France just feels right, how do I know? Some years ago, only a few years into my life as a seminar speaker, I had an extremely difficult audience one day, thankfully they were few and far between, but this group did not want to be there so they took it out on the speaker, moi. Argued, criticized, even profanity – I was so glad to get it over with. Some time later, reflecting on the day, I asked myself the question, “As bad as that was, is there any other job you would rather be doing?” Without hesitation I responded, “No.” If the worse day was still better than any other job I had ever had then I was doing the right thing.
Moving to France has been on our minds since I think at least 2018. The process has been full of challenges, but like I said in my last blog I am NOT complaining about them, just admitting they were there.
Collecting the papers and proofs for the visa and the whole process of going to San Francisco to deliver them. All of the veterinary visits and expense to get Neville his EU certificate (which of course no one has wanted to see). The long plane ride, only made stressful because Neville was in his carrier for 21 hours. The learning curve of wood stove, butane cooking and cylinder exchanges, air drying our clothing. Oh and of course getting hit by another driver.
Then of course the technical things like setting up a French phone number, validating SMS messages from US banks that will only go to a US phone number, car insurance which is quite different, buying a car when you don’t know the language.
So you get the idea, lots of things to give me puzzles to solve most days. Yes there has been some frustration and even a bit of x*@@# language on occasion. Yet the overriding thing is that I love it here. Sure I have asked the question, “What were we thinking?” But when I ask the same question I asked myself all those years ago about seminar, “Do you want to go back?” The answer is “No! I do really like Europe and France.”
Of course through it all theTravelsketcher sketches and Tricia posts her photos, some things remain constant. Here are a few quick sketches from this last week, we took a trip to visit friends in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a nice break. Sketching on a train going 270KM/hour was fun.