A gray stone bridge over a river with several people kayaking

Are you fascinated in lifestyle in a French village or dwelling in the French countryside? Then you have appear to the right spot!

In contrast to numerous expats who moved to France, it wasnt something Id dreamed of undertaking all my lifestyle. Ive constantly been a bit of a nomad and liked to vacation, but France wasnt on my bucket checklist. My transfer to rural France transpired by incident.

Just after residing on a few unique continents and in 6 countries, 1 of them Australia, for ten decades, I uncovered it challenging to settle back in the Uk when I eventually returned.

My then companion and now partner experienced in no way lived anywhere but England, and to my surprise, when I broached the subject matter of dwelling in one more state, he was enthusiastic by the notion.

Also Go through: Issues to Look at Before Transferring to An additional Country

Moving to and Residing in Rural France

The French village of Mansle

It was on a winters weekend away in rural Scotland, while sitting in the scorching tub hunting out in excess of the snowy mountains, we made a decision to go to France.

Id only been when to Paris, but hubby experienced been to France many periods and liked it. The question then was exactly where in France would we want to reside?

Not acquiring a clue about France, I suggested we randomly stick a pin in the map and go and investigate.
So thats what we did, and soon after a several journey outings, had been now happily settled in the Charente region of rural southwest France.

But it hasnt been smooth sailing all the way, and there have been lots of periods when I puzzled if it was all worth it.

The stereotype of taking in cheese, purchasing day by day at the local boulangerie, and ingesting wine and apros each day is achievable but normally takes time.

So, what is it actually like to reside in rural France, and what do you will need to look at ahead of getting the plunge?

1. The Slower Pace of Daily life

green hills with several stone buildings in rural France

This can be both a blessing and a curse. So several persons go to France in lookup of the joie de vivre of French life but dont understand what it requires.

The French dont feel in racing through lifestyle, which I individually love. They get their time to definitely reside existence and savour just about every and just about every moment.

Now, as excellent as this is, and I do believe it is, it can also be incredibly frustrating.

When you arrive from a metropolis, or truly everywhere in the world where by youre applied to possessing anything at your fingertips, you need to have to decrease your anticipations.

The doing work day below is fairly limited, and shops dont open up on Sundays, in actuality, not much is open on Sundays other than restaurants.

You cant get some thing on Amazon and have it sent an hour afterwards. Residing in the French countryside we dont have takeaways or Uber Eats, and cabs or taxis dont exist. Youll constantly will need to have a designated driver when you go out.

But, if you can get past all this and allow for yourself to gradual down, youll notice that individuals things you assumed were non-negotiable dont really make a difference.

Time cant be bought, and in this article in rural France, time is the major commodity.

2. Every thing Stops for Lunch

An empty street with gray stone buildings on both sides

Major on nicely from the slower rate of lifestyle is the lengthy, two-hour lunch break, enjoyed in France.

I should really insert that in significant towns such as Paris, Lyon, and Bordeaux, everything doesnt prevent for lunch. Nevertheless, if you decide on lifestyle in a French village, it does.

It nevertheless drives me a minimal mad, if Im truthful. You cant go to the financial institution in between 12 pm and 2 pm due to the fact its not open up. The employees have long gone for their lunch.

The same applies to the pharmacy, dentists, medical practitioners and most stores other than supermarkets.

And throughout this lunch, it’s quite standard for alcoholic beverages to be consumed, which when we ended up renovating, as you can consider, was a bit of a worry.

Mealtimes in France are sacred. If you operate in an place of work, its not the norm to consume lunch at your desk, or immediately gobble down a sandwich and get back to perform. Often, folks will have a three-study course food and then return to do the job.

Im concerned it isnt a pattern Ive embraced, mostly for the reason that I know Id drop asleep after lunch just about every working day if I did.

But its a very French point to do, and all performs into their values of getting time to appreciate existence.

3. The Renovation Actuality

the facade of a brick French country home
My residence immediately after a lengthy renovation approach

For a lot of folks who transfer to France, the desire is to buy a dilapidated old creating or barn and renovate it.

We fell into that entice much too, and it was a person of the most annoying issues Ive ever carried out.

