About “How To Live In France”

Are you interested in moving to France, or already living in France? 

Annie Andre, a foreigner who has lived in France for over 5 years with her husband and 3 children offers a humerously pragmatic look at the joys, trials and tribulations of both moving to and living in France.

What To Expect!

After living in the south of France with my husband and 3 children for almost 5 years (2011-present), I've amassed and documented an insane amount of knowledge, resources and information. 

I don't claim to have all the answers but I have figured out a lot of stuff mostly through trial and error or by cozying up to unsuspecting French friends. ​AnnieAndre.com aka "How to live in France" is my way of sharing all that stuff- The joys, trials and tribulations we endure as foreigners living in France. 

  Follow along and join my journey.  I write monthly, sometimes weekly articles (if I can drag myself away from my glass of wine), which I hope will give you a clue as to what it takes to live in France. In the least, I hope it makes you smile once in a while because anyone who wants to live in France is looking for a glutten of punishment and needs to have a good sense of humour!

Because this site is an ongoing project, it's continually evolving and growing. I use mostly my own experiences told from a North American persons point of view. On occasion, I write about random or quirky travel things too just because I can. It's my site after all.

Fasten your seat-belts cause here we go!

paris france annie balcony2

Who I am!

A few years ago, I was right where you are now- dreaming of moving to France,  researching unanswered questions, drowning in all the information and struggling to make sense of it all. I can’t tell you how many dead-ends we hit and how many times we almost gave up.

The information on moving to France was out there but it was scattered, unreliable and sometimes incomplete. Plus there wasn’t a lot of information for someone like me who was married with children, who had a house and a lifetime of possessions that comes from living a conventional life. Someone who didn’t have a company to sponsor us to move to France.

We didn’t give up and we obviously made it to France- with a few battle scars of course.

I have experienced, documented and amassed an insane amount of knowledge and information that no one out there really tells you. This site is my attempt to share everything I know with you.

This site is also my passion and is a lobour of love. It combines all my passions into one. -My quest to move to France. -My love for internet marketing-My need to grow my freelance career. -And my goal to become a better writer.

Why take a year off to live in France?

A year in France can give you a chance to do all the things you put off because you were too busy to do them while running on the treadmill of life. Imagine having one full year to finally have the time to write that book, learn French, become a yoga instructor, teach English, learn a new skill or anything else you can think up. 

Did you know that by taking time off from a busy life and stressful job to travel or live abroad can be life changing. Or that it can help you reboot and recharge your batteries. Kind of like how you feel after  you get a great nights sleep only 10 million times better.

I think the best part about living abroad in France is that it has given us a chance to rebuild our lives the way we want it to look rather than the way we think it is supposed to look .We use our time abroad to be closer as a family and to work on our freelancing businesses. But you could do anything you want. Whatever you do, it is sure to be unique to you and your circumstances.

If it’s so great than why only live in France or live abroad for JUST one year?

Lets face it, although moving to France might be THE DREAM, it’s not easy nor is it always possible to completely abandon your life back home forever. There are road blocks to living in France FOREVER. Like the fact that if you are not a member of the EU. This fact alone is like a massive impenetrable road block that makes it virtually impossible to find work unless you have a very specialized occupation. Maybe you don’t want to leave all your friends and family behind forever but a year or two away is doable. All you need is a little advice, courage and know how. I want to be that person to help you.

Click here to learn how we ended up in France. 

This site is NOT for you if…

This site is not for you if you are looking for advice on how to move to France or live abroad permanently.

Although many of the articles on this site will help you adjust to long-term life in France (i.e. more than 6 months), I do not specifically write about how to live in abroad or in France PERMANENTLY. Rarely if ever do I write about how to find a job in France mainly because it’s really really hard to do for anyone who is not from the EU and because I have no first hand experience. I just stick to what I know best and that is teaching you how to leave your life behind TEMPORARILY and live in France, sometimes referred to as taking a career break to travel, a life sabbatical, family sabbatical, gap year or year abroad.  I use these terms throughout my site but they are all very closely related.

Me (Annie) and my husband in Paris on mini sabbatical

My previous experience living abroad

People I meet always ask me where I am from and to that I always have a hard time answering because I was what you would call a  “Third Culture Kid” aka “TCK”. 

A term used to describe children who travel more than they spend in one home country, who probably identify with other cultures or multiple cultures vs just one.

I was Born in Thailand to a Thai mother and French Canadian father and raised in 3 countries.

Over the course of my life, I’ve travelled and or  lived abroad as a child, a teenager, a young adult and now as a wife and mother of three in the south of France.

I have lived in places like Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, the United States, Canada and now France. I’ve also spent months at a time slow travelling the world, visiting places like Scotland, the Netherlands, Macau, Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines to name a few.  In total I’ve been to over 20 different countries so far. My children have been to 7 countries so far and have lived in 3 different countries.

Subscribe, Follow, Connect with Annie Andre

If any of what I said interests you than stick around. Sign up for exclusive emails updates 

Please stay in touch. I would love to connect via social media or email. Or just leave a comment on one of the blog posts. I always respond.

Meet The Gang

If you want to read more about our story just sign up for email updates. I post occasional updates of what we are up to. Plus you can download my free packing checklist when you signup as a gift to you. Otherwise, start reading the Blog.

UPDATE: JULY 2012. Watch the video where we were featured on House Hunters International.

If you want to meet my wonderful hubby and three kids than come on over and Meet The Family.

family photo of us in Le Pradet France 2012

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