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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I'm currently living in Montpellier but am thinking about relocating to Brittany.

I was wondering if any of you knew where I could find some information on it? Such as what the population is like, where I can find work, what areas are rural, etc etc?

Any personal information is also much welcome. Thanks!
 

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What, in particular, attracts you to Brittany?

You could start by simply googling "Brittany" to see what pops up. Right now, you'll get lots of hits for new items about the protests there against the "eco-taxe" and many of those articles highlight bits and pieces about the region that could be very relevant to your plans.

When I was there a year or so ago (for a conference where they talked a bit about the region), the impression I got is that the whole region is considered "rural" which means that there aren't lots of jobs to be had. The local industries are agriculture and fishing. And apparently the local population fought long and hard to fend off having the big autoroutes going through the region, which has kind of come back to haunt them with this eco-taxe issue. But I leave you to research that one.

Start with the Wikipedia article on Brittany and go on from there. There's lots of good information available and plenty of links to follow up on.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Bev,

thanks for your answer! As I said, I currently live in Montpellier, but am starting to really feel uncomfortable here. This is due to many reasons.

1/ I've been mugged multiple times; now, whenever I go on the streets and I see a person look at me funny, I auto panic and get extremely paranoid. In fact, I get so nervous being in city centre that I can only be there for a maximum of 30 minutes.

2/ The climate. When I was living in the US, I had a rather cold climate in winter and hot one in summer, I don't have that here in Montpellier. It's hot here al the time, everything is dry and feels like it's a desert. From what I've seen, brittany is green, there is rain, it's cooler, especially in winter...That's what I really like.

3/ People. In the US I lived in a very rural area for 13 years, I then moved to France due to being a French national and having to come back and was thrown into a city with tons of people. This makes me extremely panicky. I'm not sure yet, but I believe brittany is rural without having a ton of people in a concentrated area unless of course I go to Rennes or something.

4/ Cost of living. The cost of living in Brittany, from what I see, is much cheaper than in montpelier. I was looking at houses on leboncoin and was able to find stuff for half the price of Montpellier.

5/ When I was a chid, my mom told me stories of Brittany, about the celts etc. I've always been fascinated by it.

Basically, I'd like to live where it is cooler, where there aren't a ton of people, where it's green. Someplace that feels less like another world and more like home.

I don't want to be scared to walk outside when I want, I want to enjoy nature like I used to.

Financially, I currently have a very good online job which I can do from anywhere in the world, so a job isn't an issue. But I'd like to know my options in case anything happens.

Lastly, I'm 20 right now and in a way, want to start new. Have a clean slate.
 

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I love Brittany. Though I decided not to live there in the end - partly, I suppose, because I didn't want the magic to wear off! So I chose to live next door in Normandy, I go to Brittany for holidays and I still get excited by it.

I think you need to go to Brittany for a few weeks' holiday and then decide. Sure you can read up about it but it isn't the same as spending time there and experiencing the pastoral idyll first hand. Outside the (few) cities it is peaceful apart from when the farmers are busy doing what farmers do, it's green, it's open, it's very traditional. But a lot of 20 year olds would get bored out of their skulls after a few months with no nightlife and no 'buzz'. There's not much employment and many of the young people are leaving for other parts of France. The broadband connection is not always great and in some of the remoter places there is very poor mobile coverage. Of course you don't have to live in rural isolation, but most of Brittany is rural and the cheaper properties tend to be out in the sticks where you might not even have a shop within walking distance. If you work from home you might go days without speaking face to face with anybody.
 

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Hi. We moved to Cote D'Armor in 2008. Renovating a house and barns to a home and studio for our relocated business. We like it here , it doesn't feel too different to Cornwall where we were before. The weather is the same!. It is very Rural but larger towns do have University life so its not all full of old folk. Property prices seem good to us, especially compared to Cornwall. we love the coast so most of our spare time is spent there. True some places are stuck in the 1950s and close up for winter but more vibrant and trendy places can be found. If you do need ADSL for work ,..check it out first, we live in a white zone with no landline ADSL network, having spent 5 yrs on dial up we have no been able to upgrade to a 'web trotter' from SFR which gives us 3g from mobile phone signal. other than a few grumbles we like it here. Our French friends and neighbours are great. Yes if you work from home like we do you can go days without seeing a sole, but we don't mind that. if we get bored we go out! We feel very safe here and don't think about crime as an issue, infact we don't always lock the car when we are out. The younger generation around us have more respect for others than we are used to in the UK , which we do see as a bonus. well must get back to work.
 

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My limited experience of Brittany is that the people, like their Celtic cousins in Cornwall and Wales are rather insular and don't take too kindly to incomers. As with the other Celtic countries they are quite defensive of their language which adds to their insularity. Often, when there are incomers about they will speak Breton just to shut out the incomers.
 

