It’s now early May and the sun has well and truly arrived in this beautiful part of the Northern Dordogne where I am lucky enough to live.

My family made the decision to move to France in 2003 and I can honestly say that we have not regretted the decision. It took a little while to settle in and became acclimatised to the slower pace of life in France. But now it's hard to remember how busy and distracted we were when we lived in the UK.

Living in France - Maria Short talks about life in France

Living in France - how is it different to the UK?

There are some challenges to overcome when you make such a significant move abroad. However, a little effort with the language and putting embarrassment aside when dealing with French people who are trying to understand you, it is easier than you might think!

I live in a townhouse next to a friendly and busy French village. Our village has a Brocante once a month and throughout the summer there is always something going on. In my job as an Account Manager with Foreign Currency Direct I get to travel throughout France. I can travel as far north as Brittany and as far south as the Cote d’Azur. Each and every department I travel to has its own kind of identity, local culture and food.

This time of year brings the Spring/Summer produce into the local supermarkets. France is a little different to the UK in that most of the local produce is seasonal. The local produce is therefore particularly good as it appears when it should. What is particularly lovely are a certain kind of late spring strawberry that we get in this part of France. They’re very sweet and tiny, so they're perfect for making strawberry tarts!

I talk to many people wishing to make the move to France. After watching programmes like ‘A Place in the Sun’ they have a particular view of how living in France should be. I can say that it’s not too far from the truth. I meet lots of people at French property shows and enjoy talking to them about life in France. It can be hard not to talk in clichés, but we do have the Sunflowers every summer and lively local markets.

Life in France is quieter. Where I live there’s no traffic jams or long, noisy commutes to work. If I am travelling, I usually get to my destination when I expect to. As France is a bigger country with a smaller population, the roads are so much clearer and easier to navigate.

Come back to read more about living in France

I will be writing this blog regularly to give an insight into living in France. It is great to actually be able to write it down because it reminds me just how lucky I am to live here. I suspect if you are reading this, you might be feeling like making the move to France yourself. If it is in your mind, you should definitely explore your options. Also, get the advice of the experts, such as a French Immobilier, they’ll have a lot of experience. Of course you can also contact the team at Foreign Currency Direct if you need to send money to France!

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