Salut, I'm Annie André,
the creator and author of annieandre.com: a travel, live abroad expat blog with a French twist.
I'm a Thai born, bilingual North American with French Canadian roots who has been living in the south of France alongside my husband and three children since 2011.
I don't claim to have all the answers; however, living in France and cozying up to my unsuspecting French friends has given me a wealth of insider knowledge and first hand experience about France, and French culture; both good and bad. I have the bureaucratic battle wounds and jaded French attitude to prove it!
My goal is to share fascinating and entertaining facts about France and French culture as well as my experiences, stories, personal advice, insights and anecdotes on working, living, and travelling to that I've gathered while living in France in an honest, and genuine way.
I've lived in six countries and travelled to over 30
In my life, I've travelled to over 30 countries as a child and adult, and lived in 6 of them including Thailand, Vietnam, Canada, the USA, Japan, and now France.
Although I now call France my home, having grown up in a multilingual and multicultural home and lived in multiple countries, I'm what most people refer to as a TCK (third culture kid): Something which I think gives me a unique cultural perspective.
Topics Covered At Annieandre.Com
There's More To France Than Wine, Cheese And Unicorns
France is and has been great for us, but France isn't perfect, nor will your life magically get better simply by moving to France. You have to put in the work to appreciate France, its culture and all the idiosyncrasies of being in another country.
Sadly, many Francophiles buy into the dreamy French life and stereotypes and think France is this wonderful unicorn country where everything is like what they experience on vacation or see in the movies; a sure fire way to experience culture shock.
I try not to sugar-coat or present life in France through rose coloured glasses by deliberately omitting all of the difficult parts like so many resources about France do.
I cover everything from French culture, etiquette, French food, history, language tips and other aspects of living in France such as visas, paying
Here are just some of the topics I cover.
- French culture & traditions
- French food
- French language
- French cities and Travel throughout France
- Gifts for Francophiles
- Applying for visas and jumping through bureaucratic hoops so we could live in France legally.
- Raising children in France & education in France.
- Manoeuvring the daily hurdles of moving to a new country.
- What life in France is like.
- Personal advice and anecdotes on working, living and playing in France.
- Fascinating, forgotten, and strange facts about France and French culture (but not in a morbid weird way.)
- And more...
How we ended up living in France
In 2010, we moved from California to Montreal where my father is from and where my extended family live.
After about a year in Montreal, we decided to move to France for what was supposed to be a one-year family sabbatical.
We didn't have cushy corporate jobs or a company sponsor our move to France, and we didn't have family or friends living in France to help us either.
We did it on our own.
We applied for long stay visas, which we renew annually for each of our five family members for five years straight.
Like so many others, I started a travel blog because I wanted to document and share our travels and experiences with friends, family, Francophiles and travel addicts.
Over a decade later, we're still living in France with our three children, making friends (and enemies), sipping wine, eating baguettes and tanning in the Mediterranean sun.
And now we're in the process of apply for French citizenship. To be continued...