France, with its rich culture, beautiful landscapes, fine wine and scrumptious cuisine, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. It probably doesn’t take much to make you want to pack your bags and head to the picturesque French countryside for a weeklong holiday. But moving to a foreign country is something quite different. It is a truly life-changing move, and one that should usually involve a great deal of thought. If you’re wondering whether moving to France is the right decision for you, here are 5 good reasons why it just might be:
• A new cultural experience
Getting introduced to a new culture can always be an opportunity to evolve as a person.French culture is vibrant and fascinating. Adapting to some of it may take a while, but it’s likely to be a welcome change. The French love to spend time with family and friends, and especially enjoy long, luxuriating meals. It’s a slower pace of life, and the best way to adapt is simply to embrace it. Learn to enjoy fewer work hours and more leisure time. Avoid rushing through your meals, even if you’re by yourself at a restaurant. Take the time to savor your food and drink, enjoy the natural and man-made beauty around you, and maybe learn to spend time people-watching.
• Great for those who love to travel
Within France itself, there are myriad places to visit. Apart from the big cities, there are beaches, quaint little villages, and the sprawling mountainside. The added benefit of living here is that France shares borders with many other European countries such as Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany, which are all great travel destinations. If you have children with you, it’s a wonderful way to expose them to diverse cultures.
• A gastronomical delight
France is known for its exquisite culinary fare, and if you love good food and wine, it is the perfect place to live in. And it’s not only about the Michelin-starred restaurants and extravagant cuisine, but also the homey, family-owned cafes and bakeries that draw the crowds to France. Simply visiting the local farmer’s market for fresh and seasonal produce is a pleasure in itself.
• Healthier lifestyle
An active lifestyle is encouraged in France, and even though people do enjoy their high-calorie meals (and their tobacco), the obesity rates are much lower when compared to other countries. The cities are pedestrian-friendly, and people here prefer walking or taking the stairs. There is also much to gain from the health-care system in France, because it is economical without compromising on quality.
In addition, if you love sports, France could be paradise to you. The mild, pleasant climate paves the way for many outdoor activities like sailing, surfing, mountaineering and even dog-sledding. This is great for both children and adults. In fact, it is not surprising to see even elderly folks enjoying a bike ride through the city streets.
• Mastering the French language
This is sometimes considered to be the most difficult part of living in France. Things can get frustrating when you find yourself unable to communicate or express yourself. Even something as simple as filling out official forms can feel intimidating. But the mastery of any new language is also a wonderful experience. Getting it right gives you that delightful sense of achievement, and with time and some practice, you can gain a considerable level of fluency.
We’ve listed the reasons why you should move to France, but is there any reason at all why you shouldn’t?
Well, yes, there is one. You simply shouldn’t move to France – or anywhere else, for that matter – if you can’t bear the thought of emerging from your comfort zone. Some people enjoy pushing their own boundaries, while others don’t. It is perfectly normal to have butterflies in your stomach at the thought of leaving behind everything that is old and familiar, and most people are nervous at first. But that’s part and parcel of embarking on an adventure. Going abroad pushes you into making new acquaintances, which can eventually turn into rewarding friendships. You will also be forced to adapt to unfamiliar customs, which can soon turn into favorite habits. If, for any reason, you feel you’re unable to handle the initial discomfort and stress, you might want to reconsider your move before you actually make it.