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France > Expat Experiences

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Delorys Welch-Tyson, Côte D’Azur

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (20:35:14)
Delorys Welch-Tyson
My name is Delorys Welch-Tyson. I was born and raised in New York City. I am an author and painter living in the South of France.

We moved here to the South of France in February of 1999. My husband was able to retire, so we figured we’d opt for a more stress-free existence, by moving from Dodge City (New York City) to the laid-back Côte D’Azur.

What challenges did you face during the move?

The biggest challenges were making sure all our papers were in order before we moved. It wasn’t that traumatic for us as we had planned this move years before.    more ...


April Hollands, St Jean de Sixt

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (20:28:52)
The French Alps
I'm April Hollands, originally from Melbourne, Australia before spending a few years in London, then flitting between the French Alps as a ski bum in winters and working two jobs in Cambridge to pay for the luxury, then finally moving to the French Alps permanently and finding work.

I moved to London back in 2000, telling my mum I'd be back in a year and to look after all my belongings for me. By 2008, my dad made me sell my piano and my mum had a spare room! I've moved ten times in ten years. By the time I moved to my current location, St Jean de Sixt, in November 2009, the whole process of moving had become a habit. I left Australia because I wanted to explore the world before I settled down with someone. I left England because I fell in love with the snow in the French Alps. I went back to England, gained citizenship and a passport, and came straight back to France.    more ...


Sion Dayson, Paris

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (20:21:54)
Sion Dayson
Sion Dayson, an American in Paris. I’m a writer originally from New York and North Carolina.

Unlike a lot of expats here, I had never dreamed of living in Paris. I spoke Spanish, longed for warm weather, and didn’t display any Francophile tendencies.

So wouldn’t you know it? I fell in love with the City of Light one cold, rainy November. I was in Europe for a work conference and had a layover in Paris. Three days of exploring and the city worked its magic. I couldn’t shake the place.

I planned a month-long holiday for the following April. Yes, like that famous song “April in Paris” – wasn’t I just setting myself up for love? And it happened: a gorgeous Frenchman, the coup de foudre (‘lightning bolt,’ as the French say). I never believed that sort of thing possible before.    more ...


Cynthia Caughey, Chambery (French Alps)

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (20:17:34)
Cynthia Caughey
I’m a 51-year old American expat living in Chambery in the French Alps.

I moved here in 2008 to marry my fiancé, now husband, who is a French citizen. We met when I was vacationing in Provence on a train to Avignon. After a 2.5 year long distance relationship between Chambery and Los Angeles, I moved to France at the age of 49.

It was a very difficult decision since I left behind a city I loved and lived in for 26 years, dear friends, a thriving consulting business, a lovely home, and a six-figure income. Additionally, I never had an interest in France or spent any time there so I didn’t understand the culture. I had lived in Italy for three years and vacationed there for 20 years so I was oriented towards the Italian culture. Surprisingly, these two cultures are almost the opposite of each other so I had more culture shock than I expected to have.    more ...


Alan Simonds, Basse Normandy

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (20:13:03)
Alan Simonds
My name is Alan Simonds. Born in England in 1945 I lived in Balham with my parents and my brother until I was five. The family moved to New Zealand in 1950, but for various reasons my father decided to move us back to England in 1956. We then lived in Surrey where I went to a local Secondary Modern school leaving at 15 with no qualifications. I had always been interested in electronics and trained as an electronic wireman, working for various companies until I eventually became the Production Director of a company manufacturing equipment for the nuclear power industry.

In the early 80's my wife and I went to New Zealand for six months with the intention of emigrating, but at that time unless you were in a profession such as a doctor, nurse, teacher etc. or had a lot of money it was very difficult. On returning to the UK, I decided to go to university to study computing, taking an HND in Information Technology. My career then moved to IT support and systems management coupled with teaching Information Technology at an adult education centre.    more ...

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