This is me...we're in Normandy on The Cherbourg Peninsula, Cherbourg our local big town for hyper market, Brico depot etc. our village is equal distance 4 miles one direction to Ste Mere Eglise the other way 4 miles away Carentan, in the heart of the American sector of the Invasion Beaches.
We moved over lock stock from Sunningdale almost 15 years ago,my husband at the top of his career in London, I had my own business, must have been mid life crisis, I just didn't recognize it at the time, but bonkers idea just came out of husband's mouth one morning at the grand age of 49...'I want to quit at the top how do you fancy Normandy'...oh, OK I say & as we have no children...it actually happened! So here we are, him almost 65 & me now 60...we work harder than we did in London, but, have built a great life & a good business.
Now with 4 vacation rentals with mainly Americans as our guests,we have at our home, a little farm, 2 couple only gites, the other 2 properties are no further than 10 minutes away, we are here all year round as we've managed imprison ourselves in the shape of Llamas, Alpacas, Jack Russell dogs, 8 rescue cats to name but a few of our creatures! We have though discovered Homesitters.com so we are going to start getting away a bit more, plus we are starting to to talk about slowing down a bit in another year or so.
It's gone in a flash, starting off in 2000, a couple of words of French between us, building a business, a network of friends and local tradesmen, understanding the systems here, getting registered with tax office & correct health cover and everything else that goes with living in a different country.
Don't get me wrong it hasn't been a smooth ride the whole time...we were really taken in by a 'British builder' when we 1st moved over...it was the most horrible experience ever, last heard he was serving time, but the French got fed up with him & his scrounging wife with 6 kids in tow the sent him back to UK to finish his sentence there...hopefully someone managed to lose the key.
Spare time when I get it, I sit and knit with the wool from my Alpacas...in my mind the most soothing thing I can do!