We Moved To France: Mistakes To Avoid When Chasing Your Dream

chasing the impossible dream we moved to France

If you’ve decided it’s time to chase that elusive dream of moving abroad congratulations. Oh and good luck too. It won’t be easy going against the grain. Here are 5 mistakes you should avoid when chasing that dream you once thought impossible to achieve.


Achieving a dream means not listening to that voice in your head telling you it’s impossible. If we all listened to that voice than nothing great would ever be achieved. People used to think the four-minute mile was impossible and at one point no one ever imagined a big hunk of metal could ever fly and carry passengers.

My dream, although not as grand and earth-shattering has been to live in France.

That dream fizzled after college when my career started to take off then I had children and I thought for sure it would never, could never happen. It just seemed so impractical, unrealistic and foolhardy.

When we finally decided to move to France, it didn’t seem like the most optimal time. But I thought the same thing when I had kids. You’re never really ready but you rise to the occasion, make do and make it work.

During the process of figuring out how to move to France, we learned a lot and made heaps of mistakes like not doing more research on finding the right city in France to move.  But many other mistakes were more psychological. Here are some tips to help you get into that positive mindset because it’s so easy to make the mistake of listening to that voice in your head that tells you, it’s impossible.

Update: we have been living in France since October 5th, 2011

1) Don’t assume it will be easy: Be prepared to work hard

I knew it would be hard moving abroad to France but I had no idea in what way. What’s that old saying? You don’t know what you don’t know?  Immigration and visa laws can be extremely complicated and bureaucracy is really a drag.

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.

2) 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 want to move abroad before then, just go for it.

3) 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, 2 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.

4) Don’t try to get approval from others

I once knew someone who wanted to join the circus with his wife. I thought they were crazy for wanting such a frivolous thing. What annoyed me the most was they were not moved or swayed by any of the 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.

See also- How to deal with naysayers and tell you friends and family you want to move or live abroad

5) 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”


The year prior to moving to France, we lived like semi-nomadic vagabonds and stayed with family and friends, some old and a few new. I want to thank them. Thank you for opening your home to us. Thank you for your hospitality. Thank you for your generosity and kindness.

Thank you, Chambers, Elders, my aunt Huguette Andre, Rolfe / Levac, Elders / Shupp, Dickinson’s and Couchsurfing hosts.

It made for an interesting year and we loved staying with each and every one of you. Now pack your bags and get over here and stay with us. We have Brie and red wine waiting for you. And there is an always a great Bistro around the corner from us.

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