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Hi just a quick 'hello' to all as I'm a newcomer.

I've been here for just over 3yrs and plan to move back to the UK within the next couple.

To date we've had a fantastic adventure, done more things in 3yrs than we would have done being stuck in the rat-race back in London, and contrary to many people, we've had nothing but good experiences right from the off with the French locals - everyone has been kind and helpful. No doubt this has something to do with my wife being French/Belgian so we had a head start with integrating.

I'm curious to know who else is, or has. moved back and what are your thoughts on relocation, employment, reconnecting with the 'British' lifestyle etc?

regards to all
Paul
 
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My thoughts? Best of luck... you'll need it! Seriously though, it's a good question to ask, although I don't know if there are any active members who have made the trip in the opposite direction. I would be interested to know how people find the UK after a long stint abroad. It's almost ten years since I last paid a flying visit there for a birthday party, and nearly twice that since I last lived there. I can't imagine how I would find it today - I felt like a complete stranger during that last brief trip, and it was a stark reminder crammed into 24 hours or so of why I've preferred living abroad since the start of the 90s.

Personally I have no intention of ever crossing the Channel again, barring a case of force majeure - the weather, the economy, the mood of the people, their cliche'd views of other nationalities, the traffic, the commercialism... I just find it depressing.

Here's a quick quote from Times writer John Mortimer from the 90s...

"French women are the opposite of English ones. With us the mystery is all on the inside; with them, it's plastered all over the outside. What's inside is rather dull and spiteful. But if you're into appearances, then a French women is for you. And if you like to spend a long time in the bath, she'll be perfect. They rarely go near water".

As a Brit I rather like our ironic, self-deprecating sense of humour. But this more spiteful, sarcastic version is something I really abhor about the British.
 

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I was under the (wrong?) assumption that quite a few Brits were thinking of moving back due to the exchange rate? Is this not the case?

We are tentatively contemplating the move back as we are in the middle of the Auvergne - beautiful part of the country, and great for M/biking :) , but sadly a cultural waste ground. I think it takes at least a couple of years to 'settle in', and although we've been lucky with integrating, the mentality and lifestyle here is very 'simple' - weather, sheep, pigs and who died the other week are the main topics of conversation :) and of course EVERYBODY knows everyone else within a 50 km radius... ;)

As I mentioned, we can't complain as life is all about 'balance' :juggle: but for us this area is a little too basic. In addition, we have (at least the possibility) of the next 10+ years of work life, and the only way we can get a decent job is back in the UK, as generally the French don't recognize english qualifications.

Finally, although I have a job at the local College which has helped my French enormously I'm not a natural linguist and I miss being able to express myself fully. There is much I don't like about the cliche 'British' mentality , but I prefer to judge individuals on personal merit rather than stereotyping - just call me BillyNoMates...:cool:
 
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Hard to tell from all the press hype - to believe the tabloids Brits are upping sticks and leaving en masse. But I'm not sure that it isn't so much an exodus as a trickle. An Express journalist contacted me last year for an article, wanted to know if I knew of anyone being 'forced out'. I didn't. Still, he got his article in the end. Or made it up. Who knows.

That's the problem with rural locations - idyllic at first glance, but being a little too isolated can be wearing in the long run. And of course it's almost impossible to find a job, unless you work internationally via the internet, or are a specialised craftsman of some kind that is in demand...
 
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