Hoping to purchase materials in France isnt effortless. All the things is way more costly, and when you dont discuss the language, which I didnt at the time, its even extra sophisticated.

There are a large amount of cowboys in both of those the French and expat communities, so its straightforward to get ripped off.

But, and this is a big but, now all the workmen have long gone, and two of our 3 barns are renovated, I couldnt be happier.

4. Living in an Outdated Castle Estate

A lliving room with white walls, wooden beams and light furniture
The salon in my property

Our dwelling was component of an outdated castle estate owned by Baron Le Coq (we stay in Chez Le Coq) and was initially exactly where the secure employees lived. At one point, there was even a tree expanding by our lavatory.

The wall managing all over all the houses originally formed part of the battlements. I appreciate to sit below in the summer months and glimpse out in excess of my land, wanting to know who sat here ahead of me.

Have been the proud homeowners of an aged communal bread oven, and our future-doorway neighbor owns the aged stone nicely reverse our household. All throwbacks from Baron Le Coqs castle.

Previous wood beams operate all over the home, and our kitchen area has the primary flagstone tiles with a massive previous wooden burner for heating.

Even now, seven several years afterwards, Im nonetheless fully in love with the household weve renovated and designed our possess.

4. Speaking the Language

I want to preface this by expressing you dont need to communicate French to are living in France, but it does enable if you can.

Why? Because in rural France, numerous locals dont discuss English. And why ought to they? Youre in France, and you really should at least make an work to consider and discuss French.

But its overwhelming. I know I nevertheless have moments wherever Im like a deer in the headlights when confronted with another person who doesnt discuss a term of English.

And substantial faculty French, even if you can keep in mind it, isnt that practical.

I immediately recognized that, like in most languages, the French have their personal slang edition for most items. Of study course, this designed it even more challenging to recognize what they were stating, and there are only so several occasions you can count on Google Translate.

So, now Im having French lessons, and though Im not fluent, I can get by. It would make every little thing so significantly easier getting equipped to converse, even if my accent is dodgy.

5. French Bureaucracy and Admin

In France, the admin is a standing joke with most expats. Why fill out one kind when you can fill out 20?

I wont lie, the admin and paperwork right here generate me crazy, and you really should be prepared for it if youre arranging to move to France.

It took us four several years to finally get our Taxe Foncire (Assets ownership tax) and Taxe d’Habitation (Home Tax) sorted out.

Even however we’d named and been to the regional places of work 2 times to improve our address, they even now retained sending all our paperwork to the United kingdom. It was a nightmare.

Even our French mates hate the admin youre forced to deal with dwelling in France, and thats saying a little something.

6. The Community in Rural France

A narrow street with colorful houses decorated with small flags

Group is anything in rural France.

Each single village has a mayor and city corridor, recognised as the Marie. Its a massive section of life listed here with the events they arrange, festivals they plan, and things to do for the persons living in the village.

A though again, I volunteered for the committee at my neighborhood Marie, and Ive had so a great deal fun as a outcome. It wasnt straightforward at the start, as most of them dont talk a phrase of English, but I managed, and it definitely assisted with my French.

I also joined the local line dancing group at a neighboring village hall. Now this actually was a obstacle.
For starters, Id under no circumstances danced in my lifetime, and next, it was all in French.

If a person experienced informed me ten several years in the past Id be learning to line dance whilst living in rural France, I would not have believed them.

7. Nearby Marketplaces & Make

Market stands selling fresh produce with several people and traditional French houses in the background
A nearby French sector

1 of the factors I certainly adore about dwelling below is how new the food items is. In France, foodstuff is seasonal, so if its not in year, you wont find it in the supermarket.

In the winter months, the root veggies come into their have, and most supermarkets have huge wicker baskets at the conclude of each aisle with deliver from the area farmers.

And then there are the nearby marketplaces, exactly where issues are practically fresh from the fields.

French marketplaces are famous, and folks are inclined to shop daily right here rather than undertaking just one significant weekly store.

There is nothing at all like wandering all around a current market with your basket more than your arm and filling it with fresh fruit and veg. Its usually adopted by a coffee in the market square, viewing the environment go by.

Its French daily life at its best.

8. The Meals & Wine

You cant chat about France with no mentioning bread, cheese, and wine. Its what France is well known for, aside from the Eiffel Tower.

