Despite the fact that in my recent post, about all the things I have been missing about France, the majority of the points I brought up were Paris-centric, we are NOT moving back to Paris. We are staying far away from Ile de France, in fact. We remember perfectly well how unhappy we were living in Paris, and before deciding to move to the US, we were already talking about leaving Paris to go elsewhere in France, and we were making plans to that effect.
Now that we are going back to France, we know that no matter how many things there are that we may miss about Paris, we definitely don’t want to move back there now. I’d be very happy to visit, and we certainly will take trips to Paris from time to time to visit good friends and old haunts, but we are not willing to move back there at this time.
So, we are giving another part of France a chance and moving to the Bordeaux area. We chose Bordeaux primarily for practical reason…Lionel was born in the area, a lot of his extended family lives there, my in-laws live only about 45 minutes away along the Atlantic coast, and most importantly, we have the opportunity to take over Lionel’s grandparents’ house. I didn’t mention this at the time, but right before I started my job, Lionel’s grandfather unfortunately passed. It wasn’t a surprise or anything; his health had been drastically declining for about a year. It was still very hard for Lionel, especially since he was unable to go back for the funeral. Anyway, the house passed on to the family and while everyone would like it to stay in the family, no one actually wants to live there, and my in-laws are the only ones who care to do any of the upkeep. So, Lionel and I have found ourselves with the chance to take over the house, which is what we plan to do. Hence our decision to move to Bordeaux.
While we are very lucky to have a house lined up (albeit an older house that is going to need some work and remodeling), we are still a little concerned about the move to Bordeaux. We don’t know the city at all. Though Lionel was born in the area, he didn’t spend much time there at all because of his dad’s job. And even though a lot of his family lives in the area, none of them actually live in the city. They are out in the countryside near Bordeaux. So when we would visit them we didn’t really see the city. In fact, I have only been in the city center once, for a few hours one afternoon. But on the bright side, we will get to have the opportunity to explore and discover the city together!
Also, other than Lionel’s family, we don’t know very many people there. But we are very lucky to have one of Lionel’s closest friends who moved to Bordeaux from Paris shortly after we moved to the US. So at least we know him, his wife and their two children. Plus Lionel’s family, who I do genuinely like. But it will be starting all over again, trying to meet new people and make friends.
But our single biggest concern is definitely the job search. Bordeaux is not Paris, and I know there won’t be as many job opportunities. And that scares us both because we would both like to be able to find decent jobs, and we don’t want to spend months searching. And I’m doubly terrified because looking for a job in France has always scared me, and this is even worse because there will be less available jobs to choose from. I’m just hoping that with all of Lionel’s family in the area, they might have some leads for us too. I know I won’t be able to be picky, especially in the beginning, but it would be nice to find something I like from the beginning. Though realistically, I know I’m going to have to keep English teaching on the table because we will need at least one of us to be working as quickly as possible.
However, despite our concerns, we are overall looking forward to the move. We are excited to explore and discover the Bordeaux area, to be closer to family and to settle in to Lionel’s grandparents’ house. We are looking forward to having our own house, rather than an apartment, though I’m a little intimidated by the size of the yard. And we are excited to start fresh and new in a place where neither one of us has really previously lived (because I don’t count the first 3 years of Lionel’s life as having really lived there). At the moment I’m feeling pretty positive about the move, and, though I know there will be challenges along the way, I’m hoping it will overall go smoothly.