Map of northern France

Looking back: the year we moved

We will remember 2017 as the year we moved to France. Although we had been planning to make the move for some time, this year is the year we did it.

Some people would call it fate. I like to think of it as destiny – we actively made this happen.

Regular readers will know that Lille wasn’t quite where we had imagined we would live. However, it’s where we found our opportunity – and we’re happy here.

Now on New Year’s Eve, as we anticipate the year ahead, I can’t help but wonder what we will make happen in 2018.

There is the usual list of things we should do, such as lose weight, exercise more… Then there are some really dull things we need to tackle as part of our lives here: register for tax, get a social security number, find a doctor… blah, blah.

Fortunately, there are some fun things too, such as making new friends.

One of the reasons we moved to France now was to improve our language skills ahead of opening a business further south. Damon, in particular, is unhappy with his spoken French. So that’s something he can work on over the coming year.

I’d like to improve my speed and confidence in speaking the language.

Of course, it would be good for me to get a job here in Lille too. Although I am finding the commute and Airbnb-ing in London 2 nights a week bearable, it is expensive.

Brussels would be a more obvious place to work for someone with my skills and background. However, it looks as though Brexit means I won’t be able to live in one EU country and work in another.

“One of the reasons we moved to France now was to improve our language skills ahead of opening a business further south”

Also, I have to admit, there is something on the horizon for me at work in London.

On the plus side, this ‘something’ would more than make up for the money I hand over to Eurostar and to my bed-and-breakfast hosts each month. On the minus side, it would keep me tied to the UK a few days a week.

Either way, I can’t say to much about it at the moment – but, trust me, if it comes off, you’ll know.

So, 2017 has been a year of great change for us and 2018 is certain to bring challenges, surprises and – I hope – plenty of good times.

I wish you and yours all the very best for the year ahead.

This entry was published on Sun, 31 Dec 2017 at 09:05. It’s filed under Places and people and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

12 thoughts on “Looking back: the year we moved

  1. Much will happen in 2018 I think. Let’s all be positive, pragmatic and proactive!

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  2. Here’s to a great 2018 🍾 Best of luck in making all things positive happen!

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  3. Best of luck Lille can be impressive but a whole lot different than a year in Provence ::) Cheers

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  4. Happy New Year to you…that mysterious London opportunity sounds intriguing.

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  5. I was the same as you when we moved to France in 2009. After two years I felt that my french wasn’t as good as I wanted and then quite by accident I found out about courses being run at Rouen university. They are called DELF DALF. Not many french universities run them, and I was really lucky that they were here at Rouen, and I suspect that Lille might also do them. They are a french recognized diploma for learning french as an “étranger “. All the class is in french and it covers reading writing grammar and listening. I had to sit a level test in a large auditorium with about 100 others and by late September we were assigned to classes according to level. Beginners are A1 and fluent are C2. I went in at B2. It was a fantasy experience not only for the rigorous language learning, but for making friends and learning a great deal of profound culture. It cost 800€ for the year, which works out at 10€ an hour approx, and was much cheaper than via alternative schools such as Alliance Français.
    I have a huge amount of info about doctors, social security and mutuelle. I probably ought to write a post on it because it was a real “process”, but I am a lot wiser and more experienced ( and tolerant) than I was at the outset!!
    I hope your 2018 will be even more fun, and rewarding than 2017. Happy new year!

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  6. And a really Happy New year to you both! I feel that 2018 will be an excitng one..lets hope!!!

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  7. Such an exciting year you have had. I wish you both a year filled with good surprises and a few dreams come true to add sparkle and glitter ✨ I remember my husband saying to me when we first met and I mentioned that I had lived in Italy in the 80s ‘I assume you speak the lingo because otherwise you are always a tourist’. I did and do and he is dead right. The difference that fluency in the language makes to really being part of a country is immense. I am sure by the time the clock is counting down next December 31st you will both be delighted with your French and delighting the French too!

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