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Expat Experiences: France - Delorys Welch-Tyson

Who are you?

Delorys Welch-Tyson
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.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

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.

Can you tell us something about your property?

The year before we moved, we took some time to see whether we would rent or buy first. We figured, after looking at a number of properties, that it would be safer to rent, then take the time to find the property we really wanted. Renting property wasn’t as easy as we had thought at first. First, we realized that even with rentals we would most likely have to furnish our kitchen entirely with not only appliances, but cabinet and surface space. Major installation, basically unheard of in the US! Looking to purchase here on the South of France should be done knowing that it would probably be difficult to unload it if one would decide to move.

What is the property market like at the moment?

Saint Jean Promendade
Saint Jean Promendade
The property market on the French Riviera has always been strange. You really have to love the area. There are plenty of less expensive and less complex areas of France. We just happen to love it here.

Are you employed or self-employed? What challenges did you face in either finding employment or running your own business?

As a writer and painter, I haven’t had any challenges that relate to France.

Are there many other expats in your area?

Most of the expats we have met are English speakers from the British Isles, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Nevertheless, this area is a veritable crossroad of everyone on the planet. It’s quite exciting, actually.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

We chose the area because it has a slower place than New York, yet one can maintain a certain level of urban privacy. The locals are courteous and helpful, yet reserved.

What do you like about life where you are?

We love the beauty of the area and the fact that the quality of goods and services are quite extraordinary.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

Voilier Beach
Voilier Beach

There’s not much I dislike considering what we left behind in New York. I miss family and friends sometimes, though. Airline ticket prices have suspiciously skyrocketed lately, making it more difficult to travel to or from the States. Plus the weak dollar keeps us basically in Europe.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Research the area. Rent your home before you buy. If you’re looking for work, don’t forget that you would be competing with the natives, and accept the consequences. Learn the language…and the cultural nuances that come with it…it’s the key to everything!

What are your plans for the future?

My plans are to continue to write novels, paint and do as much travelling as we can. Who knows where it will lead?

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