Everyday Boulangerie Visits

An old green car in front of a brown brick building with dark brown shutters
Journeys to the boulangerie are a excellent portion of my existence in rural France

I extremely quickly received into the behavior of heading to the boulangerie for my day by day baguette. There is almost nothing like the scent of clean bread, specifically when merged with a dose of fantastic gossip.

You see, the boulangerie is the focal position of the village, which would make feeling since the French obtain bread everyday. So obviously, its where every person goes to chat.

You can locate out all the things listed here, from who is providing their dwelling to who experienced a row with their husband the night before. Its a fascinating perception into rural French life.

The Cheese Counter

And then, of training course, there is the cheese.

If youve never ever witnessed the cheese counters in a French grocery store, youre missing out. Theyre definitely outstanding.

In my neighborhood supermarket, two complete aisles are taken up with cheese, furthermore a substantial counter wherever you can check with for what you want.

Wine Tasting and Vineyards

A large amount of grapes in an open truck with several people standing next to it
Grape harvesting in rural France

Finally, the French wine is some of the finest in the world. And Im fortunate enough to are living under two hrs from Bordeaux, the wine cash of France.

A single of my favored matters to do is acquire part in the grape selecting, its so satisfying, and as you stand in the winery, you actually truly feel component of French life.

Wine in France is not pricey, and the French have a glass with most meals, which Im all in favor of.

9. The Heritage and Architecture

A large, light brown abbey with green grass in front of it
Fontevraud Abbey in the Loire Valley

Getting a Brit, Im utilised to heritage and beautiful outdated properties, but in France, its on steroids. Each village you go by in my region has attractive yellow stone structures and cobbled streets.

You feel like youre in a time warp, walking by the pages of a record book.

Where ever you are in France, youll have a historic monument, chateau, or village much less than an hour absent.

The French are proud of their history, and other than in metropolitan areas like Royan, which were completely ruined in WW2, their heritage is preserved really very well.

For me, its heaven as I enjoy historical past and devote a good deal of time producing about the heritage that connected France and England for about 300 many years.

10. The Price of Residing in Rural France

A brown, stone, typical French countryside building with red doors and shutters

This is an intriguing one as everyones thought of high priced is distinct, plus it depends on exactly where youve been living formerly.

What I will say is that grocery store shopping, right until recently, was a lot more pricey in France than sites this sort of as the British isles, Spain or even the US.  Having said that, considering that the expense of dwelling crisis it is a great deal much more equivalent.

Moreover, when you think about you can go to a really superior French cafe and have the Menu du Jour, (menu of the day) for anything at all amongst 14 – 18, which features a few courses and a glass of wine, Id say it isnt high priced.

And wine is absolutely less expensive right here than anyplace else Ive lived. This short article breaks down the charge of dwelling in France in additional detail.

Also Browse: How to Retire Early and Move Abroad

11. Is France a Risk-free Spot to Are living?

Once more, it depends on the place you are in France, but to be honest I havent been wherever, even Paris, and not felt protected.

Certainly, living below in the additional rural elements of France we leave every thing unlocked from doorways to cars and dont think just about anything of it. Of course, that wouldnt be the case in a larger town.

A metropolis like Bordeaux, which has large tourist quantities, has relatively small crime. I pay a visit to a large amount and have by no means been fearful about safety.

The identical security regulations that would apply in other massive towns in the globe apply in the more substantial metropolitan areas in France these kinds of as Paris, Lyon, and Toulouse as perfectly. And you’ll have to be informed of the hottest scams getting performed out in these spots as perfectly.

But on the total, France has usually built me truly feel safe.

Remaining Feelings About Residing in Rural France

vineyards and green hills with a blue sky

If you are thinking about dwelling in the French countryside or in a cute French village, I hope this write-up has specified you an idea of what it’s like to move to rural France and construct a existence listed here.

It has not all been easy, but for us it has certainly been well worth it!

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Creator: Kylie Lang
Kylie Lang is a Francophile dwelling the French aspiration in rural France with her hubby Richard and border collie Lottie. She’s a copywriter and the operator of Existence in Rural France, a travel blog focused to assisting some others check out & uncover all that France has to supply.