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Have you ever regretted to move to France ?


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Ah, I think we know your thoughts on this subject and I respect that.

We have been very happy here and do not regret a thing.  We've spent 13 years in France and then a few years back in the USA, then back to France.  We much prefer life here.

Everyone is different and everyone's needs are different. 

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There are many times I've regretted buying the house that we did. We were stitched up good and proper by the notaire and the estate agent who both ended up doing time for unrelated matters. I'm now resigned to the fact that the property is to all intents and purposes unsellable.  But the question I ask myself is, 'where else would I be? '.

If I had my time over again I would probably still move to France ( hopefully to a decent house ). I have no emotional connection to the UK. I worked there for 14 years and, once the work dried up, had no interest in staying. As to where I was born, well even as a child I found it claustrophobic. Goodness knows what it would feel like now.

I think, as with many of these questions there is a 'grass is always greener' element but on balance I'd say I'm content with my lot.

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No regrets.  Having been in the military and being based all over the UK, some trips abroad, we had the opportunity to take a slightly better informed view of life somewhere else.  In hindsight, we wish we had gone all out for a house on the coast with a view,  in a large town, but that is the danger of hindsight.  And if we had done that would our family be the same as it is today?

We also did not leave the UK as we hated it, a doomed country etc.  I seem to remember that this was a recurring theme on some forums after we had bought our house in France in 1991.

I firmly believe our quality of life has been enhanced.

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No. Occasionally, when I was doing a lot of work around the world, I did have some regrets about our choice of location (airport serving basically only Orly, making it quite difficult to catch the best flights from CDG). Advancing age has eliminated any desire for long distance travel, so I have greatly reduced all my professional activities and restricted them to working from home. The one and only drawback now is that travel to see our grandson in Wales is problematic. However, would we go back to the UK? No way.

 

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Unusually, I am somewhat in agreement wiht ALBF.  I don't regret moving to France when we retired, but between Brexit, Covid, getting older, missing the family more as they grow, and then a cancer diagnosis, I have become disenchanted, not with France as such, but because I realised that when cancer struck I did not feel French enough to wish to die in France.  Many people I knew here have gone back to their various home countries: age, work, grandchildren arriving, death of partner, Brexit - so many reasons given, but these decisions are often because the life situation which brought you to France in the first place has changed, and when that happens your choices often become different from those that brought you to France.  Whilst I will happily accept that my healthcare has been superb and could not be bettered, I also know of people in the UK with cancer who have also received sterling care.   Do not believe all the stories you here ... it is not all broken. It's not that my French can't cope, I do pretty well for someone not as fluent as I would like to be, but that when I am back in the UK, I can follow all conversation, in the supermarket, or bus queue for example, and join in. I can't do that here in France, and I find I miss it more and more.  Finally, if I do have to move, I want to do it before I become to old or too ill to be able to do it.

Regrets - no, but I'm getting to the state when a further choice and decision might have to be made ..

 

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I have sat on my hands, refusing to engage.  Now I feel able to respond with a more moderate approach than I might have done!

ALBF, with the best will in the world I cannot sympathise with your "plight".  Your post sounds like the bleat of a spoilt child refused another ride on the big dipper.

What on earth is all that regret and I- should- have- done- this but- not- that all about?  I presume you live in a nice house, in a location of your choice with your wife and young family altogether, able to enjoy everything that there is everywhere you look?

Last time I heard, you do not live in Ukraine or the Gaza strip or even the rather less salubrious and unsafe areas of a large city.  No great securtiy fears for your family, children educated, have access to health care, every amenity?

I hope you do not show all this regret and dissatisfaction within the home?  You have children with bodies to nourish and inquisitive minds to fill with knowledge and influence with wisdom.  Can't think of anything worse than living with a grouchy impossible to satisfy person.

 

 

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Brilliant and very interesting responses so far.

Thanks everyone for being so honest.

I don’t regret moving to France one bit. The way I see it, I would never had have the kids that we do and of course all the experiences along the way discovering France. Which is to be fair is a fantastic country. 

I agree with everything Judith is saying.

Do I belong here ? No….not really. 
 

Would my OH belong in the UK ? Probably, but she will always feel French living in the UK. Which is an uncomfortable feeling as we all know.

Do I want to end up in an Ephad in old age watching TF1 lunchtime news and then dancing to Johney Halliday songs in the afternoon ?

No.

 

Edited by alittlebitfrench
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From what I can gather ALBF moved to France at a much earlier age than most of us, including me. He has worked, married and raised children here and is perfectly entitled to express opinions that differ from most if he wishes. It's not 'bleating' to open up a discussion of whether or not, if people had their time again, they would make the same choices. It's common knowledge that most Brits who move to France don't end up dying there. So, maybe the question should be, what would finally make you move back to the UK?

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Thank you ABLF.  Nor do I want to end up an old people's home in either country.   That is, of course, given that I have the chance to grow old (or rather than I currently am).

As Menthe would also concur ... a cancer diagnosis does make you think outside the box. 

Everyone has different needs and wishes at different times of their life .. be grateful that most of the time we have the chance to make the decision ourselves and that it not be made by others.

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It might also be the case that those left on the Forum are the ones who do not regret their move to France so are still here.  Those that did (and could)  left quite some time ago.  I am still haunted by some of the houses that we were taken to by various Notaires/agents  when we were house searching.  Occupied by families who had no idea what they had got themselves into, regretted their decision in a short space of time and were desperate to get out.

