We Moved To France With Our Children! No Regrets Except
Every year, millions of people dream of moving to another country, backpacking through Europe or spending a gap year abroad but never do anything about it.
For years, my husband and I were in the same boat. We discussed how great it would be to move to France for a year with the kids, always ending the conversation with “yeah, but we have careers, we can’t afford it, what about the cars, and all of our stuff in our house?
And that would be that, end of the conversation.
Then in 2011, we did it.
We moved to France with our three children. Only instead of meticulously planning our move for years, waiting for the perfect moment, we did under the strangest circumstances.
Losing our jobs was the incentive we needed to move abroad:
After we lost our jobs and endured long term unemployment, we cut our losses and put our stuff in storage, fled the high cost of living in California and moved in with my aunt in Montreal while we looked for new jobs so we could start fresh on the East Coast.
Six months after we moved, we decided out of the blue, to just do it.
We applied for the French long-stay visa, looked for a furnished apartment to rent in France, and six months later, we landed at the Charles de Gaule airport, caught a connecting flight to Marseille and started our new life in France on October 6, 2011.
The limiting beliefs that stop you from moving abroad
Looking back, I still find it hard to believe we made the live in France when we did; under some pretty stressful circumstances. My only regret is waiting so long to move to France.
It goes to show you the power of fear and limiting beliefs that are deeply rooted in our subconscious.
Do you recognize any of these?
1) I can’t afford it
Money is s a legitimate concern. But what are you really saying. Is it, “I can’t afford to live abroad and have the lifestyle I want”?
To make our move abroad, we didn’t live in a lavish apartment in Paris. Instead,
2) It’s not the right time, or I can’t do it now because…
There’s never a perfect time
In a perfect world, you can pick the perfect time to move abroad, saved plenty of money, and find the perfect high vaulted ceiling apartment to rent. The reality is, there rarely is a perfect time.
It’s kind of like having kids. You’re never really ready until you just do it, but you rise to the occasion and make it work.
3) You don’t have to wait until retirement unless you want to
Don’t fall into that trap of believing you have to wait until retirement to move abroad. There is nothing wrong with waiting, but if you’re going to move overseas, and you can financially, go for it.
4) Safety is an illusion
I hate saying this because it sounds, so cliché and corny, but safety is an illusion.
Don’t put off your hopes or dreams because you’re afraid of losing your safe, comfortable life. It’s riskier to NOT go after your dreams because you risk your happiness.
I lived the life I thought I was supposed to live. College, career track, marriage, kids, two-car garage and the burbs. I made all the safe and practical decisions I was supposed to make. We thought we were safe, but we still ended up unemployed and in a very dicey situation.
5) Don’t try to get approval from others
Naysayers are everywhere.
I once knew someone who wanted to join the circus with his wife. I thought they were crazy. What annoyed me the most was they didn’t give a crap about what anyone thought. Jokes on me because we’re not moved or swayed by any negativity or disapproval. They pursued their dream despite it.
Be prepared to deal with naysayers, and don’t let them get you down or sway you. It’s your life and your dream. You have to do what makes you happy.
6) Don’t assume it will be easy: Be prepared to work hard
On the other end of the spectrum is believing it’s all going to be so easy.
Moving to another country is fantastic, but many aspects of moving abroad are very difficult.
The worst part about it is you can’t prepare for everything because you don’t know what you don’t know.
You might have all your Immigration and visa papers in order until you show up to the consulate, and they tell you you need something not previously listed.
You think this city is great because you read all the city reviews, but then when you get there, you realize everything you read painted a pretty picture rather than reality.
7) Don’t give up
Your dream is counting on you, so don’t give up. It feels better to have tried and failed than to have not tried at all. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Just remember, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”
Despite all the hurdles and obstacles, we never let them stop us. They might have slowed us down, but we just kept going for it.
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