In the final chapter of her diary, Fiona Flint reflects on her first year in France and she couldn’t be happier that she made the move
Fiona Flint reflects on her family’s first year in France
Well, the time has come. This is my last ‘Diary of a Move’ column! We have been in France for over a year now, and we are starting to feel like part of the furniture.
It has been a rather hectic year for us with the purchase of two properties, the new addition to our family, navigating the bureaucracy and language and settling in to our new community. I thought it would be nice to end on a high, and summarise some of the aspects of our new life that we are enjoying the most.
There is no doubt that I feel more a part of the community in our hamlet in France than I have anywhere else that I have lived previously. We have been made to feel so welcome, and not a week goes by without a neighbour popping by to say hello. There are endless community events, and there is always a reason for an apéritif or two! I have no doubt that my neighbours would come to my aid if ever needed, and that is quite a comforting thought when my husband works away so often.
While having to make use of healthcare isn’t necessarily enjoyable, it is certainly something that I have been incredibly impressed with since moving to France. I have never had a baby in the UK, but I cannot praise the healthcare I received during and after my pregnancy in France enough. I found it to be incredibly thorough and staffing and resources to be abundant. Any concerns I or the medical staff had have been addressed immediately and I have never had to wait for anything. My experiences with the French healthcare system have filled me with confidence should we ever have to address any serious health issues in France in the future.
Our main reason for moving to France was to enjoy a more outdoor lifestyle, with fewer of the stresses and strains associated with the UK life we had come from. I am pleased to confirm that we have definitely achieved that!
The climate in the area that we are now located in is perfect for us pale Scots, with the summer heat tempered by proximity to the Pyrénées mountains. The summer extends into beautiful, warm autumns and there is enough snow in the winter to satisfy our ski legs.
There is a huge array of outdoor activities and we are out walking and exploring constantly. With so much to do in our area it is easy to forget that France is a huge country, and we are very much looking forward to exploring the other beautiful areas that are on our doorstep in the future.
It has been a pleasure to share our journey with you and I hope that my column has been interesting and enjoyable. If you would like to see what we get up to in the future, please do continue to follow us on Instagram – you can find us under @notre_vie_en_france.
Bonne chance to those of you soon to make the move – you won’t regret it!
Exploring the local area
to the family The new addition
The first week in our new home