May I thank people for any responses in advance. I realize that this question is ‘how long is a piece of string’ and is totally subjective but any input from people with experience would help.
My wife and I are considering moving to France to live. We are fortunate enough to be in the position that if we sold our house we could buy a comfortable house in France (we do not want anything huge) with a couple of gites without requiring a mortgage and also have a little to live on. Neither of us speaks French (a slight drawback!) and so finding work would be difficult. Hence - the gites. I should add that both of us are in our eariy 50s and (hopefully) are in reasonable health.
We have been researching on the internet, watching all the usual TV programmes (A new life in the Sun etc) and spent a couple of months in France last year but the views of the expats who are/have lived in France are polarising.
Those that found the move to France favourable seem to make a sufficient amount of money to live a comfortable life and seem to say ‘the only regret is that I did not do it years ago’ and most seem to love the French way of life. Whether this is to simply ‘save face’ I do not know.
On the flip side I have read pieces in the Mail and other commentary detailing how the majority of couples moving out to France see to have marriage difficulties for a variety of reasons, hate the bureaucracy, find the cost of living unbelievably expensive, and seem to struggle making a living from a small gite business (I am aware that the gite business is a crowded market). I get the impression that if things start bad for this group there views of France are permanently tainted.
There seems to be very little middle ground - either you love it or you hate it.
If anybody out there would like to give an unbiased and totally honest view on the realities of the day to day living in France and running a small gite business I would be most grateful.