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As much as I love Brittany, I ruled it out as a place to live for its reputation of harbouring too many Anglophones. (Ditto the Dordogne)

h
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi. We moved to Cote D'Armor in 2008. Renovating a house and barns to a home and studio for our relocated business. We like it here , it doesn't feel too different to Cornwall where we were before. The weather is the same!. It is very Rural but larger towns do have University life so its not all full of old folk. Property prices seem good to us, especially compared to Cornwall. we love the coast so most of our spare time is spent there. True some places are stuck in the 1950s and close up for winter but more vibrant and trendy places can be found. If you do need ADSL for work ,..check it out first, we live in a white zone with no landline ADSL network, having spent 5 yrs on dial up we have no been able to upgrade to a 'web trotter' from SFR which gives us 3g from mobile phone signal. other than a few grumbles we like it here. Our French friends and neighbours are great. Yes if you work from home like we do you can go days without seeing a sole, but we don't mind that. if we get bored we go out! We feel very safe here and don't think about crime as an issue, infact we don't always lock the car when we are out. The younger generation around us have more respect for others than we are used to in the UK , which we do see as a bonus. well must get back to work.
That sounds amazing! The whole "not seeing a single soul" thing is just what I need. When I was living in the US, I was in the sticks and my only neigbours were deer, birds and coyotes so that's perfect for me :D

Also, here in Montpellier there is 0 wildlife, it's all gone. Is there any wildlife in Brittany? Such as a lot of birds and roaming animals and such?

I'm also really happy to hear that you don't worry about crime. It's one of the main reasons why I want to leave montpellier. I can't stand how many people there are on the streets and due to being mugged by gangs of young adolescents who have no respect for anyone, whenever I walk down the street and see a group of people dressed a certain way, I automatically become so paranoid that it's unbearable.

I've been looking at more and more property to rent and have to say that the prices are HALF of what they are here. It's quite amazing.

I've pretty much made up my mind that I'm moving there in the next year. I have a vacation setup to go there during the Christmas season.

Do you have any areas that you recommend? Perhaps something on the coast and something inland where it's green and lush?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As much as I love Brittany, I ruled it out as a place to live for its reputation of harbouring too many Anglophones. (Ditto the Dordogne)

h
May I ask if there is something particularly wrong with that? I ask that in the sincerest of ways as I do not know what having a lot of anglophones can do to a community or how it can affect one's way fo life there.
 

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May I ask if there is something particularly wrong with that? I ask that in the sincerest of ways as I do not know what having a lot of anglophones can do to a community or how it can affect one's way fo life there.
1. it can easily change the nature of a large area having a great influx of foreigners especially of one nationality or linguistic group
2. It can breed resentment among the 'natives' who see their whole way of life becoming diluted and they feel they are becoming subservient to what the incomes want, e.g. shops being open on a Sunday and their 'day of rest' becoming just another day, standards changing, etc. Remember that rural French are very defensively nationalistic.

A further example is the Costa del Sol in Spain, where there are areas known as "little Britain" or "kleine Deutschland", etc because of the large influx of one ethic group - one of the reasons we live a very long way from there
 

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...and it promotes a real us and them attitude on a daily basis in lots of little ways. Any time there is a minority population of 10 percent or more, the minority becomes visible. That is a statistic from a study that was done some years ago about immigrant populations in the United States. I have always found it well worth remembering!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
1. it can easily change the nature of a large area having a great influx of foreigners especially of one nationality or linguistic group
2. It can breed resentment among the 'natives' who see their whole way of life becoming diluted and they feel they are becoming subservient to what the incomes want, e.g. shops being open on a Sunday and their 'day of rest' becoming just another day, standards changing, etc. Remember that rural French are very defensively nationalistic.

A further example is the Costa del Sol in Spain, where there are areas known as "little Britain" or "kleine Deutschland", etc because of the large influx of one ethic group - one of the reasons we live a very long way from there
Ah yes! Ok, I understand what you're saying. Thanks for the explanation.
 

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I have been thinking about your situation, goatee, and I have a suggestion. In North America, we tend to think north and south, east and west, but in France it is better to think in 3D because it is a mountainous country. Look at the elevations and there are lots of places where you get four definite seasons per year. As examples, I am in Lyon, hils is in Auvergne, Bev in the greater Paris area and we all have four seasons, as do Fletch and DejW and none of us are in the far north of the country. It might be possible for you to settle in a village or town that is relatively inexpensive, has a safe environment and the infrastructure so that you can carry on with your online work in relative ease. It is certainly worth thinking about and you can always visit every part of France without living there permanently. Cheers! MS
 

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May I ask if there is something particularly wrong with that? I ask that in the sincerest of ways as I do not know what having a lot of anglophones can do to a community or how it can affect one's way fo life there.
In addition to Baldi's and Maple's valid comments above, I moved to FRANCE to be in FRANCE with FRENCH people, culture and language, and not some artificially- and superficially-created replica of a Little Britain.

I also anticipated too much competition for the kind of things I can earn money at - teaching, translating, interpreting - in those areas ...

hils
 

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You want cold, four seasons, lots of green and nature? Not many people and low crime? You'd love NZ! I agree with Maple Sugar though, that you probably have lots of options in France for finding somewhere quieter and cooler than Montpellier. Sorry to hear you've had such a bad time there. I've always wanted to visit that city and now I'm feeling a bit cautious!
But back to Brittany. I've been there a few times (have family there) and it was always raining! (They say they have great weather - the sun shines several times a day!). The bonus of all the rain is lots of rainbows :)
I find the people warm and welcoming but then, I have contacts there so it's a bit different to just arriving alone. The internet connection where I visited was terrible, the galettes and cider were great and the landscape was beautiful. I didn't notice vast amounts of wandering animals, just sea birds and fish - though I hear there are seals too. The Cote d'Amour landscape with all its rocky islands is gorgeous. So many lovely places in France, aren't there? The volcanic region in the centre of France has wonderful hills and cheap housing too. Another option for you...
All the best in finding the place where you'll feel at home. X
 
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