When we realized that we weren’t going to the states and that my husband would be free to work from home wherever he wanted, there was only one place on our minds – FRANCE! After spending so many holidays there over the past number of years, we had both totally fallen in love with the countryside, culture, lifestyle and weather.
Living somewhere can be so different from visiting on holiday, so we knew the smart thing would be to spend time actually living there to see how we like it before we set up anything permanent. We had spent most of our time far in the south where his family lives, but it’s quite an expensive area. Rent in that area would be high and our choice to stay in Europe rather than going to Texas left us with a debt of almost 20k to pay on the loss of our flat. With us having also sold all of our furniture and electronics with the flat, we were truly starting over with nothing our personal belongings. We needed somewhere to go and gather our thoughts, free of the cost of having to re-furnish a house. Also with the freedom to pack up and leave if, for whatever reason, we decided France was not for us. We knew right away where we wanted to go…
Remember our cottage Christmas getaway last year? Well, we had totally fallen in love with the first cottage we stayed in. In fact, we’d already tried to organize staying there again a few times but our lives kept getting in the way. When we knew we wanted to leave the Netherlands and have a go at life in France, we knew we didn’t just need a place to stay, we needed a retreat, and this was the perfect place to find it. I contacted the owners, whom I’d been in communication with throughout the year, and explained what we were looking for. As luck would have it, they had been tossing around the idea of doing long winter lets for their cottages. It was a win win! We decided that this would be the perfect winter retreat for us to get our bearings.
I posted that memory yesterday on Facebook. We have been here for 3.5 months and the change in our level of happiness and contentment seems impossible to explain. At least I don’t have the words to explain it and I’m usually pretty good at that kind of thing. Being here, in the middle of the countryside, with fresh air, silence and privacy… it’s done us a world of good. Not to mention the coziness of the fire, beautiful sunrises, lovely new friends, awesome bathtub, Sunday drives, and so many other things that are filling my life with joy at the moment.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So here’s a trillion words in photos for you… .