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France > Expat Experiences


Bruce Smith, Clerac

Published Monday June 10, 2019 (18:41:24)
Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith

Who are you?

Bruce Smith, a fashion portrait and fine art photographer, author of photography books and tutor of photography.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I moved to Clerac near Bordeaux in March 2015 to help a friend restore a Napoleonic chateau.

What challenges did you face during the move?

At first I rented out my apartment but ended up selling it to my brother so initially downsizing 18 years of stuff to what I could fit into my MGF sports car plus a few boxes to freight was a challenge.

How did you find somewhere to live?

As above, a friend was already restoring a chateau to turn into a creative retreat, I wanted to become a part of this from concept to hosting creative retreats.

Are there many other expats in your area?

Some that live or work here sometimes or visiting.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

I get on great with all I meet even though my French is still terrible but I try which is always appreciated or laughed at!

What do you like about life where you are?

I live in paradise, what is there not to like about paradise?

What do you dislike about your expat life?

I do not dislike it at all.

What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

I would say only the language, people seem the same to me so I do not feel a big cultural difference.

What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?

I enjoy the freshness and healthy aspects of this, we eat pretty much a mixed variety of foods, I am familiar with many nationalities' cuisines.

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

That's not easy because everybody's circumstances are different. I moved for a change to my life which I approached with passion not practicality.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue being a part of the creative aspects of the retreat, contributing with my own skills as a photographer and tutor of photography.

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