Who is this site for?
Hello and welcome. If you landed here, you're either interested in moving to France from the USA or Canada, already living in France, or you're a curious armchair traveller who dreams about taking a career break or sabbatical from life to travel and live abroad?
What's this site about?
AnnieAndre.com is a blog, a business, a brand and OUR FAMILY'S story and journey of moving to France and adjusting to life in France- all while figuring out how to raise 3 happy kids and growing our virtual freelance careers.
I'm here to tell a story. I write weekly and monthly blog posts geared towards giving you the tools, strategies and courage you need to achieve your own “year abroad goals”.You can follow along and join my journey from the very beginning. I don't claim to have all the answers but I have figured out a lot of stuff that might help and inspire you to achieve your own live abroad dream.
Hello, I'm Annie; a French Expat, 1 year sabbatical and gap year expert for professionals and families with kids who want to take a break from life to live abroad for a year or more. Read my story below.
Fasten your seat-belts cause here we go!
Who am I
I’m glad you asked. Hi, my name is Annie André and that”s me in the photo over there to the left. Since 2011, I have been living in the south of France with my husband Blake and our 3 children. We didn’t have a company sponsor us to come over. No one helped us make it happen. We just figured out what we had to do. It wasn’t all smooth sailing though.
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. There was a ton of information for single backpackers but not for someone like me who was married with children, who had 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. It suddenly dawned on me, If I was having 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 and headaches.
Voila this site was born.
Now after more than 3 years living in France, I have documented and amassed an insane amount of knowledge and information that no one out there ever tells. The kind of information that can save you a lot of time and frustration from this daunting process.
I created the site I wish existed
Because this site is an ongoing project, it’s continually evolving and growing. I try to address all the questions I used to have, from the idea and pre-planning stages before you move, the visa stage, all the way to living in France and dealing with everyday french life. I use mostly my own experiences told from a North American persons perspective. On occasion, I write about random or quirky travel things too just because I can. It’s my site after all.
Why take a year off to live in France?
“Did you know that by taking time off from a busy life and stressful job to travel or live abroad can be life changing. Or that it can help you reboot and recharge your batteries. Kind of like how you feel after you get a great nights sleep only 10 million times better.
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 finally have 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.
I think the best part about living abroad in France is that it has given us a chance to rebuild our lives the way we want it to look rather than the way we think it is supposed to look .We use our time abroad to be closer as a family and to work on our freelancing businesses. But you could do anything you want. Whatever you do, it is sure to be unique to you and your circumstances.
If it’s so great than why only live in France or live abroad for 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.
This sit is NOT for you if…
This site is not for you if you are looking for advice on how to move to France or live abroad permanently.
Although many of the articles on this site will help you adjust to long term life in France (i.e. more than 6 months), I do not specifically write about how to live in abroad or in France PERMANENTLY. Rarely if ever do I write about how to find a job in France 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 teacing you how to leave your life behind TEMPORARILY and live in France, sometimes referred to as taking a career break to travel, a life sabbatical, family sabbatical, gap year or year abroad. I use these terms throughout my site but they are all very closely related.
My previous experience living abroad
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 20 different countries so far. My children have been to 7 countries so far and have lived in 3 different countries.
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.
- Email me at annie[at}annieandre.com or go to the contact page
- Follow me on twittter @AnnieAndreHacks,
- Friend me on www.facebook.com/annieandre
- Follow me on Pinterest www.pinterest.com/annieandre
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.