Moving to France
Moving to France has been the dream of many people across the globe. What’s not to love? There is stunning architecture, fabulous cuisine and an incredible sense of history; plus, it's one of the fashion-hubs of the world. Moving to France has become more and more realistic for people as the world becomes a smaller place. If this is your dream, now may be the time to make your international move.
Many of the most populated areas of France have people who are bilingual in both French and English. However, it wouldn’t hurt to take a course in the French language to show your commitment to your new home. Check local community education classes or check out CDs or DVDs that can teach you at least some key words and phrases. This will help tremendously throughout your process of moving to France.
Moving to France—Downsizing is Key
Unlike the American culture, in France bigger is not always better. There are many French who claim that they stay thin because, although they regularly eat sweet confections and rich cheeses, they don’t eat in the bulk that Americans do. The same can hold true for the housing in France. They don’t necessarily build their homes to be large. This can be a challenge for some Americans who are moving to France.
Most apartments or homes are much smaller than what Americans are used to. This is especially true in the areas of the kitchen and bedroom. This may require you to do some downsizing before your relocation. You might find it comforting to bring with you your pictures, wall hangings and accessories, but to purchase beds and bedding and sofas, etc., once you arrive to your new home. The French furniture’s scale will more likely represent the area you’re living in versus the possibility of having oversized furniture for your new space.
Kitchens are typically very small and don’t have much counter or cupboard space. Take advantage of this and host a garage sale or donate or discard items you won’t need. Just remember to keep the essentials. You can always shop for what you need once you arrive.
Since bedrooms are smaller, you might only have a small closet or be able to fit a small dresser or armoire in your new space. Now would be a great time to go through all your clothes and donate what you’re not wearing anymore. Check the climate in different regions to ensure you’re prepared for the weather in your area.
How to Make Your House a Home
Surrounding yourself with familiar, comfortable items from your previous home will likely help you transition into your new space quite easily. However, bringing some of the French culture into your home will help you embrace the new qualities, as well. Look for local flea markets where you can shop for paintings and pottery from local artists. Take in the local landscape, and if you happen to be a photographer, take some of your own pictures in black and white to frame and showcase on your walls. Any kind of personal touch you can bring to your space will help make it feel like home.
Begin familiarizing yourself with the local cuisine, as well, by shopping in farmer's markets to get fresh fruits and vegetables to prepare for your family. Consider enrolling in a local cooking class to learn to prepare some of the local fare. This may also help in learning more of the language.
Whatever you do to embrace your new space, it will likely take some time to really feel like you’re at home. However, with all that France has to offer, moving to France will likely be a decision your family will enjoy for years to come.