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On 04/12/2023 at 17:53, Judith said:

 That is, of course, given that I be grateful that most of the time we have the chance to make the decision ourselves and that it not be made by others.

I don’t think that those moving to France ever have a plan for when time runs out.

Im considering all this at 50. 

You are right, you have to make the decision when you are still able to. I don’t want people to have the stress to make it for me.

Is moving to France worth the hassle in the first place ?

Hmmm ? 

It is a no for me.

 

Edited by alittlebitfrench
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Yes, time comes to an end for all of us, somewhere - sometime.  Could be tomorrow.

We put our desires in writing to make it easier on each other as we grow old.  And easier for our family members (once we're gone) and perhaps the medical professionals who may intervene to care for one or both of us.  We were also advised that we should put our desires in writing while we were 'of sound mind.' 

To each his own.

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We emigrated to France in 2004 for different health reasons, both of which would have pretty much ensured our non-employability in the UK.

With hindsight (always a wonderful thing) there is so much more that we should have researched before coming.  However, we did it and got it pretty much 80% right - in truth, probably more by luck than judgement.

We wouldn’t return unless absolutely forced to ........ but why ?

As said by many above, France is by no means perfect, but we’re very content here and when one of us ‘kicks the bucket’, the other will almost certainly stay.  Not necessarily in the same house (size, general suitability), but in the area).

 

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Utterly sensible replies from Lori and Gardian......Make your wishes known while you can (insofar as you know what they are at any given time). Then forget about the unpleasant implications of the future and live for the present.

I do have a few regrets now, but I'm pretty certain that that is a result of France changing quite drastically compared to the country we came to 16 years ago. Trying to keep a balanced view, some aspects have improved, but not nearly as many as cause minor irritation every day. Then again, familiarity breeds not contempt, but complacency.  A few days back in the UK would soon put things back in perspective 😁

I'm in the 'can't imagine living anywhere else' camp. Speak the language, have nationality, struck lucky with the area etc etc.  I certainly can't imagine going through all the upheaval of getting established in a different country and above all not in UK.

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10 hours ago, Noisette said:

Utterly sensible replies from Lori and Gardian......Make your wishes known while you can (insofar as you know what they are at any given time). Then forget about the unpleasant implications of the future and live for the present.

I do have a few regrets now, but I'm pretty certain that that is a result of France changing quite drastically compared to the country we came to 16 years ago. Trying to keep a balanced view, some aspects have improved, but not nearly as many as cause minor irritation every day. Then again, familiarity breeds not contempt, but complacency.  A few days back in the UK would soon put things back in perspective 😁

I'm in the 'can't imagine living anywhere else' camp. Speak the language, have nationality, struck lucky with the area etc etc.  I certainly can't imagine going through all the upheaval of getting established in a different country and above all not in UK.

Why not the UK ? There is nothing wrong with the UK ? It is a fantastic country.

Why do peeps who have moved to France don’t want to live in the UK ? Or spend their time on forums (not you or anyone else on this forum btw) criticizing the UK.

I am betting most would choose to live in the UK rather than most places in France. Why is that me wonders ? These people live in France but never ventured out of their rural village. That is NOT reality France. They know nothing about France but for them France is better than the UK. What they are saying is their bubble in France is better than would they could achieve in the UK. It is nothing to with France as a country. But that bubble won’t last forever.
 

I can live anywhere in France. Rural, suburban, estate, city and have done. It does not bother me. These muppets couldn’t.

That is my rant over for the day…lol.

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I suggest ALBF that you might have a somewhat outdated view of today's British in France. Even if they didn't 'venture out of their rural village' Brexit changed all that. Like the rest of us they would have had to queue at the Prefecture for their CdS interview and think long and hard about whether or not they wanted to stay in this country. As has been said before, a number of them packed up and went back to the UK. Those that remain are no longer looking at the world through rose coloured glasses. If they ever did.

As to the UK. I would have thought that yesterdays news on mixed nationality marriages where the government is proposing splitting up families already living in the UK if they don't earn above the average wage might have given you pause for thought. A country that is that cruel to it's own citizens is not one I want to live in.

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1 hour ago, DaveLister said:

I suggest ALBF that you might have a somewhat outdated view of today's British in France. Even if they didn't 'venture out of their rural village' Brexit changed all that. Like the rest of us they would have had to queue at the Prefecture for their CdS interview and think long and hard about whether or not they wanted to stay in this country. As has been said before, a number of them packed up and went back to the UK. Those that remain are no longer looking at the world through rose coloured glasses. If they ever did.

As to the UK. I would have thought that yesterdays news on mixed nationality marriages where the government is proposing splitting up families already living in the UK if they don't earn above the average wage might have given you pause for thought. A country that is that cruel to it's own citizens is not one I want to live in.

You make valid points.

The first one there are still those looking to move to France and wot not. Even with young kids. You see that on other forums, so Brexit has not really changed that much. How they do that with visas…I have no idea. 

Your second point is really good. I have read the articles as well.

But France is very much the same or wants to be the same. Except that it is directed to ‘certain’ countries. Whereas the UK does not discriminate. It effects everyone from all countries. Which is is wrong IMHO. I can’t move (as I see it) to the UK with a bilingual French wife and two French/British kids. But the British can quite easily move to France. 

It because certain peeps fron certain countries take advantage. You know what I mean.

I don’t have seven wives. Just one. Lol.

 

 

 

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