I’ve been living in France for 4 years now with my partner who is Spanish. I originally decided to go to France when I finished university because I wanted to be with my partner, as well as being tempted by the adventure of moving abroad. However, over the 4 years, I never really settled. I felt the need to do stupid and simple things like getting an affordable house with a garden (renting being expensive in the capital and other areas not really appealing to me), having children and progressing my career. I know I could/can do all of these things in France, but I never wanted to do this in France, I just felt like it was too much of a busy, frenetic city for family life and I could never have imagined living there my whole life as well as the effort that it would take to pursue my ideal career would have double hard taking into consideration the language barrier.
After about a year of deliberation, with continual doubt, I plucked up the courage to leave a permanent, average paid job to go back to the UK and build up my life again. The main motivations were a desire to do a UK qualification that would have allowed me to advance in my career in a way that wouldn’t have been possible, or rather, I wasn’t motivated to do in France as well as being closer to family and the possibility of buying a house in the UK, learning to drive etc. After a first shaky few months and bleak outlook on the jobs front, I have finally been offered a fantastic position, but with my partner in France, I am still feeling unsettled and starting to ask myself if I have made the right decision.
I miss Paris so much at times and it really is true that its the small things that you miss most; the beautiful buildings, the culture, the feeling of being at the centre of Europe, the food (!!), the weather!!! Then I think about how I achieved so much to get to where I was employment wise, how I learnt the language and dealt with so many challenges that I start to think, why should I give everything up so easily?
At the same time, I missed my family, I felt ever so lonely, even with my partner and just felt like there were not the same opportunities in France as back home. I felt like I wasn’t brave enough to go through the rigmarole of buying a house in France, going through the paperwork and also because I could never visualise my whole life there, meant I always had the nagging doubt of going back home. I don’t have children, and nothing else to hold me back, so I just thought, it’s now or never. The point is, even though I have now found a great work position, I still have the doubts in my mind. Did I make the right decision? The weather is a big downside, it always seems to be cloudy and rainy, my heart sinks when I see how the sun shining in France and here it’s tipping it down…Brexit is another factor – I’m worried about the consequences this could have for my partner. It sounds stupid, but most people would give so much to live in Paris, and I’m turning my back on it. I just don’t know where my head is at. Is anybody else had any similar experiences? Has anybody made the leap, and then gone back? Is it a case of the grass always being greener on the other side and am I condemned to a perpetual state of indecision…?
Sorry for it being such a long post, I had to get those thoughts off my chest!
Grateful for any thoughts!