Expat Blog Hop, Rosalind is discussing the question “Will you, Could you, Do you want to stay where you are forever?”, so I thought it might be interesting to join in.  

Will I Stay in France forever?
Forever is a long time.  I don’t know if I will stay in France forever, there’s a big world out there and I’ve seen hardly any of it.  For the foreseeable future I’m here.  The children are settled and my youngest is only four, so I’m likely to at least see her through school before making the decision to maybe move on.  But you never know...

Can I stay in France forever?
Yes I think I could stay in France forever.  There are things that frustrate me about living here, but I am generally happy and I think the good things outweigh the bad.  

Do I want to stay in France forever?
No, I don’t think so.  As I said before, there’s so many other countries to explore.  I could see us retiring and having a home in France and a home somewhere hotter where we can go in the winter.  I think it very much depends on where my children settle.  It’s likely that at least some of them will settle in France and then I will probably want to be around to help them out when they need us.  If none of our children settle here then I doubt we would feel the need to have a house here in the future, but who knows....

So, are we more likely to live in France forever because we chose to live here?  Possibly, but I think the answer, for us at least, lies in the fact that we chose to Move Abroad for good, rather than Move to France for good.  France was not our first choice, Greece was and it was only because of schooling difficulties for our children that we changed our mind.  So maybe in our case we should change the questions to Will I, Can I, Do I want to stay abroad forever?  The answer to all those questions is categorically yes....probably!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

French Music - Why isn't it better?

Music is so much a part of youth culture both in the UK and France,  but why is it that the French charts are filled with British and American music whereas in the British charts there is no French music?  My eldest son, Matthew is studying for his Masters at Bristol University in the UK.  He chose to spend his 3rd year studying in a University in Montpellier.  He has had a fantastic year and loves the lifestyle in France, however one of his pet hates is French music. It was a mission of his during his year studying in France to find some decent French bands.  He really wanted to and was constantly pleading with his French friends to introduce him to some. Unfortunately they failed miserably and had to admit defeat.  Most French bands are either europop or rappers and there are no really talented bands to match some of those on the other side of the water..    

I'm fascinated by the differences Matthew has found between his experiences of education and student life in the UK and France.  I've been waiting anxiously for him to finish the year so that I can complete the chapter on Education in the book I'm writing about our experiences as a family in France.  During one of our recent discussions, Matthew told me the following story which highlights one of the differences: