Keep in mind; Alfonz went to France with his best friend Adrian on a motorbike tour in 2000, long before he and I were together. When he returned with his adventures, and shared them with me, his long time friend, I had never seen him so happy.
For the kids and I it was a huge leap of faith and our decision, made solely on Alfonz’s suggestion, agreed to in less than a minute. Ready for a big change, his dream was now in motion to move to warmer climate, close to his home country Hungary, and live out a version of his life’s dream.
Picking a region in France sight unseen was easy.
My thoughts based on the Internet, Wikipedia, travel sites, Real Estate agents and Alfonz.
The sought after Cote d’Azur was our first choice but the prices are outrageous and that is if anything is available. We want an area with a tourist drive, and in North America, you hear about this posh area often.
The Aude area in the Languedoc-Roussillon region is still in reach and reasonably priced. The province runs along the Mediterranean Coast line, with small villages with their own bakery, church and school. Offering tourism income in the picturesque setting of rolling hills covered in grapes. The typical scenery you would imagine the French countryside to have is in this fabulous region. Some of the best wines of France come from here, and they have more wineries side by side densely together in this Aude and Herault regions then anywhere else in the world. With the mountains and the valleys, good water sources and terrain, the Languedoc has the perfect climate and conditions for grapes. If it is good enough for grapes, it is good enough for me.
Bike paths, rivers and lakes, beautiful open sky, unobstructed views of the most beautiful landscape you could image, are all here.
Close enough to the Carcassonne Castle and the Mediterranean Sea to give our B&B visitor’s options, and our family the lifestyle we are looking for. A life similar to the West Coast of British Columbia, with outdoor activities in abundance, making southern France a good fit.
Imagine riding your bike, of course with a basket in front, to the market each day to gather fresh daily foods, trimming flavorful herbs from an abundantly green garden, or picking fruit off trees. As you walk towards your village centre you only pass familiar faces. You say hello and ask how their day is going. A simpler life is what we expect and a much slower pace.
We hope to slowly take in the moments and absorb our new life, one that is much quieter than our busy, stressful world here in the lower mainland of B.C. Canada.
We can almost taste the croissants, smell the chocolatines and hear the crunch of our fresh baguettes.
If what I dream of is only a fraction true, we will be happy.
Moreover, if Aude does not ring true, there are 22 other regions with 95 compartments to choose from. France has diversity.
In addition, our Realtor located in France will not steer us wrong. Cross your fingers!