How to stay focused on "The Big Move"

Hey everyone.

I wanted to start a discussion on how you all sustained your motivation and focus building up to the big move to France?

We bought our lovely French home in Limousin 4 years ago with a view to moving out there permanently "sometime" in the future. However, as time has moved on we have decided that we want to bring things forwards considerably.

The question I have is, when we are visiting France everything is so clear but once we return to the UK, a day in work & everything clouds and our drive is dampened.Doubts creep in and our horrendous work life balance destroys our energy to move things forwards.

I know many of you will say that this in itself should be motivation enough but I am hoping that many of you who will have undoubtedly been in this same situation (or who are maybe working towards the same goal as us) will be able to share some nuggets on how you achieved / are working towards achieving your dream.

Here we have a home to sell, jobs to leave and have a deadline of ASAP!

Thoughts please..

Hi,going back to the original question about how to stay motivated when in the UK, having bought a place in France. We were in the same boat, we bough in 2002 finally moved full time in 2005 and. Haven’t looked back. Wile in that limbo before we moved like youwe thought it would be possibly at retirement, life intervened, costs built up aand wedid seriously question our sanity at one point. Hozwever, i am lucky enough to work fromhome and as such my company who also had a French subsidury were willing to transfer me,so we took the plunge. I think thathaving a job and / or income is incredibly important out here, we have seen good friends end up going back to the UK because unless you have a pension living off gite incomes in near impossible. Look at your job, are your skills portable, cN you work via the internet, if the answer is yes, see if your HR are willing to dbe flexible. Life here is good, but the winters can be long, cold and at the moment it is wetter and windier than we have experienced so far. You need to get out andmake friends, they don’t fall into your lap. You need to have an emergancystash that will let you get back to the UK for emergancies if needed. You need the blessing of your family otherwise there is aconstant drip dripof negativity.make sure youhave a solid plan with contingency funds, do your homework re health requirements, learn french, make sure it really is something you both want…there will be challenges along the way and the last thing anyone wants is the I did this for you it wasn’t my idea being thrown at you, this is not a rescue remidy for issues you have athome.

Once youhavechecked everything off this list- review if this is really whatyouwant, there is nothing wrong with having aholiday home that you can spend the sumsmersatwhen you retire and make an income from before that. If you still have the burn,have themoney set a dateand go for it… All thebest


I think that I have said before life is difficult...more than difficult.

Building/RENERVATING GITES is mighty exspensive.

Turning our lovely pigionier into a fairly basic little house would cost

at least 100.000.

Perhaps I should not tell you how much we spent on creating Clos des Saveurs...

a handsome building but in order to get everthing, safe, sound as well as good looking

much...had to be done. Most people expect high standards when they go on holiday. Money is

getting more scares and expectations higher.

Because of everything I came up with the concept of

On Location.....RE-location which is a holiday concept which not only provides

a fantastic vacation but gives people a taste and tutorial ....TO include almost every aspect

of making a new life and buisness in France.

I wanted a dynamic journalist to get this to The Times or Telegraph and beyond.

So excited about the dimensions of this project....

But it needs more than a few lines in the Daily Mail!!!!

Be prepared to compromise and do your research thoroughly. Is there a possibility that you both could take extended leave? OH and I spent a month in France, at the end of which we knew we wanted to try living there. So we came back for three months, at the end of which we knew 100% that not only was France for us, but we came back to the same village last September to see if we could survive the winter. And what a first winter that turned out to be! In at the deep end. Some of the village children had never seen snow before. If you haven't already done it, I would suggest trying to stay a couple of weeks in your house in every season, and get a feel for what life is like. A few people have recently told us that they thought we would never survive the winter here, but we did and enjoyed it.

We are loving life here, although at first living in the countryside in a small village took a bit of adjusting, having spent most of our lives in our capital city suburbs. We are slowly making friends, mostly French, and our language skills are improving, bit by bit. Do either of you speak French? I believe that is hugely important. One of the things that kept us motivated was going to French classes in the evenings back in Dublin. Another was that we sat down, talked it through thoroughly, and set a date for our first 3 month spell here. This meant I was able to give the office 3 months notice, and to train up my secretary on certain tasks, etc. Our adult children had all left the nest and the last surviving parent, my mother, had passed away in January 2010. Admittedly, I have to settle for Skype sessions in order to see my two grandchildren (5 and 1.5 year olds), and we did bring our Sky box with us (for the rugby). I am advised by French friends and fellow SFN-ers that I am not missing much by not having French TV.

