We moved to France in 1993 and I suppose the idea that you could actually live full-time in France was probably inspired by the much maligned Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. The TV adaptation was pretty awful but the book was great fun. Then we discovered John P Harris "An Englishman in the Midi" which was without the adman's gloss of Peter Mayle and an equally amusing and fascinating insight into village life in France. We wanted to be there too!
So was your decision inspired or influenced by a book?