About

Welcome fellow and future French expats, world travellers and curious armchair travellers.

You’ve just stumbled on a site dedicated to helping anyone interested In moving To France and surviving the crazy French culture. 

Whether you want to take a career break or life sabbatical to live in Paris for 6 months or take a family gap year and move to the south of France for a few years like we did, I am hear to help. My mission is to give you useful advice, practical tips to equip you with the courage, tools and strategies you need to achieve your goals (and to be happy once you get to France; even if you’re on a budget or want to bring the kids).

Annie André

Let's move to France: WWW.AnnieAndré.com

This site is for you if..

  • You’re burnt out and or you’re dying to escape the rat-race to move to France France for 1 year or more.
  • You wonder how you will ever be able to afford to make your French family sabbatical dream a reality?
  • You’re curious about what it would be like to live in France from the perspective of someone who is NOT French?
  • You want to learn from someone who has already done what you want to do.
  • You simply enjoy travel advice and quirky travel stories like the day we found dog poop on our doorstep, what we hate about France or why you need to pack Vaseline in your luggage.

Moving to France is no easy task. It will take time, money, loads and loads of research and more patience than you ever knew you had.

paris france annie balcony2

I SHOULD KNOW

Hello, my name is Annie André and I live in the south of France with my husband Blake and our 3 children.

A few years ago, I was right where you are now; dreaming of moving to France,  researching unanswered questions, drowning in all the information and struggling to make sense of it all. I can’t tell you how many dead-ends we hit and how many times we almost gave up. But we didn’t.

The information was all there however it was scattered, unreliable and incomplete. A lot of the information was geared towards single backpackers rather than someone like me who was married with children, a house and a lifetime of possessions that comes from living a conventional life.

If only I could find the information I needed in one place. If only I could find someone who already did what I want to do so that I could get an idea of what it would take or be like.

I started documenting our proces and our lives and suddenly it dawned on me.If I had trouble figuring out all the different steps and nuances of moving a family and a household abroad to France than surely other people were having the same challenges.

That’s when I decided to take the next step. Take my research,

I decided to make it my mission to share all my research,connections, knowledge and strategies I amassed at all stages of this daunting process to help people do what we did. So I created the site I wish existed.

Voila this site was born.

This site is an ongoing project for me and I try to write as much as possible but sometimes I just don’t have enough time. But when I do write, I try to address all the questions I used to have when planning our own move: from the idea and pre-planning stages before you move, the visa stage, all the way to actually living in France and dealing with everyday french life.  Occasionally I will write about random or quirky travel things too.

I mostly use my own experiences told from a North American : European. I have ties in both California and Montreal. But occasionally I will research a topic thoroughly to answer a question so that you don’t have to.

WHAT THIS SITE IS NOT ABOUT 

Although many of the articles on this site will help you adjust to long term life in France, (i.e. more than a year), I do not write specifically about how to live in France PERMANENTLY. Nor do I write about how to find a job, mainly because it’s really really hard to do for anyone who is not from the EU and because I have no first hand experience. I just stick to what I know best and that is to help YOU leave your life behind TEMPORARILY and live in France; sometimes which many people, myself included refer to as a career break, life sabbatical, family sabbatical, gap year or year abroad. I will use these terms throughout my site but basically the end result is always spending an extended bit of time in France, no matter what you call it. 

Why take a year off to live in France?

Not only can taking time off from a busy life and stressful job be life changing but it can give you a bit of perspective, help reboot, revive and give you time to re-connect with your spouse, kids and family. Taking time off can also give you a chance to rebuild your life the way you want it to look rather than the way you think it is supposed to look. You can even use your time off to learn new skills which could help your future job or launch a freelance career.

There is no right, wrong or one size answer or limit to the things you can do. Whatever you do, it is sure to be unique to you and your circumstances.

For us, we chose to combine our dream of living in France with our goals ( family, personal and professional goals).

In other words, a year in France can give you a chance to do all the things you put off because you were too busy to do them while running on the treadmill of life. Imagine having one full year to live in France while finally having the time to write that book, learn French, become a yoga instructor, teach English, learn a new skill or anything else you can think up. 

WHY JUST ONE YEAR?

If it’s so great than why just one year? Lets face it, although moving to France might be THE DREAM, it’s not easy nor is it always possible to completely abandon your life back home forever. There are road blocks to living in France FOREVER. Like the fact that if you are not a member of the EU. This fact alone is like a massive impenitrable road block that makes it virtually impossible to find work unless you have a very specialized occupation. Maybe you don’t want to leave all your friends and family behind forever but a year or two away is doable. All you need is a little advice, courage and know how. I want to be that person to help you.

My greatest hope is that this site will not only show people it is possible to spend a year abroad or to travel more and for longer periods of time, but that it will act as a resource to help inspire and empower people to follow all their dreams whether it involves travelling or not. 

Click here to learn how we ended up in France. 

Me (Annie) and my husband in Paris on mini sabbatical

Still reading?  more about me: Born To Be A World Citizen

People I meet always ask me where I am from and to that I always have a hard time answering because I was what you would call a  “Third Culture Kid” aka “TCK”. 

A term used to describe children who travel more than they spend in one home country, who probably identify with other cultures or multiple cultures vs just one.

I was Born in Thailand to a Thai mother and French Canadian father and raised in 3 countries.

Over the course of my life, I’ve travelled and or  lived abroad as a child, a teenager, a young adult and now as a wife and mother of three in the south of France.

I have lived in places like Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, the United States, Canada and now France. I’ve also spent months at a time slow travelling the world, visiting places like Scotland, the Netherlands, Macau, Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines to name a few.  In total I’ve been to over 25 different countries so far.

Subscribe, Follow, Connect with Annie Andre

If any of what I said interests you than stick around. Sign up for exclusive emails updates 

Please stay in touch. I would love to connect via social media or email. Or just leave a comment on one of the blog posts. I always respond.

Meet The Gang

If you want to read more about our story just sign up for email updates. I post occasional updates of what we are up to. Plus you can download my free packing checklist when you signup as a gift to you. Otherwise, start reading the Blog.

UPDATE: JULY 2012. Watch the video where we were featured on House Hunters International.

If you want to meet my wonderful hubby and three kids than come on over and Meet The Family.

family photo of us in Le Pradet France 2012

  • Travel + Self + Passion + Family + Money & Entrepreneurship –>Through “The POWER OF TIME OFF” to achieve your wildest dreams and happiest self.

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