So, my advice would be - agree the date between you, hand in your notice if necessary (if you can get a leave of absence so much the better), pack your bags and go! We still have a small place back in Dublin, and we are still renting here. We have funds to buy but what's the rush! I'm glad we did it now - why wait? Best of luck.

BTW, I have just noticed the date that you posted this discussion, and am very surprised that you have not received any other responses! I am sure that there are many SFN members who could possibly contribute their thoughts..............


Hi Trehane

We are very much in a similar boat...... This is the first time I've actually sat and thought this through without anybody else's input, so if it seems as if I'm 'dumping' on you, I apologise now.....

After 20 odd years of humming and ahing, OH and I finally bought our house in France last year, with a view to moving over at some point in the future & with the intention of converting the maison into a b&b and the grange into 2 gites, without setting a date but before we get too old. We had enough money saved after the purchase to be able to make it habitable to a standard we could live in (to be fair, it only needed a shower installing, the decorating being aesthetic), install/replace skylights in the roof, make sure the boiler was up to standard & working, upgrade the electrics and install a wood burner & kitchen. This was all to take place during any time we could spend at the house this year.

Then within a month of completing the purchase I was made (and as I thought at the time, unfairly) redundant from a job I thoroughly enjoyed, so I was able to spend some quality time last year (with our dog for company) getting some of these jobs completed. OH stayed in the UK as he had work, but came over as often as he could. In November I reluctantly went back to the UK. We then returned to spend a lovely time at Christmas, but because I had an employment tribunal looming, could not stay on. We agreed I could take 'a year out'....... but if a job came along......

We both still have our mothers, mine very demanding, having severe dementia and is now in a residential home but is only 72 with not a penny to rub together, and I won't/can't leave my sister to do everything for her although she is fully aware of our intention to jump asap. OH's Mum is 83 and still going great guns, and God willing, after her holiday to the US next month we hope to show her where her money's going to be spent, which she's looking forward to seeing, I hasten to add! Her money being the inheritance we will receive on her demise that could fund the project eventually....

We also have quite a large family, four children, 8 grandchildren to date and news only last week that there will be an addition in November! One of them hasn't even produced yet! They all have passports though, so they know they can come over any time when and if we settle.

We both have social commitments, but apart from a course OH is on, nothing that could not be passed on with planning.

So we have been quite prepared to delay everything until a suitable date in the future (is there ever one)?

Then 3 weeks ago, out of the blue, OH was told his job was redundant and he finished work last week.

This has made us re-think our whole future. We have the opportunity to go now, but can we? My claim for unfair dismissal was fruitless, which has upset me, but I'm glad it's out of the way and from this, we CAN move on. I actually had a full night's sleep last night for the first time in ages.

OH had a 'handshake', but it's not enough to fund the whole project. We haven't got enough money to do the total re-vamp of the property in order for it to pay for itself straight away, and in any case, as the works could take as long as 6-12 months depending on who/how we do it, we've also got to live during that time. We know we could sell our house and use the equity to fund the renovation, but would it be enough? How long could it be on the market for? It's a big house, and bigger houses don't sell as quickly...... We want OH's Mum to live forever and know that won't happen, but...... We don't want my Mum to live forever, obviously, but how long's a piece of string as they say... However, our youngest son & his wife have come up with a plan so that we will have a base with them, therefore we don't have to look to buy or rent anything when we evetually sell the UK house.

And we always said that if a suitable job didn't come along for me, then we continue with the plan. But it looks like there could be one looming. Do I take it if offered, or decline and go against everything we've agreed and probably cause discord between the two of us? OH can now look for short term 3-6 month contracts with breaks inbetween where he could spend that time in France, so it could be that our planned roles will be reversed. I'm not happy with that, but....

Do we go now as everyone expects us to, as this seems to be the opportune time, neither of us having jobs at the moment? Maybe we should bite the bullet and give a deadline for all our personal commitments with a view to setting a firm date......

Are we that brave?????????