COM­MUT­ING FROM CHAR­ENTE TO LON­DON

Living France - - Destination -

“Liv­ing here in the Char­ente we have five air­ports to choose from: Li­mo­ges, La Rochelle, Poitiers, Bordeaux and if we are des­per­ate Berg­erac, though that is the hard­est for us to get to, as there are no fast road con­nec­tions. All five air­ports are about one and a half hours’ drive from home and are served by most of the ma­jor low-cost air­lines.

My favourite air­line and air­port com­bi­na­tion, purely due to the flight tim­ings and year-round ser­vice, is to use Bri­tish Air­ways from Bordeaux. This means on a Mon­day morn­ing I will leave home at around 6am to drive to Bordeaux. The one down­side to Bordeaux is that there is an equiv­a­lent of the M25, so I have to al­low ex­tra time for the Mon­day morn­ing rush hour. I park my car in the long-stay car park for a week, which costs €36, and walk over to the air­port. It’s nice to stretch your legs af­ter the drive and it’s only 10 min­utes. There is a shut­tle bus too, if it’s raining.

De­pend­ing upon the time of year, my flight to Lon­don leaves Bordeaux be­tween 10am and 11.30am, which puts me in Lon­don Gatwick air­port be­tween 11am and 12 noon lo­cal time. I am lucky be­cause I start work most Mon­days in Vic­to­ria, which just hap­pens to be where the trains from Gatwick air­port ter­mi­nate. Then it’s a short walk for me to pick up my lunch and ar­rive at the of­fice, for about six hours of work, be­fore head­ing off to my lodg­ings.

The re­turn jour­ney on Fri­day usu­ally means I can do five or six hours of work in the of­fice be­fore catching the train down to Gatwick to take the flight back to Bordeaux. Again, times vary de­pend­ing upon the time of year, which can be any­thing be­tween 3.30pm and 8pm. In the worst case sce­nario, I get home at mid­night on a Fri­day night.

Dur­ing the week, I have to travel around the UK quite a lot and so it is handy to be able to catch a flight ei­ther to or from the north of Eng­land, or the south-west back to one of the five air­ports around us. Bear in mind that some flights are sea­sonal. For two months of the year, I can fly with easyJet in and out of La Rochelle as their times suit me even bet­ter than Bri­tish Air­ways and the drive is nicer too. With the ad­vent of flex­i­ble work­ing and even work­ing from home, it means that, al­though I am in the UK most of the time, I can move my work­ing week around flight times to main­tain a pretty good work-life bal­ance.”

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